Rapper Drake and LeBron James talked after the Lakers’ game against the Toronto Raptors on March 18, 2022.
But that’s not why rapper Drake chose the Lakers superstar and his eldest son, USC freshman Bronny James, to accompany him Monday night as he walked through the crowd to the stage for the first show of his two-night concert stint at the downtown L.A. arena.
As Drake explained to the fans at the latest stop on his “It’s All a Blur” tour with 21 Savage, LeBron James has been a longtime supporter—since back when the Canadian performer was trying to make the transition from child actor on TV’s “Degrassi: The Next Generation” to hip-hop artist.
“I don’t know if you saw who walked me to the stage tonight,” Drake said. “But the gentleman that walked me to the stage tonight is my brother. He goes by the name of LeBron James.”
The Los Angeles Lakers will retire LeBron James’ jersey when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame. The question remains whether they will retire jersey number 23 or number 6, or perhaps both, similar to what they did for Kobe Bryant.
That part elicited a huge cheer from the crowd inside the arena. James has called this place home for the past five seasons, helping lead the Lakers to an NBA title in 2020 and back to the Western Conference Finals last season. It’s also where James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the league’s all-time leading scorer on Feb. 8.
“In 2009, when nobody believed in anything I had going on,” Drake continued, “that same guy showed up to a release party for a mixtape that was called ‘So Far Gone,’ I don’t know if you ever heard of this one. He came all the way to Toronto, Canada, to support me when I was trying to figure out how I can live my dreams.
“And so tonight, however many years later, it’s an honor to be inside this building while we’re both on this Earth. I gotta do this building justice tonight, so I came to LA and I’m about to give you every f— thing I got, I promise you right now.
James and Drake have been known to socialize together and show support for each other on social media. Last week, James’ younger son, Bryce, a junior at Sierra Canyon School, was seen in attendance at one of Drake’s shows at the Forum.
Bronny James made another public appearance almost a month after suffering a cardiac arrest during a workout with the Trojans on July 24. LeBron James had his arm around his son as they waited to start walking and had his hand on Bronny’s shoulder at times as they made their way through the crowd behind the superstar rapper.
Before taking the stage, Drake embraced Bronny and then gave LeBron a huge hug, a gesture that received the roaring approval of the crowd. LeBron and his son reportedly enjoyed the show with front-and-center seats in the VIP section.