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Drake's star-studded sports history: A timeline

Where there's star power in sports, Drake usually follows -- and often in courtside seats.

The Canadian hip-hop artist is often criticized for being a bandwagon fan, but he bristles at the notion.

"Despite what everyone on the Internet thinks, I do not team-jump," Drake told Complex in 2014. "In the past I've always supported the player and not the institution--unless we're talking about the Kentucky Wildcats and the Toronto Raptors; I will never stray from them. But whether it comes to soccer or football or basketball, I have a lot of friends that play for a lot of teams. I'm not team-jumping. I'm a supportive friend."

Here are several instances when Drake was extremely supportive of his friends, along with the fallout:


Jan. '11: Drake, decked out in Manchester United gear, meets with then-Man U star Rio Ferdinand to talk about their mutual love of music and sports, and Drake's Man U fandom.


May '11: Drake and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James discuss their "real family" friendship in a column on Yahoo! Sports. "I get out of my seat and kneel on the court as if I'm about to get in the game," Drake said after sitting courtside and watching James in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Chicago. "We're playing on a similar wavelength."


March '12: Drake boasts on Twitter about meeting then-Chelsea star Didier Drogba. "I just met Drogba and he said he's a fan," he wrote. "Nobody can't talk to me for the rest of the day."


April '12: Drake and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli go out for a curry after a Manchester City game. Drake posts a picture of himself on Facebook with a City shirt, and he later references the meeting in his song, "Aaliyah."

His various football allegiances become a meme, and Drake responds to the criticism.

But the joke lives on, and even Ferdinand posts a version of it in 2015.

A photo posted by Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) on


July '12: Drake posts a photo of a Kentucky championship ring he received from coach John Calipari commemorating the Wildcats' 2012 national title with "Drizzy" on the side. Despite not attending the school, he has quite a record with Calipari's Wildcats: He coached during their Big Blue Madness event in 2009 and sat behind their bench in the 2010 NCAA tournament.


June '13: Drake is denied access to the Heat locker room after Miami beats San Antonio in Game 7 to win the NBA title. Security stopped Drake from entering the locker room without a media pass, but according to Hoopsworld.com, Drake reportedly said, "I am media." Drake still attends the champagne-soaked after-party with James, Dwyane Wade ... and Drogba.


Sept. '13: A self-proclaimed lifelong Raptors fan, Drake is introduced as Toronto's new global ambassador. "I was a Vince Carter guy. I was a Damon Stoudamire guy. I was a [Tracy McGrady] guy," Drake said at the time. "I've supported the franchise through our ups and downs. More than anything, I'm a Toronto guy. I'm a city guy."


Oct. '13: Drake, who struck up a social-media friendship with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, posts a photo of him watching the Aggies play Ole Miss while wearing a custom Johnny Manziel jersey. Manziel later visits Drake in Toronto on spring break, saying the visit "changed my life forever ... I came back a completely different person."


April '14: Drake releases a track called "Draft Day" name-dropping Manziel and Andrew Wiggins. Manziel chooses it as his entrance music when he's walking across the stage at the NFL draft after being selected.


Aug. '14: The Toronto Raptors are fined $25,000 for violating the NBA's anti-tampering rules for comments Drake made at a Toronto concert encouraging the crowd to cheer for Kevin Durant to play for the Raptors. "You know, my brother Kevin Durant was kind enough to come to the show tonight and watch us," Drake said. "I just want him to see what would happen if he came to play in Toronto. Let him know what would happen."


#BBN #LayUpLine #AirBallPapi #BigBlueMadness #GoCatsGo

A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

Oct. '14: Drake suits up with Kentucky for Big Blue Madness and shoots an airball in warm-ups. He later takes photos with some Kentucky recruits, including Charles Matthews, committing a minor NCAA violation. Kentucky sends him a cease-and-desist letter asking him to refrain from taking photos or speaking with recruits, according to the Sporting News.


Dec. '15: Drake, Stephen Curry and Curry's wife, Ayesha, go to In-N-Out after the Warriors' 128-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Drake invokes Curry again later in his song "Summer Sixteen" when he says, "Golden State running practice at my house." Curry says the line is a reference to playing one-on-one against his brother-in-law at Drake's house.


Jan. '16: The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Kentucky self-reports another "Level III" NCAA violation for "preferential treatment" after Tyler Ulis posts a photo with Drake after a concert in Ulis' hometown of Chicago.


March '16 : Drake's courtside trash-talking (maybe) helps induce a five-second violation by Chicago's Justin Holiday in the Bulls' 109-107 win at Toronto. Holiday, who says he wasn't paying attention to the rapper, says he's a big fan of Drake's and that he's "gotten the links from every person I've known."


April '16: After a turnover by Rodney Stuckey in Toronto's 102-99 victory over Indiana, Drake jumps out of his seat and vigorously claps close to Stuckey's face. After the game, Drake posts a photo of the Pacers' Paul George (which he later deletes) with a teardrop on his face and the caption, "I knew you were scared."


April '16: Drake references Durant on "Weston Road Flows" on his album Views, saying "A lot of people just hit me up when my name is mentioned / Shout out to KD we relate we get the same attention." Durant tells reporters, "It kind of surprised me. When your favorite rapper puts your name in a song, it makes you feel like you made it no matter what you've done."