When Drake showed up courtside for Game 1 of the NBA Finals wearing an autographed Dell Curry Toronto Raptors jersey, it was an epic, Grammy-level troll. But the fact that Dell played for the Raptors and one of his sons plays for the Golden State Warriors is far from the only historical connection between the two franchises. For two teams with 2,200 miles and a border between them, these franchises share a surprisingly long history of connections -- 15 of them, to be exact!
1. The intersections begin at the very beginning: Toronto's original basketball franchise, the Huskies, played for one season, the inaugural 1946-47 campaign of the Basketball Association of America. In that 11-team precursor to the NBA, the Huskies played the Philadelphia Warriors -- who would move to the Bay Area 16 years later -- six times. Who won the title in Toronto's only season until the expansion Raptors came along in 1995? Those Warriors.
2. Four decades later, the two future coaches of the NBA Finals were setting the Midwest and Southwest ablaze with their 3-point shooting: Nick Nurse, while at the University of Northern Iowa from 1985 to 1989, set the school's all-time 3-point percentage record (170-for-363, 46.8 percent). In 1988, Kerr, while leading the University of Arizona to the Final Four, set an NCAA record for 3-point percentage in a season (114-for-199, 57.3 percent).
3. In 1995, the Raptors were born -- and in that year's expansion draft they selected B.J. Armstrong, who had won three NBA titles with Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls, as their first selection. But when Armstrong refused to report to the team, Toronto traded him for a package of five players to -- you guessed it -- Golden State.
4. In their inaugural season, the expansion Raptors won just 21 games. But one of those wins -- a 109-108 nail-biter -- came against Jordan's 72-win Bulls. The Warriors connection: On Chicago's final possession, Kerr missed the potential go-ahead shot.
5. On draft night in 1998, the Warriors and Raptors swapped North Carolina teammates Antawn Jamison (Toronto's pick at No. 4) and Vince Carter (Golden State's pick at No. 5). Carter would go on to become the first All-Star in Raptors history. The Warriors included $300,000 in cash in the deal, which, according to the Toronto Sun, was used to build the practice court that Toronto would use prior to its training facility being built.
6. Carter's famous 2000 Slam Dunk Contest win, considered one of the best performances in NBA history, took place at The Arena in Oakland. Raptors teammate Tracy McGrady -- who passed to Carter for one of the dunks -- finished third.
7. In 2001, as his father, Dell, was playing for the Raptors in the final season of his career, a 12-year-old Steph Curry found himself on the middle school basketball team at Queensway Christian College, a team that had won just three games the prior season. But much like the plot of "Teen Wolf" come to life, the arrival of this sharpshooting, ballhandling wizard propelled the team to the championship.
8. Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who today broadcasts the Finals for ESPN, played 54 games for Toronto during the 2000-01 season, when the Raptors won their first playoff series. Jackson's departure from both Finals teams came before they experienced success: He was traded to the New York Knicks in February 2001, prior to the Raptors' series win. He exited as coach of the Warriors after the 2013-14 season, the year before the Dubs won their first title in 40 years with Kerr at the helm.
9. Warriors forward Draymond Green and Raptors superfan Drake exchanged words after the buzzer in Game 1. But they were not the first words between the two. In 2010, Green tweeted: "Where is the drake concert 2nnite?" Then, later that night after apparently going to said concert, he tweeted: "Drake has no swag at all!!!!!!"
10. Before Linsanity consumed New York City, Jeremy Lin began his NBA career as an undrafted free agent with the Warriors. A Bay Area native, Lin played just 29 games with Golden State in the 2010-11 season, averaging 2.6 points in 9.8 minutes. Seven franchises later, Lin now plays for the Raptors.
11. Is Kevin Durant's inner child conflicted by this NBA Finals matchup? Consider that in 2013, Durant told "The Dan Patrick Show" that, despite growing up near D.C., he loved the Raptors because of their status as the NBA's new kids on the block, cool unis and Carter's incredible athleticism.
12. Golden State's Alfonzo McKinnie and Toronto's Patrick McCaw both got their starts with the other side. McKinnie was signed by the Raptors as an undrafted free agent in the summer of 2017. Up and down from the G League, he played sparingly in 14 games that season before being waived. He signed with the Warriors before this season. McCaw, originally a second-round pick of the Milwaukee Bucks, played in 128 games for the Warriors -- starting 30 of them -- before landing with the Cavs and, eventually, the Raptors this winter.
13. The Raptors are The North and the Warriors are The Bay -- but the rosters of both teams this season share a unique connection to San Diego. Kerr was a longtime resident of the city, and Kerr's top assistant, Mike Brown, played hoops at the University of San Diego. On the other side, Kawhi Leonard starred at San Diego State, and Raptors teammate Norman Powell was born and raised within the city limits.
14. She The North? Little-known fact: Steph Curry's wife, Ayesha, was born in Toronto and was raised in a suburb of the city. According to her Instagram page, she remains a dual citizen.
15. If the Raptors win the title this year, Nurse would join four others since the merger to have won a championship as a rookie head coach. One of the others? Kerr. Another? Tyronn Lue -- who achieved the feat against the Warriors in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Additional research from Anthony Olivieri.