Drake performed at Spectrum Center, home to the Charlotte Hornets, Friday night. The musical artist included one of the Hornets players at the top of his show. Drake walked out with Hornets rookie Amari Bailey in front of thousands of screaming fans.
Amari Bailey has yet to play for the Hornets, and most of the fans in attendance probably had no idea who the soon-to-be NBA player was. Bailey was a second-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, going to Charlotte with the No. 41 overall selection, Although Drake is known to be a big NBA fan, he knew Bailey before the UCLA product was drafted.
Drake walked out Hornets rookie Amari Bailey during his Charlotte concert.pic.twitter.com/dG0WbcXuVY
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 23, 2023
Drake used to date Johanna Leia, who is Bailey's mom. In July 2021, it was reported that had a date with Leia in an empty Dodger Stadium. The couple reportedly dated for several months and Drake “acted as a mentor to Bailey,” according to People.
Bailey is only 19 years old. It's hard to know what kind of NBA future a second-round pick who only spent one year in college will have. In his lone season playing for the Bruins, Bailey averaged 11.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. The Hornets players shot 49.5% from the field and 38.9% from 3-point range.
Drake technically works for an NBA team. In 2013, the Toronto Raptors named Drake their official Global Ambassador. The Raptors train at the OVO Athletic Centre, giving Drake another link with Toronto's NBA team.
The Raptors are set to host the Hornets for the first time in the 2023-24 NBA season on Dec. 18.