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Players react to Drake joining Raptors as 'global ambassador'

Rapper Drake speaks during an NBA and Toronto Raptors press conference at the ACC in Toronto on Sept. 30, 2013.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

Hip-hop star Drake stole the spotlight during the Toronto Raptors media day Monday. Here's the reaction of some players to the news the Toronto-born rap icon has become the NBA team's global ambassador:

"It's great for the city, it's great for the team, it's great for the franchise. With a global artist like that, being around and being a marketing guy, it's always really good to have something like that for the popularity of the team and the city and the organization."

– point guard Kyle Lowry

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I just bought his album. I think he's amazing. I'm excited to see him doing well. He's not your ordinary rapper. He brings a lot of things with him: a lot of class, different types of fans and different types of business people."

– guard D.J. Augustin

"Drake is definitely a worldwide artist. And in my opinion, one of the best rappers in the game today. With him being from Toronto and him backing us, it's definitely big."

– guard DeMar DeRozan

"I think it's good for the city and for the fans, but for us, it doesn't [allow] us to work any less. … It's a brand. It's all the same to us. It's all pop culture – athletes, entertainers. What is he – a singer or a rapper? A sapper?"

– forward Rudy Gay

"A lot more people are going to recognize Toronto. … This is going to be good for the future and it's definitely going to build up Toronto's status."

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– forward Amir Johnson

He's had such a big impact on the culture here. He moulds what the culture is in the hip-hop world and very much in the NBA world."

– forward Steve Novak

"Not only is he a talented musician, he's also a great person. The more people you can have like that surrounding you, the better."

– centre Aaron Gray

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