Speaking of choperation…
A native of London, Ont., rap artist Shad memorably beat out official Toronto Raptors global ambassador Drake for the Best Rap Recording Juno in 2011. He’s a competitive guy, and he loves sports. Sportsnet.ca chopped it up with one of Canada’s greatest MCs about Mario Lemieux’s cancer-crushing superpowers, his preference for CIS hoops, and why—if he were the ambassador of Canada’s NBA team—he’d encourage the Huskies to tank for Andrew Wiggins.
Sporstnet: You mostly live in Vancouver now. How would you describe your relationship with the Canucks?
Shad: Because I don’t like the Canucks, I don’t follow them that much. I feel like [moving to Vancouver] was my real opportunity to get immersed in it, especially when they went to the  Stanley Cup final, but I was like, “Oh, these guys… no heart.”
Now that you’re spending more time recording in Toronto are the Maple Leafs slowly becoming your team?
That was an epic collapse last year, I’m not going to lie. That felt fated in a really sad way. I like underdogs. I was in Vancouver during the playoffs, just following the score, and was like, “Wow, they’re going to do it!” And then it was like, “Wow, that was epic.”
So, who’s your NHL team?
When I was a kid, I was a Penguins fan; I was a huge Mario Lemieux fan. So I still retain a little love for the Penguins. Lemieux, to me, was the most epic dude. Going to chemo and coming back, how are you that much better than everybody? How are you that much better than everybody?! Here’s some guy in the physical prime of his life, and you just underwent radiation and you’re better than him? I don’t know how that feels. But I don’t have strong allegiances as far as NHL teams go.
What sports did you play growing up?
Basketball. I still play a lot. In Vancouver, I’ve really got back into playing, so I’m tapped in to all of these pickup games. I know where there’s a game Tuesday night or Wednesday night. These are mostly in gyms. You can get a nice outdoor game at Kits Beach. Two full courts on a beautiful beach. I think Steve Nash paid for those.
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