This afternoon on Twitter Drake announced that he’s been picked to play host at this year’s ESPY Awards, ESPN’s annual — and often over-the-top — celebration of the year in sports. The show will be aired live from L.A.’s Nokia Theater on July 16.
Though not the immediately obvious choice, Drake’s been steadily building up his sports-fan resume for a while now. He’s graduated from sitting courtside with Lil Wayne (a huge sports nut himself, who used to write a column for ESPN) and crashing (er, well, trying) locker rooms to giving pre-championship game pep talks and a “Global Ambassadorship” for the Toronto Raptors. Most recently, he released a song that celebrates NFL prospect Johnny Manziel called “Draft Day.” Not to mention he’s a seasoned host, having proven himself at the 2011 Juno Awards and SNL last January. Like he said in a statement this afternoon, “This is an incredible opportunity for me to combine two of my biggest passions — sports and performing.” Or, you know, Music and sports are so synonymous, cause we want to be them, and they want to be us.
Update: Tonight Drake dropped by NBA Countdown — in a crazy “We’re Jammin” tee which would certainly not pass NBA league dress could, no less — to talk a little more about his upcoming gig. He said SNL gave him the confidence, and that one-time ESPY host Jamie Foxx has been a role model. And proving himself ever savvy, he said “the key is to be memorable, especially in this age with the internet and everything going viral.” He also talked about his own game, and the toll that famous knee surgery took on it. Watch below:
He also — very passionately! — cleared up that UConn shirt controversy: