Rovell: How Drake Landed Retro Dell Curry Raptors Jersey

Rovell: How Drake Landed Retro Dell Curry Raptors Jersey article feature image

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Drake

  • Darren Rovell reveals how a late-night phone call led to Drake ending up with the Dell Curry Raptors jersey for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

It was 1 a.m. ET on Tuesday when Al Martiniello took the phone call. It was Drake’s stylist on the line: Did Martiniello, who owns a vintage sports clothing shop in Brooklyn called Select Vintage, ever see a Dell Curry Raptors jersey?

Martiniello said he hadn't, but had a friend named Evan Flores who loved jerseys and had sourced things before. Within three hours, Flores had found Benjamin Weil and his Dell Curry Raptors jersey.

It's not exactly clear how the conversation led to this, but it was communicated that Drake — whose handlers had bought pieces from Martiniello before — had to have the jersey.

It would be the ultimate troll move. With the Toronto Raptors hosting the Golden State Warriors for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Drake would be front and center wearing a Raptors jersey with "Curry" on the back.

Pictured: Drake (left), Benjamin Weil (right)

Now they just had to close the deal.

"I don't want to give it up," Weil said in the early morning negotiations.

Weil said he had purchased it from a former Raptors player six years ago. It was tailored for Dell, but he never played in it. It was also signed by him.

Martiniello begged. It was for a high profile client and he had to take it.

"He loves Dell," Martiniello said. "And it wasn't about money, but I did have to ask him, if I could convince you to sell what’s the lowest number you would take?"

Martiniello and Weil eventually reached a deal for the size 52 jersey, neither disclosing the final price. Now Martiniello just needed to figure out how he was getting it to Drake.

It was day's end by the time Martiniello got it, and he didn’t trust next-day shipping. So Martiniello and Flores, the man who found the jersey, got in the car and drove 10 hours to Toronto in time for a hand-off on Wednesday night with Drake's people.

Martiniello watched Game 1 and couldn't believe the deal had come together.

"I also couldn't believe how it fit," he said. "A size 48 would have been too snug. A size 56 would have made it look like a dress."

And the Raptors got the win.

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