ESPN editor Jovan Buha noticed something intriguing today: Drake has the numbers 30 and 35, the numbers that Steph Curry and Kevin Durant wear, tattooed on his left arm. The initial photo, taken of Drake playing basketball in a LeBron James high school jersey of all things, was not entirely clear, though the numbers are definitely there.
Even though he’s a supposed Raptors diehard, Drake has a history with both Warriors stars. He drew a $25,000 fine for trying recruit Durant to come play for the Raptors while he was working as Toronto’s “Global Ambassador.” The two have met several times, and Durant poked fun at Drake last year after Drake bumped into him during the Raptors’ “Drake Night” event. Last year, Curry, Drake, and Durant all hung out together, and Drake impersonated Curry in a skit over the summer. Curry also received a nickname-worthy shoutout in “0 To 100” a few years ago.
But is all that enough to warrant a pair of commemorative tattoos? After all, Drake does have a habit of paying tribute to celebrities with tats. Here are some clues:
- The tattoo’s font appears to be Copperplate, the very same font used by the Warriors.
- The text under 35 appears to read “SNIPE,” in possible homage to Durant’s Instagram handle, easymoneysniper.
- The tattoos appear to have been inked within the past year. As of October 2016, Drake did not have them, though by the time he performed at Coachella in April 2017 (pictured below), he did.
- It’s easier to find out what’s written under the 35 tattoo, as it’s on the outside of Drake’s bicep. The 30 isn’t quite as clear in photos, especially not the new one where Drake is wearing LeBron’s high school jersey. It also appears to have a halo above the numbers. Let’s enhance.
- It’s still not entirely clear, but it appears to read “GIFTED.” While less obvious than “SNIPE,” this seems like a reference to Curry. On “Still Here,” which was on Views and is nearly impossible to find on YouTube, Drake raps, “Hittin’ like that 30 on my jersey, man, I’m gifted.”
- Someone who replied to Buha noted that 30 and 35 were coordinates corresponding to Israel’s location. This theory, however, fails to account for the captions.
The conclusion: Drake loves to pledge loyalty to a variety of sports teams, athletes, and celebrities, so it is highly probable that he tattooed Steph Curry and Kevin Durant’s numbers on his arm.