norman powell toronto

Norman Powell shouts out fans and Drake in emotional love letter to Toronto

Norman Powell hasn't been a Toronto Raptor for nearly a week, and it still hurts, bad. 

If you think it's painful now, wait until you read a letter, published today in The Players' Tribune, from the now-Trail Blazer player (ouch.) 

On Wednesday, the media platform released Norm's love letter, titled simply The North, to his Toronto Raptors teammates and an entire country of fans.

Since the emotional trade with Portland this past weekend, Stormin' Norman's been doing a lot of his processing publicly. Just yesterday, the 27-year-old bid farewell to a six-year career with the Raptors in an Instagram post that had us reaching for the tissue box. 

This most recent letter is even more emotional than that one. It starts: "How do you thank an entire fan base? An entire organization? An entire city? An entire country?" Prepare for the waterworks. 

There are a few highlights in there, including a throwback to a shopping spree memory with Delon Wright, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, or the story behind the photo of him sleeping with the Larry O'B on a jet back to Toronto.

Though Norm says it best in his own words, there are a few standout points made. For one, Powell says he was just as shocked as everyone else when it was announced he would be leaving the team for Portland. 

He's also cried, a lot. The player admits that it's been a weird time, adding that bumping into his former teammates like OG Aunonoby, Kyle Lowry, and Fred VanVleet—who got his own entire best friend tribute section in the letter—at the testing centre in Tampa was incredibly hard. 

So by the time I ran into Fred, it had been a minute now since those waterworks. But if you've ever cried like that, you know: even after that sh*t dries ... you're still not fooling anyone.

And Fred obviously doesn't miss a thing.

First thing he says when he sees me, he goes, "Oh, man. You was crying?"

And I just sort of hang my head a little, and laugh. And then Fred laughs. 

He's like, 'It's alright, brother. Thugs cry too. It's cool, bro."

Powell goes on to shout out all the other legends who he's looked up to over the years, including DeMar and Kyle. 

On top of that, Norm gives a shoutout to Toronto rapstar Drake. 

"Good guy, super involved, really gets it. Also — don’t even try to flex on me talking about you’ve been a fan since So Far Gone or Thank Me Later or any of those eras. I’ve been ride-or-die since Degrassi, son." 

It's hard to say goodbye, he says in his letter. But as sad as it is to see him go, it's been a pleasure for Raptors fans to watch a 22-year-old player grow into one of the promising players that team could hope for. You're still one of us, Norm.

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