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Old 10-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
jeffb
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Amir continues to declare his love of Toronto

CBC Sports - Raptors' Amir Johnson says he's in love with Toronto


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Amir Johnson has had his own float in Caribana and been to the city's annual all-night arts festival Nuit Blanche. He's hired a professional makeup artist before lurching down Yonge Street among the undead as part of Zombie Walk.Last season, he shaved a huge red Raptors claw into his hair. And last week, he bought out two stores of Drake's new album "Nothing Was the Same," and then handed the CDs out free to fans.Next on his Toronto to-do list if his contract permits is the CN Tower EdgeWalk.*'"Toronto is part of me. I've been around, the people are very kind, I love it here.'- Raptors forward Amir*JohnsonFour years into his tenure in Toronto, the Raptors forward has embraced his adopted city perhaps unlike any other professional athlete.

"Toronto is part of me," Johnson said at training camp Thursday at the Air Canada Centre. "I've been around, the people are very kind, I love it here."Johnson, who arrived in a trade in the summer of 2009 after four seasons spent in Detroit, said he fell in love with Toronto virtually upon arrival."I walked around downtown a little bit, and I got kind of a humble feeling, everybody was so polite and so cool. That's when I first started loving Toronto," said the 26-year-old.Late last season he held his third annual "Roll with Amir" night out, hosting 100 fans at a Raptors game and then treating them to dinner. He posed for pictures with each and every fan, and posted the fan photos on his various social media channels.

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What's impressive is that Johnson's random acts of kindness are exactly that umprompted by the team or his agent."Everything I do is just off the top of the head, it's just genuine pretty much," Johnson said. "I don't really plan anything or call anybody. I just wake up in the morning, and say, OK, I'm going to do this. That's how I do everything."That's how the Drake album giveaway came about."It was a pretty big crowd man, I didn't think it was going to be a lot of people but I tweeted it out as soon as I got (to the first store), and by the time I got done buying the CDs it was a whole crowd," said Johnson, who handed out the CDs at Toronto's busy Yonge-Dundas Square.

"Everybody was so cool, so I just told everybody to line up on the side, and they did. It could have got out of hand, but everybody was so cool about it. It was just fun."Drake, who is friends with Johnson, learned about the gesture after the fact, and told reporters earlier this week at a news conference to announce he was the Raptors' new global ambassador that Johnson "is just a great guy."
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"I've been a lot of places, I love to travel, I love to try stuff different," Johnson said. "I want to see the world, so I'm going to keep on experiencing different stuff."But the Raptors big man, who keeps his Toronto condo through the off-season, said he could see himself settling down in the city once his career comes to an end."I'll definitely consider living here," Johnson said. "I love it out here."
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