Raptors superfan Drake confronts Warriors stars at NBA Finals
Toronto (Canada) (AFP)
Toronto Raptors rap-star superfan Drake taunted Golden State stars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson during the Canadian club's victory over the defending champion Warriors to open the NBA Finals.
Drake, a Toronto native who is a courtside regular at Raptors games, exchanged words with Warriors forward Draymond Green as Golden State walked off the court following Toronto's 118-109 victory Thursday in the best-of-seven championship series opener.
Drake was wearing an old Raptors jersey of Curry's father, Dell Curry, who played for the Raptors and retired in Toronto. He picked at Stephen Curry's hair when the two had a brief courtside chat during a timeout.
And he seranaded Thompson with one of his more mellow songs that the Warriors guard said he wouldn't play now, despite being a Drake fan, because he was "in kill mode right now trying to get these four games".
The confrontation came in the wake of the NBA having a discussion with Drake about his antics after he rubbed the shoulders of Raptors coach Nick Nurse during an Eastern Conference finals playoff game against Milwaukee.
The most intense moments of Drake's latest escapes came when Green, walking off the court, yelled at Drake, who responded with choice words of his own in a confrontation that never became physical.
"It wasn't really a scuffle because I didn't hit him and he didn't hit me, and I didn't push him and he didn't push me," Green said.
"We talked. We barked a little bit, but I wouldn't necessarily consider that a scuffle."
Drake wore a band on his left arm to cover tattoos he sports with the names and numbers of Curry and injured Golden State star forward Kevin Durant.
Curry went to speak to Drake during a timeout, when the rapper picked what was described as a piece of lint from Curry's hair.
Thompson had said on the eve of game one he would skip "Hotline Bling" and Drake's "soft R&B songs" to stay intense for the finals.
So after a technical foul was whistled against Thompson in the fourth quarter, Drake sang "Hotline Bling" as the Warriors guard walked past him.
- NBA drew line for Drake -
Before the game, NBA commissioner Adam Silver explained how the league had spoken with Drake, an official ambassador for the Raptors, about his actions, not wanting to encourage other fans who might want to copy such actions.
"The league office had conversations directly with Drake and his manager and I think we ended up in a good place," Silver said. "We certainly appreciate his superfan status.
"Certainly we don't want fans, friend or foe, contacting an NBA coach during a game... I think those can lead to dangerous situations.
"We understood that in this case, given Drake's relationship to the team, it's not the same as just any fan who happened to be courtside touching a coach.
"But at the same time I think there are appropriate lines that shouldn't be crossed in terms of how a competing team is addressed."
? 2019 AFP