Drake antics

A weekly sports column from the 100 Mile Free Press

Popular Canadian artist, Drake has been making some headlines from the basketball court, rather than his music lately.

He has been giving Nick Nurse, head coach of the Raptors, massages and mocking players from Milwaukee. Some may think his manner is over the top. Others might think it’s a breath of fresh air.

It’s good to see a fan act so passionately, but it’s also quite jarring to watch as it feels like it’s intended mostly for publicity, which some might say is what Drake is aiming for. If so it’s working.

After all, several media sources have published content on it.

Fans are split on whether it’s appropriate or not and so are the coaches of the two competing teams. The nurse claimed he didn’t realize he was on the receiving end of a shoulder rub, nor did he care. Mike Budenholzer of the Bucks took a different line.

After being pressed by reporters about what he thought about Drake’s antics he said the following:

“I will say, again, I see it in some timeouts, but I don’t know of any person that’s attending the game that isn’t a participant in the game, a coach — I’m sorry, a player or a coach — that has access to the court… I don’t know how much he’s on the court. It sounds like you guys are saying it’s more than I realize. There’s certainly no place for fans and, you know, whatever it is exactly that Drake is for the Toronto Raptors to be on the court. There are boundaries and lines for a reason, and as I said, the league is usually pretty good at being on top of stuff like that.”

Drake has a history of causing trouble on courts.

In 2016, he helped force a five-second violation after he stopped being Justin Holiday of the Chicago Bulls while he was trying to throw the ball back in. Drake got into Holiday’s ear, making the baller late to throw the ball.

He’s mocked and heckled players such as Lebron James, Kevin Durant, John Wall, and Kelly Oubre, which is fine. This happens all the time from the stands. Even players mock or heckle each other.

However, Drake took it to another level in 2018, when he got involved in a shouting match with Cleveland’s Kendrick Perkins after the first half ended. Allegedly, Drake followed him into the tunnel, calling Perkins names.

He was warned by the league about his behaviour. At one point, he was also fined by the NBA for a substantial amount after he insinuated Kevin Durant would play for Toronto someday.

So far, he has yet to replicate that incident this season, despite his mocking of Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounapo being a little over the top.

It’s hard to say the NBA will ban him or not if he continues with his behaviour. To their credit, the Raptors have stood behind Drake the entire time and even refused to cut ties with the rapper after the Kevin Durant tampering fine mentioned above. Toronto fans love it, Bucks fans hate it but I’m sure all the parties in between could care less.

As long as there isn’t a Perkings repeat, it’s fine.


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