The Toronto Raptors have been warned by the NBA about Drake’s courtside behaviour, it has been reported.
The rapper has drawn criticism for his antics in the Eastern Conference finals, which has included heckling, giving players pep talks, and him leaving his seat to give Raptors coach Nick Nurse a shoulder massage during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Raptors will now face the Golden State Warriors in the first game of the NBA finals tonight (May 30), and ESPN are reporting that a league spokesperson told them that the team have been spoken to about the rapper’s behaviour.
It wouldn’t be the first time Drake has been warned over his conduct at games: he was spoken to about his use of language after a confrontation with then-Cleveland Cavaliers centre Kendrick Perkins last year.
If I did what Drake just did at a Raptors game I would be tackled by no fewer than 14 people …
Nick Nurse didn’t even notice. Time to just him as assistant coach/hype man and be done with it. pic.twitter.com/zDcTpOHzUu
— Jeff Nowak (@Jeff_Nowak) May 22, 2019
Speaking about Drake before tonight’s big game, Warriors point guard Steph Curry said he didn’t see a problem with the rapper.
“It’s been entertaining,” he said. “I know it’s a tricky situation with him being right there on the court but, at the end of the day, he’s having fun – you can’t hate on nobody having fun. Well, I guess in this life everybody hates on people having fun. So it’s par for the course on that one.”
Raptors wing Norman Powell also spoke positively about the star’s presence at games, saying he liked having him on the sideline. “He’s a great supporter and it’s funny how his passion for the team’s really affecting the opponents, having opposing coaches come out,” he said. “You can see it’s bothering them.”
The Warriors’ Klay Thompson added that while he might not like him as a Raptors fan, he was into Drake’s music. “He’s extremely talented,” he said. “But I will definitely skip the song if I don’t like it. If it’s one of his soft R&B songs, I’ll skip it because I’m in kill mode right now trying to get these four games.”
Meanwhile, the rapper’s music was recently banned by a Milwaukee radio station during the NBA play-offs. “No more Drake until the series is done,” one of the hosts for local station 103.7 KISS-FM declared in a video, before three staff were seen deleting a Drake-filled playlist from their audio programme.