The NBA spoke to the Toronto Raptors during the Eastern Conference finals about Drake’s activity and presence on the sideline, a league spokesman told ESPN.
Last year, the NBA warned the rapper, who also is a global ambassador for the Raptors, after a confrontation with then-Cleveland Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins during a playoff series between the Raptors and the Cavs.
Drake drew attention this year for leaving his courtside seat in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks to give Toronto coach Nick Nurse a shoulder massage.
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The next day, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said there was no place for fans to be on 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,” Budenholzer said. “There’s certainly no place for fans and, you know, whatever it is exactly that Drake is for the Toronto Raptors. You know, to be on the court, there’s boundaries and lines for a reason, and like I said, the league is usually pretty good at being on top of stuff like that.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a memo earlier this year reminding the league’s franchises to state and enforce their fan-conduct policies.
The Golden State Warriors have downplayed Drake’s presence ahead of their NBA Finals series against Toronto.
“I kind of think it’s fun and the NBA kind of embraces the pop culture dynamic of the league and the stars and the celebrities who are out there,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Monday. “And we got E-40 ready for them too, so we’re in good shape.”
Warriors guard Stephen Curry offered his take on Drake.
“It’s been entertaining,” he said Monday. “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, having — 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.”
On Wednesday, Raptors wing Norman Powell also embraced his team’s ambassador.
“I like having Drake on the sideline,” he said. “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 … you can see it’s bothering them.”