TORONTO — Drake opted for a costume change and got a taste of his own medicine Sunday night during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
The Toronto Raptors’ global ambassador/rapper seemingly set his trolling sights on injured Golden Star Warriors star Kevin Durant.
He took his courtside seat just prior to the pre-game player introductions, shaking hands with nearby fans. He was wearing a black hoodie with a picture of actor Macaulay Culkin — who played Kevin McCallister in the “Home Alone” movie franchise — mouth open and holding his face above the word “Kevin?!?!?!”
One assumes it was an attempt to troll Durant, currently sidelined by a calf strain.
Culkin saw the hoodie, tweeting to his 391,000 followers: “Hey @Drake I’m right here, bro. DM me. See you at the BBQ.”
The decal was no longer on Drake’s back in the fourth quarter when he returned to his seat.
And Golden State had the last laugh with a 109-104 win that evened the best-of-seven series at one game apiece. After the game, Warriors guard Klay Thompson had a few choice words for Drake when their paths met out of view from the court.
“See you in the Bay Aubrey. Weren’t talking tonight were ya?” said Thompson, who had exited in the fourth quarter with a hamstring issue, in using part of Drake’s real name — Aubrey Drake Graham.
On video posted on social media, Thompson, Durant and Drake seemed to indulge in some good-natured needling.
Even Sports Illustrated took a shot at Drake — photoshopping a social media post that had Draymond Green dunking on Drake in a Raptors uniform (No. 6, an apparent reference to the Six) with the words “Just hold on, we’re going home,” referencing Drake’s 2013 single “Hold On, We’re Going Home” with the R&B duo Majid Jordan.
Earlier, Drake stood up and applauded the Raptors as they took the court, exchanging fist bumps with the players. He exchanged a hug and handshake with former U.S. president Barack Obama before taking his seat.
The rapper stood up to applaud veteran coach Frank Layden when he was honoured with the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award in the second quarter.
With Fred VanVleet at the free-throw line in the second quarter, Drake and Toronto coach Nick Nurse chatted briefly. But there was no shoulder rub.
Drake himself was honoured with an ovation when he was shown during a Celebrity Watch montage on the big screen.
Drake was largely on his best behaviour for Game 1, although he subtly trolled Golden State star Steph Curry by choosing to honour Curry’s father by wearing a vintage Dell Curry Raptors jersey.
He also wore a Nike wristband on his left bicep just above the elbow, apparently to cover up small tattoos dedicated to both Curry and Durant.
He wore a hoodie with “Kawhi Me a River” on the back for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final against the Milwaukee Bucks, whose star Giannis Antetokounmpo was well-defended by Raptors ace Kawhi Leonard.
The rapper did get into a jawing match with Green as the visitors filed off the floor following the Raptors’ 118-109 win Thursday night. But nothing happened and Green appeared ready to cut the rapper some slack.
“He’s a fan. He talks and it gets more attention because he’s Drake,” Green said the next day. “So many people are complaining about it, like, ‘You don’t let any other fan do that.’ Yeah, any other fan is just not Drake, so they probably shouldn’t be able to do that. That’s just kind of how the cookie crumbles.”
Drake and Green exchanged looks after the Warriors forward was hit with his second personal foul near the end of the first half Sunday, drawing comment from the rapper. There was more of the same when Green left the court for the break.
Commissioner Adam Silver, meanwhile, felt Drake went over the line in rubbing Nurse’s shoulders during an Eastern Conference final game, but also said that he appreciated the rapper’s “super-fan status and I know he’s beloved in the community of Toronto.”
Silver had a good view of Drake on Sunday, seated with Obama on the other side of the Scotiabank Arena lower bowl from the rapper’s seats.