TORONTO — It was all quiet on the Drake front Thursday as the Cavaliers thumped Toronto in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal.
The star rapper, who made headlines in Game 1 for a verbal altercation with Cleveland veteran Kendrick Perkins, took his seat with some three minutes left in the first quarter and Toronto leading 25-20.
Everyone was on their best behaviour. At halftime, with the Raptors leading 63-61, the Cavaliers filed past Drake without a word. He followed the players into the tunnel.
Drake, like the Air Canada Centre crowd, was quiet as the Raptors fell apart in the second half. He spent a fair bit of time looking at his phone.
It was all a far cry from Tuesday when emotions bubbled over.
A heated Drake triggered headlines when he and Perkins exchanged words both at halftime and after the final whistle in Cleveland’s 113-112 overtime win in Game 1.
Drake, the Raptors’ global ambassador, jawed with the inactive six-foot-10, 270-pounder with security and other Cleveland players keeping the two apart.
The NBA confirmed Thursday that the league had spoken to the Raptors, who were going to follow up with Drake.
The rapper had eyes on him briefly in the second quarter Thursday when commissioner Adam Silver came courtside for a TV interview. The two shook hands before Silver put on his headset and sat down.
Interview done, Silver left for another corner of the arena.
Drake left quietly with a little less than two minutes remaining and the Raptors down by 20. Perkins, wearing white shoes beneath his suit, left without incident after the game. Like Drake, many of the fans had already left the building.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey, who often stands next to Drake’s courtside niche, said he had no problems with the franchise’s most famous fan.
“I love Drake. Believe me whatever he said to Perk, I have heard a lot worse in other arenas to me,” Casey said Wednesday.
“We all should be that passionate,” he added.
The NBA does have a “Fan Code of Conduct” which talks of “creating a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable sports and entertainment experience.”
Drake was in the news on another front Thursday. In an interview with Vogue, singer Rihanna addressed the MTV’s Video Music Awards in 2016, when Drake called her a “living breathing legend” and said he had been in love with her since he was 22.
Rihanna, saying she does not like “too many compliments,” said she was uncomfortable during the speech.
Asked about her current relationship with Drake, Rihanna said: “We don’t have a friendship now, but we’re not enemies either. It is what it is.”