Drake wasn’t going to stay home and watch the Toronto Raptors take on his pals Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and the rest of the Phoenix Suns.
Seated for the game early in his courtside seats Wednesday night, the club’s Global Ambassador probably wasn’t expecting the slumping Raps (who arrived back in Toronto at 4 a.m. following a loss to the Brooklyn Nets the night before) to put up much resistance against the 11-6 Suns.
But Toronto staked themselves to an early lead and the team never took its foot off the pedal, clawing its way to a 112-105 win over Phoenix, who were led by Durant’s 30 points.
After Scottie Barnes’ 23-point showing, Durant praised Toronto’s prized 22-year-old star.
“(He’s) just getting more and more comfortable, more experienced only will make you better as a player,” Durant said (per Sports Illustrated). “(Coach) Darko (Rajaković’s) trusting him to bring the ball up the court more and play a point-forward and he’s shooting threes at a high rate now. So the sky’s the limit for him.”
And as the Raps celebrated in the locker room after snapping the Suns’ seven-game win streak, Drake crashed the party to congratulate the players.
“What you got for us? You’re part of the team,” coach Rajaković said as Drake walked in.
“By the way, incredible win,” Drake said in a video shared by the club on social media.
“My dog has the chain on,” he continued while looking at Barnes. “I saw a lot of synergy, a lot of sharing the ball, a lot of great plays made. Congratulations boys, it’s a regular season win but it’s a great win nonetheless. We’ve gotta celebrate them.”
“He’s a winner, Scottie Barnes is a winner,” coach Rajaković added post-game. “When you coach him, you just feel that energy, you feel him on the bench the way he’s energizing the whole team. He’s not shying away from the moment offensively or defensively.”
Unlike past tilts, Drake, who was at the game with his son, Adonis, didn’t trade any barbs with Durant, who he is close friends with off the court.
Back in 2016, when Durant’s Golden State Warriors beat the Raps on a Drake-themed night at Scotiabank Arena, the NBA MVP was asked what the “trash talk was like” between the two on an evening that celebrated the Toronto superstar.
“I don’t give a damn about no damn Drake night,” Durant, who has twice scored 51 points in the venue, coldly replied.
After the Raps lost to Golden State in Game 2 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Durant had some choice words again for his “favourite rapper.”
“Keep your head up. It’s OK,” he chided, while his then-teammate Klay Thompson added, “You weren’t talking tonight were ya? With your bum ass.”
The Raptors return to action Friday night against the New York Knicks.
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