With the NBA issuing a warning to Drake about the use of foul language during games while serving as a team representative, Kendrick Perkins was ready to put the Game 1 incident to bed. “I’m here to support my teammates,” Perkins told ESPN before Game 2. “I’m here to represent the Cleveland Cavaliers. At the end of the day, it isn’t about Perk vs. Drake, that doesn’t even sound right.”
But if Drake had to be the topic, it’s important to understand that president Masai Ujiri has been unfailingly supportive of the artist’s presence around the team, whether the artist is jawing with Perkins or NBA all-stars like John Wall or James Harden. Ujiri, who tells stories about the late-night phone calls he occasionally receives when Drake is jonesing to talk hoops, appreciates the passion — even if the altercation with Perkins was unusually heated. “I think it’s a great thing that the guy’s invested in our team like that,” Ujiri said. “You could tell he was stung (by the loss). I like that. What’s not to like about that? … I went to Drake and I said, ‘Let it go. Let it go.’ And that was it. To me, it’s done.”
As the Toronto Raptors looked to raise their playoff profile in an effort to finally advance beyond LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers, their most visible fan appeared to have his own lofty aspirations. Drake, always ready when cameras are around, appeared to be doing his best Spike Lee impersonation during Tuesday’s Game 1 in Toronto in this sideline spat with Cleveland backup center Kendrick Perkins. It’s not clear what words were exchanged, but the conversation certainly seems to extend beyond pleasantries.