In the midst of all the history being written, between the Toronto Raptors bringing the NBA Finals to Canada for the first time in history and the Golden State Warriors going for a rare championship three-peat, rapper and super-fan Drake has done his level best to take over the headlines with his antics.
From his now (in)famous on-court incident with Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, in which Drake actually came over and rubbed Nurse's shoulders during a playoff game versus the Milwaukee Bucks, to Drake-inspired prop bets to an apparent spat with Warriors emotional-leader Draymond Green, Drizzy has certainly 'made hay' throughout this exciting 2019 postseason.
Check out the shoulder rub "seen 'round the NBA world." It's great:
Drake giving Nick Nurse a quick neck massage😂pic.twitter.com/R3prXWtV1t— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 22, 2019
NBA commissioner Adam Silver reportedly said — concerning 'shoulder rub-gate' — that the league office "had conversations directly with Drake and his manager and I think we ended up in a good place," according to CP24.com. Silver did draw a distinction between Drake and other fans, saying, "We understood that in this case, given Drake's relationship to the team, it's not the same as just any fan who happened to be courtside touching a coach."
Moving on to the increasingly popular Drake prop bets, the New York Post highlighted the apparent beginning of the madness, ahead of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Bucks. Betonline.ag had lines on such Drake antics as: "Will Drake touch Raptors' coach Nick Nurse during the broadcast (again)?" and "Will Drake be removed by security?" Oddsharks also got in on the action: "Will Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo speak to Drake during Saturday night's game?" and "NBA on TNT staff says 'Drake' during halftime show."
Interestingly, Golf Digest ran an article detailing various Drake/Finals prop bets bettors can throw their cash down on, such as: "Will Drake attend any Finals game at Golden State (Oracle Arena)?" and "Will Drake troll Steve Kerr on Twitter or IG during Finals?"
One prop bet in particular stands out due to the fact that it reveals a very strange detail about the rapper's choice of tattoos: "Will ABC broadcast show image of Drake's "30" and "35" tattoos (Curry and Durant)?" This raises questions about Drake's loyalty: He clearly is a ride-or-die Raptors fan, but he must be incredibly torn right now given his apparent love for Warriors teammates Steph Curry and Kevin Durant (if speculation surrounding his tattoos is correct). Drake is known to be good friends with Steph and Ayesha Curry, and was spotted grabbing In-N-Out burgers with the couple in Alameda in 2015.
SFGate originally brought the story of Drake's covered-up ink to the Bay Area:
A photo of Drake walking into Scotiabank Arena before Game 1 of the NBA Finals shows an unusually placed accessory. On his arm, right where his 30 (for Curry) and 35 (for Kevin Durant) tattoos are, he's wearing a black sweatband.
When not obscured by an armband, the tattoos are side-by-side on Drake's left arm. Although he's never publicly discussed the origins or reasons for the tattoos, the inspiration is fairly obvious. Curry's tattoo tribute is his jersey number, 30, in NBA uniform font. Beneath it, is the word "gifted" in cursive. Above it — to emphasize Curry's angelic demeanor, we assume — is a small halo.
On a slightly more serious note, there is this controversy over whether Drake and Warrior forward Draymond Green got into a "scuffle" following Golden State's Game 1 loss in Toronto. I say "more serious" simply because the Dubs do not need Draymond to allow outside influences (like Drake) to get under his skin and distract him from being his team's heartbeat on the floor. The incident happened as the Warriors were exiting the floor, after the game, Thursday night. According to TMZ Sports, the two were observed "nose-to-nose" exchanging words, including the word "trash" uttered by Drake to Draymond.
Drake's smirky smile has already become a meme.
The next meme: Petty Drake pic.twitter.com/9332TA6CbG— Brett Rodriguez (@bretttryannn) May 31, 2019
“You’re rooting against men that you for some reason have tattooed permanently on your body.”— Jayseph (@_jayseph_) May 31, 2019
Green was asked about the confrontation during his postgame interview, to which he responded sharply, "You got a question about basketball?" He later clarified his participation in the spat, saying, "We talked. We barked a little bit. But I wouldn't necessarily consider that a scuffle. Not really what I, personally, would consider a scuffle."
Whether one appreciates Drake's antics or not, the rapper has got to be good for ratings, both in the NBA's case as well as for the media. Vegas is clearly cashing-in on the Drake-mania, which is to be expected. When the commissioner of a major professional sport virtually concedes to the fact that you (Drake) can do almost anything, short of playing in the game, you know you've got clout. This bodes-well for future Drake antics. Buckle up, the world is in for an interesting journey, especially the more the championship series heats up.