As the Toronto Raptors have made their way through the NBA playoffs, casual viewers may have wondered if Drake was coaching the team rather than Nick Nurse. The rapper has been a prominent presence courtside during Toronto’s home games, roaring on his team, prowling the sidelines and giving players high fives and – occasionally – giving Nurse an encouraging massage.
While the Bucks ran out to an early lead in the Eastern Conference finals, seemingly cruising to the NBA finals, Drake was seen as a minor annoyance by Milwaukee fans. However, after Toronto leveled the series at 2-2 on Tuesday night he appears to have attracted the ire of large swathes of Wisconsin. Particularly when he laughed as Bucks’ superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo’s missed free throws.
Georgios Dimitropoulos, an executive at an agency that used to represent Antetokounmpo, was particularly dismissive of Drake’s massaging prowess. “Imagine a gig & an athlete on VIP seats, right next to the band, stands up on the stage just to show off during the entire game, knowing cameras are on him, occasionally even massaging the singer,” he wrote in a since deleted tweet on Wednesday. “Security&him both allow it. Never seen anything as disrespectful as this before...”
I never thought I’d say this, but I wish Drake would go back and make more ear-bleeding horrible music.— Doug Russell (@DougRussell) May 22, 2019
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had already made the city’s position on Drake clear in an article headlined: “Milwaukee totally hates Drake, who doesn’t own the Raptors but is somehow allowed to freely roam the court”. The article also included tweets from Bucks fans asking the local radio station to ban Drake’s songs. One read: “I never thought I’d say this, but I wish Drake would go back and make more ear-bleeding horrible music.”
Milwaukee have not confirmed if local mechanic and prominent Bucks fan Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli will be courtside for Game 5 of the series, which takes place at Fiserv Forum on Thursday night.