Tuesday night (May 1) featured a notable collision between hip-hop and the NBA when Drake got in a heated verbal altercation while sitting courtside at a Cavaliers/Raptors playoff game. According to ESPN, the Cavalier’s center, Kendrick Perkins, went head to head with the rapper when during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Perkins remembered it this way: “Drake butted in talking s— to me. So I said something back to him.” It escalated from there, culminating in Drake calling the played a “f—ing p—y” and threatening, “I’m here in real life!”
While this would seem to be a strange altercation to take place, this sort of outsized sports fandom/concern is par for the course for Drizzy; the Toronto rapper is a hometown brand ambassador for the Raptors, and has allegiances with many high-profile sports figures. Here are eight moments in which Drake went overboard with his sports obsession, to comedic effect or otherwise.
Drake is Rejected From the Miami Heat’s Locker Room
This is a suitable entryway into Drake’s lovable habit of trying to get in the locker room for NBA games — but it didn’t exactly pan out this time, as he couldn’t get past the security guards. Just as well, as this foreshadows his legendarily awkward encounter with the Sacramento Kings in 2016 — but that comes later.
LeBron and Dwyane Wade Take the Stage at Drake Show, Eat Some Pizza
Drake may have been denied access to the Heat’s locker room during NBA Finals Game 7 in 2013, but that didn’t stop the champions from hanging with the rapper in a different way. After they won their second-straight NBA title, they threw a celebration party at Club Story in Miami — where they took the stage with Drake to pop bottles and munch on pizza. LeBron wore a shirt with himself on it as a vampire and Redfoo from LMFAO joined the fun, too.
Drake Has Uncomfortable Meeting With Kings Players After 106-88 Loss
The Sacramento Kings had a rough season in 2016, culminating in a disastrous game against the Spurs — and DeMarcus Cousins was in a rough patch with the head coach, George Karl. Cousins gave Karl a tongue-lashing in front of all his teammates, cursing him out until he walked away. It wasn’t the most providential time for Drake to show up in the locker room, though he’s been known to drop in on a whim; the Kings were in a foul mood. The deeply awkward interaction that ensued was caught on video.
DeMarcus Cousins Does Entire Interview with Drizzy Tucked Underneath His Arm
In 2010, Cousins inexplicably did an entire post-game interview with a zonked-looking Drake’s head tucked in his armpit. As borderline-creepy as it comes off, you can’t deny Drake (who cannot stop giggling) seems happy and safe beneath the sweaty wing of Cousins.
Nick Kyrgios Claims He Lost a Tennis Game Due to Drake’s Music, Drizzy Offers to “Chop Him Down”
During his first set at the third round at Wimbledon, Nick Kyrgios blamed his relatively lackluster performance on the presence of Drake music as he walked on — which Kyrgios deemed to be too mellow. “I came out really flat, so hopefully I won’t listen to that again,” Kyrgios said. “It was actually Drake. Didn’t do the job for me.” Of course, Drake took this little quip as an all-encompassing insult to his honor. “I also want to meet this guy that says that he lost because he listened to my music,” Drake fumed. “I also want to meet that guy and look him in the eye and see exactly who he is as a man and size him up and then chop him right down. Nick whatever-his-name-is — ’cause he didn’t win, so that’s how he’s going to be remembered: ‘Nick whatever-his-name-is.’”
Drake Claims He Used to Be a “Nice” Basketball Player, But Tore His ACL
In a deeply entertaining 2010 interview with ESPN, Drake tried to float the argument that he could play ball with the rest of them…if he just hadn’t torn his ACL. The best part is Drake’s head-scratching description of his dribbling skills as “nice,” saying, “I’m not going to lie, listen, I’m nice at basketball. The last game we played I dunked on someone…but I tore my ACL, so I haven’t played in a long time.” As excuses go, that one’s pretty “nice.”
Infatuated With a WNBA Player, Drake Waxes Romantically on Instagram
Drizzy’s adorably attitude toward nearly every sport also extended to the WNBA, but this touched some sort of sensitive place in his heart. Specifically, his crush on Skylar Diggins from the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock, of whom Drake posted images on Instagram in tribute. This infatuation was never quite explained by the rapper, but maybe it’s best left to speak for itself.
After Throwing the Opening Pitch at an Indians Game, Drake Declares: “Baseball’s Really Good”
Drake played it safe for this opening pitch, sending the ball right over the plate. But the real headline here was his beautifully aloof interview at that game, where he stumbles over common baseball knowledge, claims to not know where his own performance was to take place, not remembering his Little League batting average (“We were very small children,”) and overall responding with vague generalities (“Baseball’s really good.”) Like the man himself, it’s bumbling, sweet and endlessly quotable — despite Drizzy’s probable inexperience with nearly any sport in real life, his love is palpable.