Antetokounmpo to Drake: Raptors Superfan is most annoying to play in front of

Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia shows his support for the team during the Eid Dinner hosted by The Canadian-Muslim Vote, in Toronto, on Friday, June 21, 2019. (Andrew Lahodynskyj/CP)

During a wide-ranging Instagram Live Q&A on Friday night, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo fielded questions from fans — including rap superstar Drake.

The pair have a history dating back to at least last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, when Drake’s sideline antics — such as giving Nick Nurse a massage — drew the ire of Bucks fans, and has since featured the Toronto Raptors global ambassador wearing WWE Championship belts to a game this year to remind the opposition that the Raptors are reigning NBA Champions.

Despite the history of good-spirited trolling, when Drake asked Antetekounmpo who the most annoying person to play in front of was, it was a different Toronto icon who came to mind.

“He sits on the left of our bench when we play the Raptors, he’s the Superfan with the beard, he always talks crap,” Antetekounmpo said jokingly. “Definitely not you, Drake.”

The Raptors Superfan, whose real name is Nav Bhatia, has been a fixture at Raptors home games since the team’s inaugural season. This past year, following Toronto’s historic NBA Finals win, he also became the first fan in NBA history to be given a championship ring.

“Love you like family before and after the game but during those 48 minutes I have to do whatever it takes to give my boys the edge!” Bhatia tweeted in response to Antetekounmpo’s comments. “You have to know when you visit Toronto you get the 1-2 punch, Drake then the superfan. Dinner on me next time, #staysafe.”

Born and raised in Delhi, India, Bhatia moved to Canada in the 1980s and attended his first Raptors game in 1995. Three years of attending games later, he was given the title of “Superfan” by former Raptors general manager and Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas.

Earlier this year, it was announced he would become one of the first honourees into a new ‘Superfan Gallery’ at the Basketball Hall of Fame.

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