TORONTO — If there’s one member of the Toronto Raptors who might be bothered by Drake’s noisy presence courtside, it would be Dwane Casey.
But the Raptors coach, who stands directly beside Drake’s courtside seat during games, insists he loves having the Toronto rapper there.
"It’s nothing. I love it," said Casey, who always exchanges pleasantries — usually a quick hug — with Drake before tipoff. "No problem whatsoever with Drake and being excited and passionate. We all should be that passionate."
Casey spoke the day after Drake exchanged words with Cleveland centre Kendrick Perkins twice during Toronto’s 113-112 overtime loss to the Cavaliers. Security intervened both times.
Casey said he had no idea about the verbal tussles until about 3 o’clock in the morning.
"I love Drake. Believe me whatever he said to Perk, I have heard a lot worse in other arenas to me," Casey said.
When asked if the rapper had taken things too far in the heat of the game, Casey gave an emphatic no.
"He is a grown man. He understands, but I love his passion. I love it," Casey repeated. "He is welcome there on the sidelines saying what he is says, whatever he says. He is not saying anything that is out of line or out of whack or whatever."
Drake, who is the Raptors’ global ambassador, exchanged words with Perkins when the inactive player passed by his courtside seat at halftime, and then after the game.
Drake later joked on Instagram about the confrontation, writing: "I just said I like the hem on his capris."
The Cavaliers wore matching custom-made Euro-style suits to the game, with hemlines that sat above the ankle.