Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer says he’s baffled by Canadian rapper and Raptors fan Drake’s antics during the Eastern Conference Finals.
The award-winning artist has been ever-present courtside in Toronto, where the Raptors leveled the NBA playoff series at 2-2 on Tuesday.
Drake trolled Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo during Toronto’s 120-102 victory by laughing as the MVP candidate missed free throws and was seen massaging Raptors coach Nick Nurse’s shoulders.
His antics angered Octagon Basketball Europe senior director Georgios Dimitropoulos, who used to be Antetokounmpo’s European agent and tweeted he had “never seen anything as disrespectful as this before” before deleting the post.
Budenholzer was asked about Drake on Wednesday and he told reporters: “I will say, again, I see it in some timeouts, but I don’t know of any person that’s attending the game that isn’t a participant in the game a coach — I’m sorry, a player or a coach, that has access to the court.
“I don’t know how much he’s on the court. It sounds like you guys are saying it’s more than I realize. There’s certainly no place for fans and, you know, whatever it is exactly that Drake is for the Toronto Raptors.
“To be on the court, there’s boundaries and lines for a reason, and like I said, the league is usually pretty good at being on top of stuff like that.”
Drake responded to the criticism on social media Wednesday night, first with a series of emojis on Instagram, and then with an Instagram Live post (per ESPN.com) that showed him liking a user’s comment that read in part: “If you don’t want the opposing team to celebrate and dance, prevent them from scoring, winning, or achieving their objective. Get over it and keep moving.”
Asked if was looking to speak to the league about addressing Drake, Budenholzer said: “I haven’t checked in with our organization.
“I do think there’s a lot of things that coaches have got to do, and there’s other things, [general manager] Jon Horst and the front office and those guys, they are on top of all that kind of stuff. They do a really good job for us, and I think if it needs to be addressed from an organizational standpoint, it will be and they will share it with me.
“But as of now, there’s nothing for me, there’s nothing I know of from our organization. And certainly the fans and owners and employees, and there’s so many lines; I guess Drake crosses all of them and ticks a lot of boxes. The NBA is usually on top of that stuff.”
Meanwhile, Nurse was quizzed about the Game 4 shoulder rub, and the Raptors coach played it down ahead of Game 5 on Thursday in Milwaukee.
“I didn’t even know I got the shoulder rub (Tuesday) night until somebody showed me a picture of it today,” he said. “I didn’t even feel it. I was so locked into the game.”