Hip-hop artists Drake (R) and E-40 have a little fun before Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors on May 30, 2019 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Chris Victorio | Special to S.F. Examiner)

Did Drake cross a line accosting Draymond Green after Game 1?

Canadian rapper, Toronto Raptors superfan Drake exchanged words with Warriors forward Draymond Green

TORONTO — After a game that started with a playful confrontation between Drake and Bay Area rap royalty E-40 — the two got into a fake brawl before tipoff — it appeared as though there could be very nearly real fisticufs when the Toronto Raptors superfan turned his sights on the heretofore-combustable-but-recently-mellowed Draymond Green.

Following Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Green walked off the court, having given up 32 points to Pascal Siacam — who had averaged 10.7 over his whole career — when he was accosted by the multi-platinum artist behind the album “Views.”

Stephen Curry looked on rather amusedly.

Green yapped back. Drake smirked and, as Green walked away, said, “You’re trash.” Green wasn’t amused, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — who before the game, said that the league had “had conversations” with Drake and his manager about his on-court antics — surely can’t be pleased.

“You got a question about basketball?” Green shot back, when asked about the incident after the game. “It wasn’t really a scuffle because I didn’t hit him and he didn’t hit me, and I didn’t push him and he didn’t push me. We talked. We barked a little bit, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider that a scuffle, not really what I personally would consider a scuffle.”

Silver, in his comments before the game to national media, cited the league’s focus on player safety when it comes to fan interaction.

“The players, because absolutely we want them to feel that they’re in a safe environment and we don’t want them to be distracted during the game or think that they have to take matters into their own hand,” he said. “I actually think especially not just looking at this year but over my tenure in the league, things have gotten much, much better in arena than they were in the old days, but there’s always room for improvement.”

Drake has a complicated fandom, with tattoos on his left forearm of Warriors-font numbers 30 and 35, along with the last names of both Curry and Kevin Durant, tattos he covered up on Thursday with a black elastic armband. He’s also the Toronto Raptors’ most well-known fan, and is a frequent presence at courtside, to the point where he came on the court during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals and gave a neck rub to head coach Nick Nurse.

During the course of the game, he and Curry had a playful staredown, after which he seemed to pick something off of Curry’s hair.

Afterwards, Drake posted to Instagram saying that he had picked a piece of lint from atop Curry’s head, and was selling it. He used the phrase “DraymondShouldntWear23” as a faux eBay username purporting to sell the lint.

“Everything is a bit context specific,” Silver said in his comments before the game. “I think in the case of Drake, as I’ve said before, I mean we certainly appreciate his superfan status, and I know he’s beloved in the community of Toronto.

“We understood that in [the shoulder rub] case, given Drake’s relationship to the team, it’s not the same as just any fan who happened to be courtside touching a coach. But I think that’s an absolute bright line that we have to draw … I think the issue for the League is that he has this ambassador-type role with the team. So he is viewed a little differently than any fan sitting there. But at the same time I think there are appropriate lines that shouldn’t be cross in terms of how a competing team is addressed or the officials for that matter.”

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