Barkley was referring to rapper Drake’s overly enthusiastic sideline behavior during recent basketball games in favor of the Toronto Raptors. Drake has been accused of violating NBA’s fan conduct policy with his superfan antics.
Barkley spoke about the strategy that he and other players used to deal with annoying sideline fans.
“I ain’t worried about no Drake,” Barkley said on “NBA on TNT.” “What I would do, I would say ‘Kenny do me a favor. Throw the ball out of bounds one time,’ and I’d knock the hell out of Drake.”
Barkley made the comment in front of cheering Milwaukee Bucks fans. The Bucks are playing the Toronto Raptors for the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
Toronto is Drake’s hometown, and he also serves as the team’s official global ambassador, a title the team granted to Drake in 2013, The Globe and Mail reported.
“I ain’t worried about no Drake!” ????
Chuck weighs in on Drake’s antics on the sidelines. pic.twitter.com/yUprcEQBfd
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 24, 2019
At least one of Barkley’s co-hosts on the show agreed with his method of having a teammate deliberately throw the ball out of bounds during a game so a player could dive for it, and therefore possibly dive into a fan.
“Me too. Easily. Because that’s how you do it,” said Shaquille O’Neal, confirming Barkley’s method.
“Ernie, that’s the way we used to do it. If there was a fan giving us a hard time I’d say ‘Hey man, lose the ball out of bounds,’ and you’ve got to knock the hell out of them.”
Drake’s court-side manner during his team’s playoff games has been getting a lot of attention. During Game 4 between the Raptors and Bucks, on May 21, he walked over and briefly massaged the shoulders of Raptors coach Nick Nurse.
Drake’s enthusiasm for the team seems to keep growing. Even the mayor of Toronto commented.
“Today a reporter asked me if @Drake is “too much” during the @Raptors playoffs. Here’s my answer: @Drake is Toronto’s most enthusiastic ambassador. The fact that it aggravates people in Milwaukee actually makes me happy – it means I don’t have to do it! #WeTheNorth #NBAPlayoffs,” wrote Toronto mayor John Tory via Twitter.
Drake has also taunted players on opposing teams, including Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. In response to the playful harassment, the daughter of the Milwaukee Bucks’ owner wore a Pusha T t-shirt during Game 5, on May 23. Pusha T is one of Drake’s rivals in the rap music scene.
— Lindsay Dunn (@LindsayDunnTV) May 24, 2019
The Globe and Mail reported that Drake is even exceeding the notoriety of other celebrity basketball superfans, overshadowing actor Jack Nicholson and his love for the Los Angeles Lakers, and Spike Lee and his well-known harassment of teams that try to take on his hometown New York Knicks.
Drake was warned by both the NBA and the Toronto Raptors after he had an on-court verbal confrontation with then Cleveland Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins. The teams were heading to the locker rooms during halftime of a playoff game last year when there was a brief, intense exchange of words, Bleacher Report reported. The feud continued after the game.