Drake: 'Hats off' to guard who denied him access to Heat locker room after Finals
Platinum-selling rapper Drake was denied access to the Heat’s locker room after Miami clinched its 2013 title over San Antonio, but he bears no grudge against the American Airlines Arena security officer who turned him away when he attempted to enter along with credentialed media members.
"We were having a great time, and as a joke I tried to go in with the media through the media entrance, as they were all swarming in," Drake told ESPN's "Highly Questionable" television program in an interview that aired this week. "That was a great night, one of the greatest nights of my life. But that was probably the highlight, getting denied by that old [security] guy and it making news everywhere. That's a classic moment. I'm allowed to go in the Heat locker room for the most part, I just tried to do it a funny way. It didn't work out for me, I'll never do it again."
A video of the exchange with the security guard has garnered more than 5.8 million YouTube views this summer. In the video, Drake can be heard attempting to talk his way into the champagne-soaked post-game celebration, to no avail. "I am media," he said, before accepting the fact that he had been turned away.
"It's good to know that that [security] guy is doing his job," Drake told ESPN. "Some things are sacred, for example, like the Heat locker room on the night of the NBA Finals. Not anybody should be able to walk in there, and he clearly knows zero Drake songs. I don't blame him, he was like 89 years old. I understand, hats off to that gentleman who was doing due diligence as security."
Drake — real name Aubrey Drake Graham — conducted this week's interview as he promotes his latest album, Nothing Was The Same, which was released on Tuesday.
A longtime friend of Heat star LeBron James, Drake sat courtside for Game 7 and was shown on the arena’s JumboTron during the game as his song "Started From The Bottom" played over the arena’s sound system.
James discussed his friendship with Drake in 2011.
“What we have is real family,” James said, according to Yahoo! Sports. “It’s not just because we are successful at what we do. We really care about one another on a day-to-day basis. Anytime you get a friend that can come and support you in what you do, I really respect that.”
Despite the locker room rejection, Drake said that he remembers the night fondly because James won his second title and second Finals MVP award.
"I had never been to something that big," Drake told ESPN, when asked why the night of Game 7 was so memorable. "It was just a grandiose production. To see [James], somebody who I am friends with, achieve victory, something I know he wanted really bad, and to watch him in all his glory, with family and friends there, and the entire city of Miami celebrating, it was great. A great moment to be a part of. It's something I'll never forget, the confetti falling, to see [Heat president] Pat [Riley], and all the players of the team, enjoying a well-deserved win because they fought hard that night, it was just great. It was great to observe, I love watching other people triumph when they deserve it." Top video via YouTube user DLHQonESPN | Bottom video via YouTube user ESPN760