Appointed "Global Ambassador" of the Raptors last fall, Drake joined the TSN broadcast of Game 1 on Saturday, firing off a one-liner in the direction of rapper Jay-Z, who used to be a minority owner of the Nets.
"Jay-Z is somewhere eating a fondue plate," Drake said. "It's our time. We've got to keep it competitive. This is an ironic match-up."
The Toronto-born Drake is a regular presence at Raptors games and even handled the team's player introductions during "Drake Night" back in January. There was also some discussion in December that the Raptors might re-brand around the black/gold color scheme of Drake's OVO Sound record label, although nothing has materialized.
Jay-Z, a Brooklyn native, was a public face of the Nets as the franchise relocated from New Jersey to Brooklyn prior to the 2012-13 season. He later opted to drop his stake in the franchise so that he could expand Roc Nation Sports, a firm that represents professional athletes.
"My job as an owner is over but as a fan it has just begun," Jay-Z said in a statement announcing the transition. "I’m a Brooklyn Net forever."
The two hip hop artists have performed together in the past but have exchanged some barbs this year.
Drake's jab came a few hours after Raptors GM Masai Ujiri took a direct shot at the Nets. Before Game 1, Ujiri yelled "F--- Brooklyn" as he addressed thousands of fans gathered outside the Air Canada Centre. He later apologized.
The Saturday edition of the Toronto Sun also referred to the Nets’ veteran-dominated roster as “dinosaurs” and noted that “[Kevin] Garnett and [Paul] Pierce are so old [Toronto's mascot] the Raptor had to ask his dad about them.”
The Toronto Sun gets in some digs about the Nets' veteran roster. (Toronto Sun)
The New York Daily News reportedAndray Blatche's reply: "S---, you better be careful what tree you bark up. He better be careful."
Toronto is making its first postseason appearance since 2008.