Jordan versus the Detroit Pistons. Shaq versus Kobe. Reggie Miller versus Spike Lee. Devin Booker versus The Raptor.
The NBA has had some legendary clashes and rivalries, both on and off the court, between its many colourful personalities over the years.
And while these kinds of feuds are still common in today’s league, they can sometimes get a little wacky.
In the dying seconds of Tuesday’s game between the Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns, things got weird when star Suns guard Devin Booker took exception to the Toronto mascot's attempts at distracting him as Booker tried to ice the game with a pair of free throws in the dying seconds.
Devin Booker upset that the Raptors mascot, the only fan in the building, is behind the hoop distracting him with the game on the line. Refs send him to timeout in the corner. pic.twitter.com/F9zLGPPD5D
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 12, 2022
Booker, no stranger to playing in front of raucous, sold-out crowds, complained that The Raptor was stepping out of line with his theatrics behind the basket as the giant stuffed dinosaur attempted to establish the only kind of home-court advantage that an empty arena can possibly provide.
The Internet predictably trolled the 25-year-old for his pettiness and rung in the NBA’s latest dramatic episode in style.
The Raptor outside the Suns locker room waiting for Devin Booker pic.twitter.com/rUVTNV8AAI
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) January 12, 2022
devin booker’s reaction is further proof the raptors should roll out 20 raptor mascots behind the basket in the final two minutes
— alex (@steven_lebron) January 12, 2022
In his press conference following Phoenix’s 99-95 win, Booker played it cool, assuring everyone that there are no hard feelings between him and his prehistoric friend.
"We hashed it out. We homies now," he said.
Despite easing the tension with his postgame remarks, Booker took one more shot at his new “homie” with a cheeky Twitter profile picture update.
The Raptor returned the favour with his own avatar update, refusing to let his rival get the last laugh.
We may not know when fans will be allowed back into Scotiabank Arena to cheer on the Raptors again, but at least we can rest assured that the team mascot is doing all in his power to help the home team in their absence.
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