Joel Embiid Trash Talks Drake After Sixers' Win 'Coming For The Sweep!!!'

Joel Embiid walked the walk against Drake's beloved Raptors ... and then he talked the talk to the rapper -- hilariously clowning the guy after hitting the game-winner in Philly's victory over Toronto on Wednesday.

Embiid -- who's the favorite to win the NBA's MVP award this season -- gave Drake the earful following his ridiculous overtime shot at Scotiabank Arena ... playing around with the "Hotline Bling" artist for a few seconds on the hardwood.

"Get your ass out," the 7-foot center said to Drake as he was leaving the floor. "I'm coming for the sweep, too!"

To his credit, Drake took all the trash-talk in stride ... smiling with Embiid and seemingly attempting to dish a little of it back.

Of course, Drake doesn't have too much ammo to send Embiid's way -- his Raptors are now down 3-0 in the series and are facing elimination on Saturday.

Drake, though, seemed to be deserving of Embiid's ribbing ... because Philly forward Tobias Harris revealed following the game that the rapper was trolling Embiid in the first half -- when the star center struggled.

"In the first half, Drake was over there saying, 'He can't play here!' That's what he was saying," Harris said to the media during a post-game interview.

"I said, 'He can play here, for sure.' He was like, 'Nah, he can't play here.'"

Embiid must've heard Drake's heckling ... 'cause he closed out the game with 33 points, 13 rebounds and two assists in the W.

Tip-off for Game 4 is set for 11 AM in Toronto ... let's see if Embiid brings his broom for Drake.

Drake Drizzy Stunned!!! Home Team Loses in Nail-Biter

Drake had some divided loyalties Friday night ... he's a die-hard Raptors fan but he's also buds with one LeBron James.

Drake was front and center in Toronto ... cheering on his home team with a trusty bottle of Lobos 1707 Extra Añejo by his side -- FYI ... it's LeBron's tequila company. So, in a way, he supported both his team and his pal.

Hope the booze was good, because his support for the Raptors fell on deaf ears ... they lost to the Lakers 128-123.

Drake was stunned when Russell Westbrook -- who's gotten more than his share of hate lately -- delivered big time ... with only 10 seconds left in regulation and the Lakers down by 3, Westbrook raced down the floor and scored a 3 pointer, forcing the game into OT.

Good on Russell ... and Drake, well, there was enough extra tequila to soothe his wounds.

Charles Oakley I'm With Devin Booker... Raptors Mascot Needs To Chill!!!

LEAVE PLAYERS ALONE
TMZSports.com

Charles Oakley says Devin Booker was right to get pissed off about the Toronto Raptors mascot's free throw antics ... telling TMZ Sports the dino was crossing the line.

We spoke with Oak about the Phoenix Suns star's ongoing feud with mascots across the league ... and he says the 25-year-old should be left alone -- especially when fans aren't in the stands.

Of course, Oakley is referring to when Booker called on officials to move the Raptor from underneath the basket while at the charity stripe last week ... during a game that was played in Toronto's empty arena due to COVID-19 protocols.

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Oak says if fans aren't in the stands, there's no need for the dino to be hanging out around the court ... and it definitely shouldn't be trying to impact the game.

The Knicks legend says if things get worse between Booker and mascots across the league, he thinks the NBA will intervene and tell the furry creatures to cut it out.

NOT PULLING PUNCHES
TMZSports.com

We also spoke with Oak about his book, "The Last Enforcer," which drops next month ... and he says he's dishing on what went down with some of the biggest names in his era.

"Tyrone Hill, Dennis Rodman, Charles Barkley Pat Riley. Everybody in the book. Bringing 'em out."

And, what'll happen if those guys get upset over what's in the book?

"I don't care if they happy or not."

Devin Booker Fumes Over Raptors Mascot During Game ... Sit Down!!!

Devin Booker was so pissed at the Toronto Raptors' mascot during a game on Tuesday -- he made the refs move it so he could shoot free throws in peace.

For real.

The wild scene happened during the Suns' tilt with Toronto in Canada, where no fans were allowed in the building due to a recent surge in COVID cases in the area.

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Toronto, though, did allow its mascot to attend ... and as Booker was shooting some crucial free throws with 6.5 seconds left in the game -- the person in the furry suit jumped up and down.

Booker nearly missed his first shot over it -- and then he was so ticked about it, he made the refs put a stop to it.

"Booker's complaining about the Raptor, the lone fan that is there," the TV broadcaster said during the game. "He's been sent away!"

Booker eventually sunk the free throws and the Suns got the W ... and afterward, Devin confirmed he was hot about the situation.

"I was just trying to get him out the way," Kendall Jenner's BF said. "It worked."

"I'd rather be shooting them without him down there. We play shooting games all the time everyday. These two do the same thing and I complain then. That's just me."

Fortunately, Booker said he and the red dinosaur will have no beef going forward ... he told media members, "We hashed it out. We're cool now."

Phew.

Raptors' Fred VanVleet Starts Scholarship W/ Univ. of Toronto ... For Black, Indigenous Students

Fred VanVleet is making a path for underprivileged kids who want to go to college and get their dream job ... by starting an academic scholarship with the University of Toronto.

The Toronto Raptors guard made the announcement on Monday ... saying it's key to help the youth in underprivileged communities as they may not have the same advantages and opportunities as others -- especially when it comes to education.

"This scholarship is important because it's going shine light on some of those who may be underserved or underprivileged in certain communities and aspects," VanVleet said via IG.

"We know there's a selection process to a lot of different scholarships and sometimes that counts people out."

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The scholarship will assist a black or Indigenous student who's interested in management with four years of tuition at the local university ... as well as a $1,000 stipend for books each year.

"I would love for the scholarship to be the catalyst to start a young person's career," he added.

"That platform that they need to get access to the resources, information and education. Hopefully, they go on to do many bright and important things."

There's also an amazing bonus -- one-on-one mentoring with VanVleet, which he says is an important way to motivate those who look like him.

"Mentorship can provide inspiration, too – seeing someone who looks like you, succeeding on their own terms, is huge."

Drake, Montrezl Harrell Trash Talk Leads To Technical Foul ... Player Denies Beef

Drake's got enemies, got a lot of enemies, but Montrezl Harrell is NOT one of them ... so says the hooper, who claims their heated exchange that led to a technical foul was nothing more than friendly banter.

After the Raptors spent 2020-21 playing home games in Tampa, Drizzy was finally back courtside in the 6ix for the season opener on Wednesday ... and it went from 0 to 100 real quick in the 2nd quarter when the rapper appeared to get in a verbal spat with Harrell.

The Wizards forward was T'd up as a result ... and gave refs a piece of his mind as the Raps' Fred VanVleet nailed the tech free-throw.

Despite what it looked like, Harrell says there's no bad blood with Drake ... clearing the air in a postgame interview.

"Me and Drake was laughing," Harrell said. "There was no problem. Me and Drake cool. We even talked after the game."

Harrell claims he was having a chat with Drake when a Raptors coach got involved in the exchange ... and when the 27-year-old clapped back, he was hit with the tech.

Harrell will be fined $2,000 for the alleged worst behavior ... but he wants the penalty thrown out after explaining his side of the story.

NOT DISSIN' DRAKE

"I need me money back," Harrell added.

"That definitely shouldn't of been no tech. If so, you gotta give it to me and the coach."

At the end of the day, Drake's antics didn't work -- the Raptors lost, 98-83.

But hey, it woulda been a 16-point loss if it weren't for the Certified Lover Boy. 🤷🏽‍♂️

Toronto Raptors Back To The 6ix ... For 2021 Season!!!

Good news for Toronto Raptors fans -- and Drake -- the team just announced they'll be playing at home in 2021 after using Tampa as their home court for 19 months!!

Last season, the Raptors had to relocate to Tampa and play their home games in Amalie Arena due to Canada's travel restrictions over COVID-19.

The team hasn't played in their Scotiabank Arena since Feb. 28, 2020 -- but just got the green light to play their preseason opener at home which starts on Oct. 4 against the Sixers.

The capacity limit is still up in the air and there is a COVID vaccination mandate.

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"We are optimistic regarding our ability to host full capacity events at Scotiabank Arena," the team said.

"And as a reminder, all people wishing to access the arena — whether to attend an event as a spectator, or as a member of the media — will be required to show proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or proof of a medical exemption."

The Raptors season opener is Oct. 20 against the Wizards and it will be in their city of Toronto.

Home sweet home!!

Kevin Love On Botched Inbound Pass 'I F***ed Up'

I LOST MY COOL
Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love just poured his heart out about his bizarre inbound play on Monday night ... admitting he knows he "f***ed up" and apologizing for his outburst.

32-year-old Love went viral for swatting away an inbound pass late in the 3rd quarter against the Toronto Raptors ... easily turning the ball over to the Raptors for a wide-open 3-pointer.

It appeared as if Love -- who's posting career-low numbers this season for the 21-40 Cavs -- had become fed up with the losing and just snapped.

But, the 2016 champ says that's simply not the case.

Love started off his media availability Wednesday morning with an emotional, 15-minute speech ... saying, "My intent wasn't to disrespect the game. My intent wasn't even for the damn ball to go inbounds. It was a moment that I got caught up in."

"I didn't even understand what really happened as the possession even played out. I think I was a little bit dumbfounded."

He added ... "I didn't realize how bad it looked, really, until after the game. I truly didn't ... After that, I just completely shut down. I never want that to be who I am. I don't want to have to be here and defend my character."

Love says he has apologized to his teammates for the outburst ... calling it a "moment of sheer frustration."

So, what caused the disastrous turnover?? Love says it stemmed from blown calls throughout the 112 to 96 loss.

"Not to say too much that could get me fined, but it was the officiating," Love told USA Today.

It's gotta be tough for Love -- he's averaging 11.7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in 18 games this season -- and the glory days of the LeBron James-era are long gone.

Love says the moment was blown way out of proportion by the media ... and he really only cares about the opinions of his teammates.

"I take this one on the chin, naturally. I'll do that as a man, I'll do that as a teammate and continue to get better. That's really all I can do."

As for his relationship status with Cleveland?? Love makes it clear he's still their guy.

"I love Cleveland, I'll f***ing rock with Cleveland 'til the day I die."

NBA Star Kyle Lowry Drake FaceTimes During Post-Game Presser ... 'I'm His Translator!'

CALL FROM THE AMBASSADOR
Toronto Raptors

We interrupt this standard NBA post-game press conference ... WITH A SPECIAL VIDEO MESSAGE FROM DRAKE?!

Yep, the rap superstar FaceTime'd his pal Kyle Lowry while the Toronto Raptors star was facing the media following Wednesday night's game against the Denver Nuggets.

There are rumblings that Toronto will trade Lowry to another team before the NBA trade deadline (Thursday at 12 PM PT) -- which means Wednesday could have been the last time Lowry rocked the Raptors uniform.

During the presser, Lowry admitted it was "kind of weird tonight not knowing what the next step would be" ... but when Drake's name popped up on his cell phone, his mood changed.

"Guys, we have a special guest here," Lowry told reporters during the video news conference.

That's when Lowry held up his phone and showed everyone Drake was on FaceTime!

"If you guys have any questions, I’m here to translate," Drake said ... "I’m his translator!"

Lowry laughed a quipped back, "No you’re not. No!! I’ll hit you when I’m done, bro."

Really funny moment between Lowry and Drake -- who's not just a Raptors superfan, he's also the team's official "global ambassador."

So, what will happen with Lowry's future? Unclear at the moment, but the Raptors head coach told the media Lowry will "go down as maybe the greatest Raptor" of all time.

Toronto Raptors' Terence Davis Charges Dropped in Dom. Violence Case

UPDATE

9:10 AM PT -- Okay, so here's better explanation of the Terence Davis case ...

UPDATE

The NBA player was initially charged with 7 criminal counts -- aggravated harassment, assault, criminal mischief, attempted assault, harassment, endangering the welfare of a child and another assault.

UPDATE

The District Attorney's Office has moved to dismiss all counts relating to assaultive conduct, leaving "endangering the welfare of a child" and "criminal mischief" still active.

UPDATE

We're told Terence DID NOT plead guilty to any charges ... but the two sides were able to agree on a deal.

UPDATE

In short, the D.A.'s Office agrees to drop the remaining 2 charges if Davis pays $1,000 in restitution and stays out of trouble for the next year.

UPDATE

He's already paid the $1,000 -- so, now he's just gotta stay on the straight and narrow.

UPDATE

His next big court date is set for Feb. 2022 -- and if he stays clean, the case will be totally dismissed.

Big news for Toronto Raptors guard Terence Davis ... prosecutors have dropped the domestic violence charges against him stemming from an Oct. 2020 incident.

As we previously reported ... 23-year-old Davis was arrested after officials say he repeatedly punched his ex-GF in the face during an argument at the Beekman Tower hotel in NY.

Davis' ex-GF also told police he smashed her phone when she refused to stop recording him during the alleged incident.

Cops were called to the scene and he was ultimately booked for misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor criminal mischief charges.

But now, prosecutors have dropped the case against Davis, as first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Davis is a pretty good player -- he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2020 which is impressive considering he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2019.

So far in 2021, he's averaging 6.5 points per game.

Jerry West Sued Man Claims He Helped Clippers Get Kawhi ... You Owe Me 2.5 Mil!!!

UPDATE

4:10 PM PT -- A rep for Jerry West tells TMZ Sports he did nothing improper ... and didn't even know he was being sued.

UPDATE

“I am not aware of any lawsuit being filed against me and I deny engaging in any improper conduct in connection with the signing of Kawhi Leonard.”

A man who claims to be Kawhi Leonard's pal says Jerry West owes him $2.5 MIL for his role in helping the Clippers land the NBA superstar ... and he's demanding JW pay up ASAP.

It's all in a new lawsuit obtained by TMZ Sports ... in which Johnny Wilkes spells out how he agreed to work with West for a small fortune in exchange for help getting Kawhi in a Clippers uni.

Wilkes says back on April 10, 2019, he met West at Staples Center and informed the Clippers' executive board member he had close ties to Kawhi and Kawhi's uncle, Dennis Robertson.

Wilkes says he and West exchanged contact information ... and a few weeks later, in June, West asked Wilkes for help in courting Kawhi to Los Angeles.

In the suit, Wilkes claims he told West he'd only help if the Clippers would pay him $2.5 MILLION ... and Wilkes claims West agreed to the terms.

Wilkes says in the lawsuit he "immediately went to work" ... and began convincing Kawhi and Kawhi's uncle the Clippers were the right team for him after he had just left the Toronto Raptors.

Wilkes says he told West and the Clippers they needed to get Paul George first and foremost to hook Kawhi. He then says he helped connect West with Kawhi's uncle.

Wilkes also claims in the suit he gave West a specific gameplan for how the Clippers should pitch Kawhi during an important meeting with West, Leonard, Doc Rivers and others in July 2019.

"This information was vital," Wilkes said in the lawsuit, "because it was the exact information Kawhi Leonard wanted to hear at the time in order to effectuate his signing with the Clippers."

Wilkes also says he helped facilitate a deal between West and Kawhi's uncle ... in which West agreed to give Uncle Dennis a Southern California home and a travel expense account.

Wilkes says after Kawhi ultimately agreed to sign with the Clippers in late July ... he went for a celebratory meal with West and others in Beverly Hills.

Wilkes claims West agreed yet again at the dinner to fork over $2.5 million for all the help ... but Wilkes claims in the suit he still hasn't received a penny -- and he's suing West and the Clippers for breach of contract and more.

Wilkes is asking for the $2.5 mil plus damages.

We've reached out to the Clippers for comment ... but so far, no word back.

Originally published -- 7:02 AM PT

Toronto Raptors Will Start NBA Season In Tampa ... Due To COVID

The Tampa Bay Raptors? For now, yes.

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they will begin the 2020-21 NBA season playing their home games in Tampa ... hours after the Canadian government reportedly ruled they could not host home games up north.

The long story short ... due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government didn't want teams flying in from the U.S. and possibly spreading the virus.

The U.S. is still considered a coronavirus hotbed -- with more than 11.8 million cases compared to just 315k in Canada.

Raptors president Masai Ujiri says the team had "productive" conversations with govt. officials in the hopes of keeping the team in Canada -- but with the season set to kick off on Dec. 22, Toronto decided it was better to start the season in Tampa and figure things out from there.

"Ultimately, the current public health situation facing Canadians, combined with the urgent need to determine where we will play means that we will begin our 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida," Ujiri said.

Ujiri says the team is committed to planning a safe return to Toronto -- "and as an organization, we remain committed to doing all we can to promote and demonstrate public health measures to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in Canada."

"So we'll be away from our home and our fans for now. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I'm not sure that's possible for us -- we love Toronto and Canada, and we know we have the best fans in the NBA."

The Raptors are not the first Canada-based pro sports team to move their home games to the U.S. -- the Toronto Blue Jays played home games in Buffalo during the 2020 MLB season.

NBA's Terence Davis Arrested After Allegedly Punching Ex-GF In Face Repeatedly

Toronto Raptors guard Terence Davis -- one of the best rookies in the NBA last season -- was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly socked his ex-GF in the face multiple times ... TMZ Sports has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us Davis was staying with his ex-girlfriend at the Beekman Tower in Midtown Manhattan, NY ... when the two got into an argument.

Unclear what prompted the dispute ... but our sources say things got out of hand quickly -- with Davis allegedly punching the woman in the face REPEATEDLY.

We're told the altercation escalated even further after Davis' ex-GF refused to stop filming the NBA player with her phone ... so our sources say Davis grabbed it and shattered its screen.

We're told police were eventually called to the scene ... where they arrested the 23-year-old NBA player, booking him on misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor criminal mischief charges.

Meanwhile, our sources say Davis' ex-GF was taken to the hospital after complaining of swelling and pain in her left eye. We're told she was treated for her injuries and released.

Davis was a very good player for the Raptors this season after he went undrafted out of Ole Miss ... playing in all 72 of his team's games.

Davis -- who started 4 total contests and averaged 7.5 points per game -- was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team, joining stars like Tyler Herro and Coby White.

Raptors' Masai Ujiri Cop Shove Video Was 'Hard For Me' ... Didn't Sleep For Days

I DOUBTED MYSELF

Raptors president Masai Ujiri says he really struggled mentally in the days after the cop shoving video was released ... even though the footage completely exonerated him.

"This was very hard for me," Ujiri told the media Thursday ... "When the video came out, I didn't sleep for a few days."

So, what bothered Ujiru -- who was clearly shoved by a white cop TWICE for no reason in June 2019 while trying to get on the court to celebrate his team's championship???

Two things ...

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

First, Ujiri says the false allegations that he was the instigator of that incident really started to mess with his mind.

"[After the incident] you question yourself and as time goes on you begin to doubt yourself. I doubted myself and what really happened there."

Obviously, the video clearly shows Ujiri calmly trying to show his ID badge to the officer -- and it was the officer who CLEARLY overreacted by putting his hands on Masai twice.

But, Masai says his mind would run wild about the incident -- especially while he was alone in the NBA Bubble -- and he began to wonder if he was misremembering how things really went down.

Secondly ... when the video was released, he started feeling horrible for other Black people who don't have the money, power, clout and other resources to fight back against false allegations.

"That began to bother me as a person."

Ujiri says the incident has not made him hate white people -- he says there are many white families he would trust with his own kids.

But, Ujiri believes the incident shows racism is still an issue in America ... even for successful NBA executives.

Raptors' Fred VanVleet Reunites With Kids At Bubble 'I Love You, Daddy!!!'

FAMILY REUNION
@shotaineal_ / Instagram

This is the most adorable video you'll see today!!

Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet reunited with his 2 kids after more than a month inside the NBA bubble on Monday ... and they were so excited to see their daddy, they ran right into his arms!!

Of course, players and families are starting to reconnect during the 2nd round of the playoffs ... with a limited number of loved ones allowed to enter the bubble after quarantining.

FVV's high school sweetheart, Shontai Neal, shared the emotional moment on Instagram ... showing 1-year-old Fred Jr. and 2-year-old Sanaa overly excited to see their dad on the Disney World campus.

The VanVleets have been supporting their dad from home ... with Sanaa cheering on Fred from home in a cute video last month.

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It's a reminder of what the players and teams sacrificed to restart the season ... and stars like LeBron James and Paul George have spoken about the challenges of being away from the real world.

Masai Ujiri Cop Shoved Me at NBA Finals 'Because I Am Black'

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri says RACE was the main reason he was disrespected and assaulted by a cop at the 2019 NBA Finals -- stating, "It's because I am Black."

50-year-old Ujiri has finally broken his silence about that bombshell body cam video which shows him clearly being shoved TWICE by an aggressive white deputy in the final moments of Game 6, as the Raptors were winning the title.

The video clearly proves the deputy was LYING when he claimed Ujiri instigated the altercation that night. Ujiri was calmly trying to present his security badge to the deputy when the guy flipped out, cussed him out and shoved Masai twice in the chest.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

"The video sadly demonstrates how horribly I was treated by a law enforcement officer last year in the midst of my team, the Toronto Raptors, winning its first world championship," Ujiri said in a statement.

Ujiri says the moment should gave been one of the greatest of his life -- a reward after years of grinding -- but it was spoiled by that horrible deputy.

THE CONFRONTATION

"I was reminded in that moment that despite all of my hard work and success, there are some people, including those who are supposed to protect us, who will always and only see me as something that is unworthy of respectful engagement. And, there’s only one indisputable reason why that is the case - because I am Black."

Ujiiri says he understands that he was ultimately vindicated because he had the resources to take on law enforcement -- and he fears for those who don't.

"The only reason why I am getting the justice I deserve in this moment is because of my success. Because I’m the President of a NBA team, I had access to resources that ensured I could demand and fight for my justice. So many of my brothers and sisters haven’t had, don’t have, and won’t have the same access to resources that assured my justice. And that’s why Black Lives Matter."

Ujiri says this is the exact reason why people must continue to demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black people who have suffered at the hands of law enforcement.

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