Drake has been a major talking point during this year’s NBA Finals despite having nothing to do with the success of either team. The rapper has already earned the ire of the entire state of Wisconsin due to his sideline antics last round, and what he wears to each game is closely examined by everyone on the internet. He’s not only a topic of interest to the fans. The players are invested in his shenanigans as well. He had an intense exchange with Draymond Green after Game 1, and Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson didn’t miss the chance to talk some smack to him after Game 2.
Some may argue that Drake, despite his fame as a rapper, is still just a fan, and he shouldn’t be taking away from the game itself. Shaquille O’Neal is not among those who would make that argument. In fact, the former player and entrepreneur is a fan of Drake’s sideline antics and the attention he draws. As the former big man puts it in this video from TMZ, “It’s called marketing, people.”
Whether you like or hate the Canadian rapper, Shaq has a point. Drake hasn’t dropped an album in almost a full year, yet most major networks bring him up on a daily basis when talking about the NBA Finals. I know Bucks fans, who have never once mentioned Drake in their lives, cursing his name after the Eastern Conference Finals. He’s regularly discussed on a national level for things not even vaguely related to his actual profession.
That’s usually a bad thing for famous people, because more often than not it means they committed a crime. But Drake is simply acting like a passionate fan, and even Mallory Edens, daughter of billionaire Bucks owner Wes Edens, took a shot at him a few weeks ago.
Drake’s national marketing campaign will continue in California on Wednesday for Game 3. As Thompson said in the tunnel after Game 2, “See you in the Bay, Aubrey.”