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Drake turns trolling sights on injured Warriors star Kevin Durant

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Jun 3rd, 2019

Drake seemingly set his trolling sights on injured Golden Star Warriors star Kevin Durant on Sunday for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

The Toronto Raptors’ global ambassador/rapper took his courtside seat just prior the player introductions, shaking hands with nearby fans. He was wearing a black hoodie with a picture of actor Macaulay Culkin, who played Kevin McCallister in the “Home Alone” movie franchise, mouth open and holding his face above the word “Kevin?!?!?!”

One assumes it was an attempt to troll Durant, currently sidelined by a calf strain.

https://twitter.com/IncredibleCulk?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1135354912286662657%7Ctwgr%5E393039363b74776565745f6d65646961&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftoronto.citynews.ca%2F2019%2F06%2F02%2Fdrake-turns-trolling-sights-on-injured-warriors-star-kevin-durant%2F

The decal was no longer on Drake’s back in the fourth quarter when he returned to his seat.

And Golden State had the last laugh with a 109-104 win that evened the best-of-seven series at one game apiece. After the game, Warriors guard Klay Thompson had a few choice words for Drake when their paths met out of view from the court.

“See you in the Bay Aubrey. Weren’t talking tonight were ya?” said Thompson, who had exited in the fourth quarter with a hamstring issue, in using part of Drake’s real name – Aubrey Drake Graham.

On video posted on social media, Thompson, Durant and Drake seemed to indulge in some good-natured needling.

Earlier, Drake stood up and applauded the Raptors as they took the court, exchanging fist bumps with the players. He exchanged a hug and handshake with former U.S. president Barack Obama before taking his seat.

The rapper stood up to applaud veteran coach Frank Layden when he was honored with the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award in the second quarter.

With Fred VanVleet at the free throw line in the seocnd quarter, Drake and Toronto coach Nick Nurse chatted briefly. But there was no shoulder rub.

Drake himself was honored with an ovation when he was shown during a Celebrity Watch montage on the big screen.

Drake was largely on his best behaviour for Game 1, although he subtly trolled Golden State star Steph Curry by choosing to honour Curry’s father by wearing a vintage Dell Curry Raptors jersey.

He also wore a Nike wristband on his left bicep just above the elbow, apparently to cover up small tattoos dedicated to both Curry and Durant.

He wore a hoodie with “Kawhi Me a River” on the back for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final against the Milwaukee Bucks, whose star Giannis Antetokounmpo was well-defended by Raptors ace Kawhi Leonard.

The rapper did get into a jawing match with Warriors forward Draymond Green as the visitors filed off the floor following the Raptors’ 118-109 win Thursday night. But nothing happened and Green appeared ready to cut the rapper some slack.

“He’s a fan. He talks and it gets more attention because he’s Drake,” Green said the next day. “So many people are complaining about it, like, ‘You don’t let any other fan do that.’ Yeah, any other fan is just not Drake, so they probably shouldn’t be able to do that. That’s just kind of how the cookie crumbles.”

Drake and Green exchanged looks after the Warriors forward was hit with his second personal foul near the end of the first half Sunday, drawing comment from the rapper. There was more of the same when Green left the court for the break.

Commissioner Adam Silver, meanwhile, felt Drake went over the line in rubbing Nurse’s shoulders during an Eastern Conference final game, but also said that he appreciated the rapper’s “super-fan status and I know he’s beloved in the community of Toronto.”

Silver had a good view of Drake on Sunday, seated with Obama on the other side of the Scotiabank Arena lower bowl from the rapper’s seats.

Canada suspends operations at embassy in Venezuela

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Jun 3rd, 2019

Canada suspended operations at its embassy in Venezuela on Sunday, saying President Nicolas Maduro’s regime is increasingly clamping down on diplomats who oppose his rule.

The diplomats’ visas are set to expire at the end of June, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement, and Maduro’s regime – which Canada has denounced as illegitimate and characterized as a dictatorship – has made it so they cannot be renewed.

“As Venezuela slides deeper into dictatorship, and as Venezuelans continue to suffer at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime, the regime has taken steps to limit the ability of foreign embassies to function in Venezuela, particularly those advocating for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela,” she said.

Freeland said the operations are being suspended temporarily, effective immediately.

“We are also evaluating the status of Venezuelan diplomats appointed by the Maduro regime to Canada,” she said in the statement.

News that embassy operations were being put on hold came a day before Freeland was set to meet in New York with other members of the Lima Group – a bloc that includes more than a dozen Latin American countries opposing Maduro.

Canada is among as many as 50 countries that have said Maduro stole last year’s election and is no longer the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

Instead, the Lima Group backed opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself Venezuela’s interim leader at the beginning of this year.

Freeland said that through its work with the Lima Group, the government will continue to advocate for democracy in the South American nation.

Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 100 officials in Maduro’s regime in a bid to hold them accountable.

The country’s political and economic crisis has forced three million people to flee their homes in search of food, health care and other basic services since 2015.

Global Affairs said Canadians in Venezuela who need consular assistance can reach out to the Embassy of Canada to Colombia, in Bogota, and noted that Ottawa has advised against travelling to Venezuela for the past several months.

Tornadoes hit Gatineau, Ottawa areas, though no injuries reported

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Jun 3rd, 2019

Strong winds uprooted trees and damaged homes, but nobody was injured when a tornado touched down in the Ottawa area Sunday evening.

Environment Canada issued tornado warnings in eastern Ontario and western Quebec after someone spotted a twister near the Gatineau Airport just before 6 p.m. Officials later confirmed that a twister touched down in the suburb of Orleans, in Ottawa’s east end.

The warning, which was lifted about two hours after it was issued, came amid a small but powerful storm that brought damaging winds, hail and intense rainfall.

Debris closed several streets, including a major highway, but the city said they had all reopened by about 9 p.m.

“There was a lot of toppled trees, a lot of cars damaged, homes damaged by this thing,” said Marc Messier, a firefighter who lives in the neighbourhood affected by the tornado.

“You never would have known anything happened at my house, but even a block away there was some damage,” he said. “We were fortunate here.”

Messier was out for a drive with his grandson when the tornado struck, he said, and that they had to pull over to the side of the road for a time while waiting for the twister to pass.

The capital region was hit by several tornadoes less than a year ago, which flattened neighbourhoods and did severe damage to the power grid.

Messier said it’s disconcerting to see another twister touch down in his city so soon.

“We’re not used to getting these things here, but now we’ve had two in a matter of months and I hope it’s not a new trend,” he said.

The Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region, which offers 24/7 crisis and distress phone lines, noted that twisters like the one that touched down on Sunday can affect those who experienced the twisters in 2018.

Ottawa Public Health noted that stressful events like tornadoes can affect people’s emotions. The agency urged those who need support to seek it out.

The city is still in a state of emergency over floods earlier this spring.

Warriors even up NBA Finals with a win over Raptors

News Staff and The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Jun 3rd, 2019

Andre Iguodala’s 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left was the clincher as the Golden State Warriors held off the Toronto Raptors 109-104 on Sunday, evening the best-of-seven NBA Finals at 1-1.

Stephen Curry scored 23 points for the Warriors while Klay Thompson scored 25 points before leaving with an injury as the Warriors scored the first 18 points of the second half to take the lead for good.

Kawhi Leonard had 34 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Raptors, his 12th 30-point game of these playoffs, while Fred VanVleet had 17 and Kyle Lowry contributed 13 points.

The Raptors led by as many as 12 points in the first half, but were done in by an awful third quarter that saw the Warriors race out to an 18-0 run while fans were still filing back to their seats. The Raptors turned the ball over five times and missed their first nine shots in the ugly stretch.

The loss snaps the Raptors five-game winning streak.

A split isn’t bad news for the Raptors, with 12 of the 17 teams who won the first game going on to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy when the series is tied 1-1.

Among the stars in the building for Sunday’s game was 44 – Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States and noted basketball fan.

Obama was accompanied by Raptors president Masai Ujiri as he walked past the Toronto dressing room prior to the game. He was seated next to NBA commissioner Adam Silver near the floor of the lower bowl. Obama and Drake exchanged a hug and a handshake before taking their separate seats.

Drake was in his normal courtside perch.

Other celebs said to be in attendance at Scotiabank Arena were actors David Boreanaz and David Castaneda, singer-musicians Alessia Cara, Fantasia, J. Cole, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd and manager Amir (Cash) Esmailian, Steve Aoki and Flo Rida, golfers Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Justin Thomas and Danny Willett, Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri, GM Kyle Dubas and president Brendan Shanahan and Toronto Argonauts James Wilder Jr., and S.J. Green.

Canadian musicians Win Butler, Dallas Green, Paul Langlois and two members of the Arkells were also in the house.

Fantasia, wearing an eye-popping red sequined jumpsuit, sang the U.S. national anthem while Cara, clad in a Raptors jersey, looked after “O Canada.”

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