If rapper Wale was not known in Canada before, he is now. The best part of Tuesday's Toronto Raptors road win over the Washington Wizards was a run-in that played out over on the court, on the air and over Twitter involving Raps small forward Rudy Gay, Wale and Toronto play-by-play man Matt Devlin.
After Gay canned a basket in the second quarter of Toronto's 96-88 win, the Raptors star playful made a 'call me' gesture to Wale. They had been chatting back and forth for a few minutes; ballers having a running conversation with courtside fans goes back decades in basketball, it's an intimate game that way. Part of a broadcaster's job is to tell viewers about what they cannot see. Devlin's description of Wale cut a bit close.
"Supposedly this fan is a well-known local rapper Wale — locally here," Delvin said before adding, "I'm sure somebody on Twitter could tell me exactly if they've ever heard of Wale — he's not Drake."
Not Drake? That's cold. Devlin's words must have got back to Wale.
The performer, who won a Soul Train Award in 2010 and has 2.7 million Twitter followers, later visited the broadcast table during the second half.
— J.E. Skeets (@jeskeets) February 20, 2013
Some benefit of the doubt is owed to Wale. Both he and Rudy Gay are from the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area. This is not on par with the Reggie Miller-Spike Lee feud during the Indiana Pacers-New York Knicks playoff battles in the mid-1990s in either tone or the stakes, although the Raptors are climbing closer to the playoff picture. Wale is maintaining the dialogue with Gay was friendly.
— Wale Folarin(@Wale) February 20, 2013
In any event, it was hilarious. Makes you wonder where hip-hip would have gone if smartphones had come along 20 years sooner. Miss you, Tupac.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org (video: Sportsnet).