The Raptors mascot was just trying to do his job distracting the opposition on Toronto’s home court with the game on the line. But Devin Booker made sure he wasn’t a factor late in Tuesday’s matchup.
The Phoenix Suns star guard was at the foul line putting up the first of two free throws with his team up by one point with 6.5 seconds left in the game.
After the first shot was made, Booker pointed to The Raptor in the empty stands behind the basket and asked the referees to move the mascot out of the way before attempting his second shot.
The Raptor complied and took a timeout over to one side of the court, going down on one knee. Booker made his second shot to put the Suns up by three.
The Suns held on for a 99-95 victory, ending the Raptors’ six-game winning streak .
Normally there would be fans in the stands, but due to Ontario regulations limiting the amount of people in arenas due to a surge in COVID-19 infections, the Raptors have elected to not have any paying customers during games.
Reaction was mixed online, with fans giving their two cents on the matter.
“Book(er) is one of my favourite players, but this isn’t the first time he’s acted soft over something that most of us wouldn’t complain about,” one fan shared on Twitter. “There’s also that one time he complained about getting double teamed during a pickup game with other NBA players.”
Others suggested the Raptors should have a whole section of fans dress up as the mascot the next time Booker and the Suns are in town.
But some came to the defence of Booker.
“Whatever, have fans like everyone else,” wrote another fan. “It’s either empty or pack it with fans and mascots. Can’t have one guy there paid by the organization distracting players.”