While the Suns did grab a 99-95 road win over the Raptors on Tuesday, there was one Raptor in particular that Devin Booker objected to, and he’s not on the list.
In accordance with provincial safety guidelines in Ontario, ticketed fans are not allowed to attend Raptors home games. Instead, attendance is limited to 1,000 people, which is largely made up of staff, friends, family, and the Raptors’ mascot, aptly named “The Raptor.”
NBA League Pass: Sign Up to Unlock Live Games Off-Market (7-Day Free Trial)
With the Suns leading a point late in the final seconds of the game, Booker stepped to the line in hopes of ending the game.
The Raptor lives for free on the heads of its opponents. 😂 pic.twitter.com/7GOgV5qBJ0
—TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 12, 2023
With no fans in the arena, the Raptors mascot tried to distract Devin Booker on the line.
The book was not having it 😂 pic.twitter.com/ikfDfajZaY
– Bally Arizona Sports (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) January 12, 2023
After scoring his first free throw, Visibly frustrated Booker pointed to the section behind the basket and tells a referee that someone jumped when he fired the ball. Suns forward Jae Crowder also pointed in the same direction, drawing attention to what had just happened.
While the Suns announcers (who did not attend) incorrectly assumed he was a ball boy, it turns out that Booker was pointing at the Raptors mascot, who, as the only “fan” in the arena, attempted to distract 87.1. percent free throw shooter with game in play.
In response to Booker and Crowder’s complaints, the Raptor was banished to the corner of the floor, out of Booker’s field of vision.
Booker would score the second free throw to put the Suns up by three points with 6.5 seconds remaining. He explained his actions after the game and said, “I was just trying to get him out of the way. It worked.”
“I was just trying to get him out of the way. It worked. I’d rather be shooting at them without him down there. We play shooting games all the time every day. These two do the same thing and then I complain. That’s just me.” Devin Booker in trouble with Raptor saluting behind the basket at FT #Suns pic.twitter.com/WJ7ZfnZj83
—Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) January 12, 2023
Is there a dispute brewing? With the Suns getting the win, Booker indicated that the gap between him and the Raptor is water under the bridge and told reporters “now we are calm.”
Devin Booker says that he and @the_raptor have discussed it. “We’re getting cold now.”
– (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) January 12, 2023
It is good that it is resolved.