What is the exact price, in U.S. dollars, of publicly expressing disdain for a borough of New York City as an NBA general manager? Now we know. Masai Ujiri, GM of the Toronto Raptors, has been fined $25,000 by the league for saying “fuck Brooklyn” during a fan event in Maple Leaf Square, prior to game one of the Raptors’ playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets. The fine came despite Ujiri’s grudging halftime apology: “You know how I feel. I don’t like them. I apologize.” While unsportsmanlike, the incident has fired up the local fan base, and is being interpreted by some suspicious commentators as a deliberate attempt to build a more badass brand for a team still struggling to make the best of its embarrassing, aubergine-coloured past.
Game two against the Nets will take place on April 22, at the Air Canada Centre, at 7:30 p.m. It’s a best-of-seven series, so latecomers still have at least a week to jump on the bandwagon.