Beef in sports is nothing new, teams have rivalries with other teams, players they have personal vendettas against other players and on occasion there are even tiffs between players and fans. Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker found himself in a quarrel with a less obvious person — or plastic reptile — on the court, the opposing mascot.
The incident took place during Tuesday’s game between the Toronto Raptors and Suns, when with 6.5 seconds left in the game, Booker was fouled and went up to the free-throw line. Scotiabank Arena does not have any fans in attendance, but that does not mean Booker was without distractions as he headed to the line.
The routine shot ended with a little drama this time, when Booker, clearly angry, asked the officials to move “The Raptor,” Toronto’s mascot. The bright red dinosaur was moved from behind the basket, where he usually stands, to the corner.
Here is a closer look at what distracted Booker:
Moving the mascot seemed to help Booker concentrate on the task at hand and he hit both free throws to help seal the win for Phoenix.
If you are worried there will be a long-standing rivalry between Booker and the Jurassic creature, fear not, the two settled their differences and now appear to be friends.
After the game, Booker cleared the air on the situation, saying, “We hashed it out. We homies now. We’re cool now, though.”
Booker is embracing it all and on Wednesday went so far as to change his profile picture to the mascot in the corner of the court.
The Suns defeated the Raptors 99-95. The next time these two teams meet is March 11, with Phoenix hosting.