It would be an understatement to say the city of Toronto is hyped to have the Raptors in the postseason. The Air Canada Centre and outdoor Maple Leafs Square were loud and crazy for the franchise's first playoff games since 2008.
That rowdy atmosphere seems to have inspired Raptors consultant and proud Toronto native Jamaal Magloire.
The incident began with Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri, who had some...colorful things to say about Brooklyn during a pep rally before Game 1, per Sports Illustrated.
Brooklyn Nets big man Kevin Garnett's responded that Ujiri might need to be careful coming into the Barclays Center for Game 3, per The Globe and Mail's Cathal Kelly: “I don’t know if you can say ‘Eff Brooklyn’ and come into Brooklyn, so we’ll see what it’s like.”
When asked to respond to Garnett's remarks, most Raptors, like Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez, chose to take the high road. But Magloire continued to fan the flames, per Kelly: "Hell, nah. He’s a talker who can’t back it up...And you can print that.”
Not surprisingly, reporters did indeed print that.
Magloire may be a bystander at this point, but he is quite familiar with the veteran Garnett from his 12-year playing career. Magloire played against Garnett 22 times from 2000 to 2012, compiling a less-than-impressive 6-16 record. The Big Ticket averaged 20.7 points and 11.1 rebounds in those 22 games against Magloire, per Basketball-Reference.
The Raptors hired Magloire—the second Canadian-born player in NBA history to make an All-Star team—as a basketball development consultant and community ambassador after his retirement in 2012, per Inside Hoops.
But Kelly has seen the former NBA big man assume a different role during Raptors games: "The former All-Star sits behind the bench during games. Based on observation, his primary job is berating the opposition."
Will this war of words increase tension for Game 3, which will take place on Friday night? Probably not.
The actual Raptors players do not seem interested in engaging the Nets in this off-court give and take—each verbal barb has come from a member of the Toronto front office.
Garnett will turn 38 in May, so perhaps he is better suited to trash talking someone like Magloire—who, despite being retired, is three years younger than him—than relative babes like Lowry and Vasquez.
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