Raptors GM Masai Ujiri had some not-so-kind words for the Brooklyn Nets during last year’s playoffs. And apparently, he doesn’t regret them.
The Toronto Raptors general manager made headlines during last season’s first-round playoff series against the Nets by screaming, "F— Brooklyn!" at a Raptors fan rally. Ujiri incurred a fine after the incident and did issue an apology, but he doesn’t seem too sorry for those comments now. From ESPN:
“Trust me, I ain’t taking that back,” Ujiri said Monday night at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s Canadian Basketball Speakers forum. “I hope we play them again. I’ll say it again.”
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Ujiri’s comment prompted laughter from the audience, according to the Toronto Sun. He chuckled, too, the newspaper reported.
During halftime of that April 19 game, Ujiri apologized for his choice of language, although he added, “You know how I feel. … I don’t like ’em.”
Clearly, Ujiri isn’t the biggest fan of the Nets … for whatever reason. But this isn’t the first time he’s picked a fight with a New York team.
The former Denver Nuggets GM once absconded with loads of talent from the Knicks for Carmelo Anthony. Then after arriving in Toronto, Ujiri dialed up the orange and blue again to finagle multiple draft picks for what was left of Andrea Bargnani. Knicks fans haven’t forgiven him. Now, it appears Ujiri is just trying to jeer all 25 million who call the Tri-State area home.
Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more unlikely Ujiri will get his wish to see Brooklyn in the postseason. The 25-36 Nets may only be 2.5 games back of the No. 8 seed in the East, but they’ve lost three straight and sit 11th overall in the conference. It doesn’t appear there’s any way they could finish higher than seventh.
Toronto, meanwhile, has relinquished its top-two seeding — which it’s held almost all season — to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Having lost eight of their past nine, the Raptors seem unlikely to regain that standing.
So, Ujiri isn’t going to get what he wants, but at least we can watch some fun trash talk from a GM. When do we ever get to see that?