Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri made disparaging remarks towards the Brooklyn Nets during a fan rally outside the Air Canada Centre prior to Saturday's Game 1 of the teams' Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Ujiri concluded his speech by shouting "F--- Brooklyn!," which drew a thunderous ovation from the outdoor crowd and caused the former NBA Executive of the Year to issue an apology afterward.
"It was the wrong choice of words out there," Ujiri said during a media session at halftime of Game 1. "This thing is really not about me, it's about the players and the playoffs. So just trying to get the crowd out there rattled. It was the wrong choice of words."
Though he regretted the remarks, Ujiri still didn't hide his dislike for the Raptors' Atlantic Division rival, whose poor finish down the stretch of the regular-season led to speculation that the Nets were purposely intending to drop down to the Eastern Conference's No. 6 seed in order to face the Raptors in the opening round.
"You know how I feel," he said about the Nets. "I don't like them, but I apologize."