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Drake didn’t cause 5-second violation says Justin Holiday

WASHINGTON – Memo to Drake: You did not cause the Justin Holiday five-second call in Monday night’s Bulls win over Toronto.

At least that’s Holiday’s story, and on Wednesday he was sticking to it.

“No,’’ Holiday said, when asked if he even heard Drake in his ear on the sideline. “That play? I did not hear him. I wasn’t paying attention to him. I was listening to the ref. The ref was talking to me at the time. And I had to focus on getting the ball in the play. I wasn’t worried about what Drake was talking about.’’

With 25.8 seconds left in the game at the Air Canada Centre, the Canadian rapper, who is a team ambassador and often sits courtside, was in Holiday’s ear on a key inbounds play. Holiday was called for a five-second violation after he failed to find a teammate in time, but the comeback for the Raptors still fell short.

That didn’t stop the story from blowing up nationally, and Drake getting credit for forcing the turnover.

“I mean it is what it is,’’ Holiday said, when asked if Drake was getting way too much credit for the play. “It’s not that big of a deal. He’s a big fan. He’s a big fan of Toronto. He does a lot for them, as far as supporting them. So, he’s a good fan. At the same time, though, how much credit he’s given for that play, I mean it was cute for a second but obviously he had nothing to do with the play and what happened with it.

“He wasn’t bothering me. There were thousands of fans in the building yelling at me the same time. It’s not like I’m going to hear just one guy yelling something. I couldn’t hear him that play. Really that play I wasn’t worried about him. I came and took it out again, and he said something to me before he got the ball. But that play? No. You could see it on my face. Because if I heard him I would have made a face like … ‘’

Holiday is admittedly a fan of Drake’s music, and has been swamped by text messages and video of the incident. He even had a favorite. It’s the inbounds play, but Holiday’s face has been photo-shopped with the rapper Meek Mill, who Drake had a very public battle with.

“That was hilarious,’’ Holiday said. “The one with Meek Mill’s face? That mess was funny.’’

Still no Pau

According to Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, Pau Gasol will likely miss a third consecutive game on Thursday, still dealing with a right knee issue.

“Pau will most likely not play [Thursday] is the latest update we got,’’ Hoiberg said. “He’s feeling better, the swelling has gone down significantly, but he still has a little pain in his knee.’’

Still a fan

Before taking the Bulls job, Hoiberg was the head coach for Iowa State. So it’s pretty obvious who he’s pulling for in the NCAA Tournament.

“Well, my wife and kids are on their way out to Denver right now [for Iowa State’s first-round game], so I’m excited for the opportunity for those guys,’’ Hoiberg said. “Obviously I have very close relationships with those players, and hope they can go on a great run. If they do, if they get past these two first games, they’ll be in Chicago for the Sweet 16 game, so I’m really hoping that happens.’’