The Toronto Raptors were fined $25,000 earlier this week for some comments Drake made about Kevin Durant at a recent concert. Drake, who holds the official title of “global ambassador” for the Raptors, apparently violated the NBA’s anti-tampering rules when he said the following to the crowd.
“You know, my brother Kevin Durant was kind enough to come to the show tonight and watch us. I just want him to see what would happen if he came to play in Toronto. Let him know what would happen.”
Rappers telling players to come play for their team is nothing new, but most of them aren’t actual team representatives. Apparently the NBA doesn’t like that Drake is the Raptors’ global ambassador, as evidenced by this piece of information from Cathal Kelly of The Globe and Mail in Toronto.
This has risen beyond the level of a spat. It’s an executive knife fight. Raptors officials would not comment on the Drake versus NBA situation. They are plainly loath to make their secret war public.
They also refused to address a key detail – that the NBA offered to drop the tampering fine if the team agreed to strip Drake of his title. The Raptors apparently refused.
If you’re a Raptors fan or want more insight into the NBA’s anti-tampering rules, you should read Kelly’s entire column. You can understand why some people think it’s absurd that the NBA can fine a team for a musician trying to recruit a player during a concert, but that’s the way it goes. The Raptors signed up for it when they made Drake a “part” of their team.
Kevin Durant to the Raptors? Come on, now.