NBA Allegedly Asked Raptors to Drop Drake as Global Ambassador
Published Aug 13, 2014As far as "global ambassadors" go, the NBA allegedly doesn't believe Drake is the best the league's ever had. Earlier this week, the organization fined the Toronto Raptors $25,000 over an in-concert comment Drizzy had made that allegedly breached the league's anti-tampering regulations by trying to persuade Kevin Durant to play for the Raps, with the Oklahoma City Thunder player in attendance. Now, it's being reported that the NBA also asked its Toronto franchise to drop Drake from the brand altogether.
Though it hasn't been confirmed by the Raptors, Drake or the NBA, Globe and Mail writer Cathal Kelly alleges that in addition to handing out the fine, "the NBA offered to drop the tampering fine if the team agreed to strip Drake of his title."
As previously reported, the supposed offending incident took place earlier this month at the second night of Toronto's OVO Fest, in which Drake delivered some stage banter rallying fans behind the idea of getting KD to shoot hoops for the 6.
Ahead of the cheers yielded, he expressed: "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."
Whether or not Kelly's comments will be addressed officially remains to be seen, but the Raptors are said to have refused the NBA's demands. The article goes on to note that Jay Z was allowed to be a co-owner of the Brooklyn Nets — at least when he signed off to focus on his Rocnation Sports agency to avoid a conflict of interest — claiming Drake is being singled out.
"The league reacted by cooking up a financial penalty for a musical entertainer guilty of musing in public about a professional athlete coming to play for his local team," Kelly writes. "If that's the new normal, everyone in the hip-hop business had better start putting money in an NBA swear jar."
UPDATE: The NBA has refuted claims it asked the Raptors to drop Drake, with the league's senior vice-president of basketball communications telling the Canadian Press, "As the Raptors' global ambassador, Drake must follow our anti-tampering rules. At no point did we suggest his title be removed but we were clear that as long as he acted as a representative of the team, he is subject to the league's rules."