As “Global Ambassador” of the Toronto Raptors, Drake is responsible for helping re-brand the franchise to be a more appealing destination for free agents. Already, the Toronto native has designed a new logo and jerseys, and also frequents the Raptors’ home court, where he lint rolls his pants in between DeMar DeRozan three-point baskets. However, Drake recently drew the ire of the NBA after giving Kevin Durant a shout out during his hometown OVO Fest.
“Before we leave, I just want to show one of my brothers something,” Drake reportedly told 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.”
Unfortunately, such a nod goes against the NBA’s anti-tampering rules, which state that a player can’t be explicitly pursued by another team while he’s still under contract (Durant is a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and is going to sign with the Washington Wizards in 2016, anyways).
According to Cathal Kelly of The Globe and Mail (via Pitchfork), the league has since asked the Raptors to drop Drake as their global ambassador, arguing the allure of playing with a team affiliated with a superstar rapper could give the franchise an advantage over others. When the Raptors said no, the league fined them $25,000 for Drake’s “tampering.”
Coincidentally, as Kelly points out, the league didn’t seemed too bothered during Jay Z’s tenure with the Brooklyn Nets. Maybe they’re just not in the same camp as David Turner.