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Drake recruiting Kevin Durant to the Raptors (video)

Aug 6, 2014, 12:33 AM EDT

2013 NBA All-Star Game 2013 NBA All-Star Game

When’s he’s not pursuing his high-paying career as a shoe pitchman, Kevin Durant moonlights as a basketball player.

The Thunder superstar will become a free agent in 2016, and his hometown Wizards are the popular suitor.

Behind Oklahoma City and Washington, the Raptors are also in the race. They project to have max cap room, are an up-and-coming team and have Durant’s high school teammate and friend, Greivis Vasquez. They also have ties with Drake, another apparent friend of Durant.

At OVO Fest in Toronto, Drake tried to recruit Durant to the Raptors (hat tip: Erik Horne of The Oklahoman) (warning: the video contains an expletive just before it ends):

At face value, this is a harmless pitch by a Toronto native. Drake, when wasn’t trying to get on the Heat’s bandwagon, attends Raptors games as a lint-roller fan.

But Drake also holds an official position within the organization. The Raptors’ media guide lists Drake as “Global Brand Ambassador” and provides this description:

The Toronto native and Raptors season seat holder will assist the team with a number of marketing and basketball initiatives in an effort to raise the team’s profile.

That is precisely what he’s doing in the video – marketing and trying to raise the team’s profile. Paid or not, Drake is doing his job.

He’s also tampering, at least by the letter of the law.

An employee of an NBA team can’t permissibly “induce, persuade, or attempt to entice, induce or persuade, any Player who is under contract to, or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by, any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiate or contract for such services.”

And to whom does that restriction apply? “To Members and Owners; to Officers, Managers, Coaches, and other employees, agents or representatives of a Member or Owner.”

At minimum, Drake seems like a representative of the Raptors, though doesn’t mean he or the team will face any penalties.

The NBA effectively lets players do whatever they want, but Phil Jackson gets fined for a couple benign comments about Derek Fisher before his playing contract with the Thunder ended.

Tampering rules are hypocritical and arbitrarily enforced, so there’s little telling how the league office will respond, though I suspect they’ll turn a blind eye. The Thunder, if they choose, could press the issue by filing a complaint, but that also seems unlikely.

Most likely, this goes nowhere – the tampering allegations and Durant to Toronto.

  1. canucks30 - Aug 6, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    Drake sucks

  2. vikesdynasty - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:14 AM

    +1

  3. yesser12 - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Don’t see the Raptors having a realistic shot. Sure he liked them growing up but that isn’t enough.

    • leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      They’ll also be quite competitive, very young, and most importantly, are pretty well positioned everywhere but small forward. I personally don’t see him leaving the Thunder, but if he does Toronto should actually be a player for once solely because Durant isn’t like all the other stars who are big market obsessed. IF he leaves, it’ll be because OKC couldn’t get him a title and he’ll be wanting to find a team that can contend for a title. The Raptors aren’t there yet, but add another 2 years of experience and bring Durant on board and there’s no question they’d be right up there with anyone.

      • ez0682 - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        An then you woke up man. He’s coming to d.c. u moron. Please tell me a good reason why Toronto huh waitingggggggggggg. Ur right cus there isn’t one

  4. phillysports1 - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    Drake sucks ? You must live in Jupiter…

  5. mungman69 - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:07 AM

    Drake sucks, you heard it here second.

  6. jgray30 - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:07 AM

    Drake G.A.F!

  7. mgavin78 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    Drake is a jock w hore.

  8. bucrightoff - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    The Knicks need to bust out the Wu Tang Clan to recruit guys. If a crappy rapper like Drake can pitch people, what could legends like the Wu do?

  9. ranoversquarells - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Boooo Israel

  10. jolink653 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Please tell me that we’re not in for two years of speculation as to where Kevin Durant will sign.

    Next it’ll be “Kevin Durant spotted eating a cheesesteak; Is he Philadelphia-bound?!”

  11. titansbro - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Rap pretty much all sucks these days. Music was so much better on the 90’s.

  12. bball242322 - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Drake is the man

  13. ez0682 - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    Drake an Toronto suck why would anyone even wanna visit or take a vacation there less play basketball hahaha

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