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NBA said it would drop fine against Toronto if it dropped Drake. Raptors refused.

Aug 13, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT

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

The NBA fined the Toronto Raptors $25,000 because rapper Drake — the official “Global Brand Ambassador” of the Raptors even though he draws no salary from the team — said at a concert in Toronto that Kevin Durant attended that if KD came and played for the Raptors this is what it would sound like (and on cue the crowd went nuts).

By the letter of the law that’s tampering. By the spirit of the law far worse things happen as teams try to recruit players (the Wizards hire Durant’s old high school coach, for one example). However the NBA league office is filled with lawyers from the top seat on down and they are big on the letter of the law, so the Raptors got fined about the cost of on Drake gold chain.

However, the league gave the Raptors an out — drop Drake. That according to the Toronto Globe and Mail.

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.

Good for the Raptors, this was a slap on the wrist and anyone making more of it is overanalyzing the mole hill. Obviously part of why Drake is associated with the Raptors is to recruit players, just not so obviously. The league is a stickler on the tampering stuff to the point of being ridiculous, but everyone around the league knows it. Nobody takes the Drake fine seriously.

The tone of the rest of the article has a very cheesy #hotsportstake quality to it that comes off as “The NBA league office hates Drake, they keep picking on his poor Raptors, nobody wants us to succeed, woe is us, but we will stand up for what we believe.” Whatever. If that sells papers good for you, but the NBA had Jay-Z as an owner and loves Drake promoting the game. The league doesn’t hate you, heck you got an All-Star Game coming. If your GM gets fined for saying “f**** Brooklyn” at a playoff rally that’s not the league coming down on you, it’s because that was a poor decision by your GM. In fact this same writer would have flipped if Billy King said that about those poor, picked-on Raptors.

Move on Toronto. You have a genuinely good team that could well win about 50 games and finish top four again in the East. A team that could win a playoff round. A team with good young players that is entertaining to watch. Savor this, you’re in a good position. A lot of franchises would love to trade positions with you.

  1. bucrightoff - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Isn’t it hard for Drake to recruit players to the Raptors when he cheers for whatever team LeBron is on?

    • arrondior - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      Drake is the ultimate band wagoner. He will go to ANY sporting event and he will wear the gear of the better team playing that night every single time. Wiz plays Philly, he’s in Wizards gear. Next day Nets play Boston, Nets gear. And so on. He probably has an outfit for every Pro-Sport team on the planet. I’m not even kidding about that.

      • Hard On For Harden - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        The worst was his “Houston Appreciation Weekend” when he went to an Astros game decked out in gear and grabbed the mic like 6 times. He almost signed with Rap A Lot Records in 2009 or something, and we should all stop to gasp in amazement, grovel, and issue a city proclamation for such an “influential character”.

  2. maxdawg3 - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    The money he brings to the Raptors outweighs the $25,000 fine tenfold

  3. thenew013 - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Of course the NBA doesn’t want rappers affiliated with their brand. This is discrimination if you ask me. Why do people have so much hate?

    • Hard On For Harden - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      Oh God, Drake is half white and so non threatening it isn’t even funny (which is partially why he has such mainstream appeal unfortunately). Give that crap a rest.

      • money2long - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:25 AM

        Being half white was part of your argument for being non threatening ?
        Am I the only one who caught that? Apparently so..

    • nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Aug 13, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      More like we do so many people look for hate.

    • sixerstrong - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      Dude, he was a Canadian teen TV star that moved into rapping. Just because they don’t want him around, doesn’t mean they “hate” him. If a team had Miley Cyrus as a team rep, the NBA would probably want her gone too.

  4. mogogo1 - Aug 13, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    A $25,000 fine to an NBA team would be like a mom and pop business being fined a nickel. I’m surprised the NBA even bothered to make that offer since there was zero chance the Raptors would care.

  5. reesesteel23 - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Lol wtf? That’s not a suit waiting to happen?

    Asking someone to fire someone else or you will fine them isn’t illegal?

    • bkbell3 - Aug 13, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      Um, Sterling? Drake doesn’t work for or get paid by toronto it’s unofficial.

  6. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Why are certain writers on this site so obsessed with dismissing conspiracy theories? Almost this entire article is basically saying “there’s NO way the NBA is being biased here.” If it was really such a ridiculous theory, it would dismiss itself. There’s a reason scientists don’t waste their time writing dissertations on why the moon landing did indeed happen.

  7. cluelessdufus - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    So….who cares if he bandwagons. Drake is still from Toronto and always a Raptors fan. I guess its a problem if someone wants to cheer for a friend (Lebron James). Its kinda funny that people judge others without knowing the person whatsoever.

    • money2long - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:27 AM

      Bandwagoners ..WORST BEHAVIOR

  8. greenwhodat26 - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    I guess I hurt the Drake fans’ feelings. The apple doesn’t fall far…

  9. pavelfitzgerald - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    The writer of this article should have said “move on writer” as opposed to “move on Toronto” but do whatever you need to do to get internet clicks.
    (General rule of thumb is to never paint a whole group of people with the same brush)

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