Drake recently made an onstage appeal for Kevin Durant to join the Toronto Raptors, the franchise for which the Canadian superstar serves as team ambassador. That’s not up for debate, and nor is that the NBA levied a $25,000 tampering fine against Toronto as a result of Drake’s very public plea. After news surfaced that the league offered to rescind the charge if the Raptors fired Drake, though, it has since come out in strong opposition of those incendiary reports.
In a message to Canada’s National Post, an NBA representative refuted claims that the league enticed Toronto to relieve Drake of his duties.
“As the Raptors’ global ambassador, Drake must follow our anti-tampering rules,” Tim Frank, the league’s senior vice-president of basketball communications, said in an email to The Canadian Press on Wednesday.
“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.”
It always seemed dubious that the NBA offered to dismiss the fine under the qualification that the Raptors end their official relationship with a team employee. That would be a drastic, unprecedented step for the league office, and one very premature based on the scope of Drake’s malfeasance.
No matter how annoyed the majority of fans seem to be with Drake’s Toronto affiliation, the truth is that his employment with the Raptors is a boon for the NBA. The league as a whole stands to benefit from increased popularity and notoriety of its only international team, and Drake’s influence clearly helps in both respects. Unless his errs not only continue but do so at an accelerating extent, it’s highly unlikely league officials will suggest his termination.
So keep your lint-rollers, Raptors and Drizzy detractors. They’ll come in handy at least another season longer, and likely more than that.
Do you believe the NBA?
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