Report: Raptors fined $25K for Drake's Kevin Durant comments at concert
"My brother Kevin Durant was kind enough to come to the show tonight and watch us," Drake announced to a raucous Toronto crowd at his OVO Fest concert last Monday. "I just wanted to see what would happen if he came to play in Toronto. Let him know what would happen," he added, eliciting another roar and chants of 'K-D!' from the crowd.
An entertainer trying to pitch his hometown to a superstar athlete isn't exactly out of the ordinary and certainly isn't malicious, but given that Drake serves as a global ambassador for the Raptors, many wondered whether his comments could be punishable under the NBA's tampering rules.
We now have an answer.
Citing "sources with knowledge of the league's ruling," Stein writes that the league regarded the comments a "public recruiting pitch."
Durant will be an unrestricted free agent in 2016 and will obviously have a long list of suitors lining up for his services; with plenty of reports, rumors and innuendo regarding his preferred destination sure to hold us over for the next two years.
Drake was named the Raptors' global ambassador before the start of last season. He was a courtside fixture during the Raptors' seven-game playoff series against the Nets and even during the regular season, with the team holding a Drake Night at Air Canada Centre during a January game against Brooklyn.
Given his stature in sports and entertainment circles – he hosted this year's ESPY awards – Drake will obviously continue to have contact with plenty of NBA stars. He'll just have to be more careful about what he says and where he says things about non-Raptors players.