Drake might know every in and out of the music industry, but he still has some lessons to learn about “working” for an NBA team. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Toronto Raptors were fined $25,000 due to comments Drake – the franchise’s global ambassador – made onstage about Kevin Durant during a recent concert.
Hearing Raptors fined $25,000 for comments Drake made at a concert about Kevin Durant that were seen as violation of anti-tampering rules
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 11, 2014
“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.”
The league’s official anti-tampering legislation is below.
Article 35A of the NBA Constitution states that it’s a violation of the league’s anti-tampering rule for any person affiliated with an NBA team to directly or indirectly (i) entice, induce, or persuade, or attempt to entice, induce or persuade, any player, coach, GM or other person under contract to any other NBA team to enter into negotiations for or relating to that person’s services or to negotiate or contract for such services, or (ii) otherwise interfere with the employment relationship between that employee and the other NBA team.
A team employee asking thousands of rabid fans to show the support Durant would receive if the reigning MVP came to that franchise certainly seems like tampering to us. It’s safe to assume that Drake has made multiple overtures to KD about Toronto since assuming his role with the Raptors in November, but they were surely made in private, casual conversation. This one, obviously, was conducted under far different circumstances.
This is a slap on the wrist for Drake and Toronto whether the famed artist personally pays the fine or not. The cache the Raptors glean from his loose yet official affiliation with the organization is easily worth missteps of this nature, and Drake will undoubtedly be more careful going forward.
But who knows? If Durant is intent on leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder when he becomes a free agent two years from now, maybe Drake’s effort and the overwhelming response of the Toronto crowd could work in the Raptors’ favor. Along with many other notable teams including Durant’s hometown Washington Wizards, they’ll likely have the cap space to sign him outright.
Any potential advantage in the looming sweepstakes to sign KD is worth getting, even if it’s accompanied by a fine from the league. 25 grand is something like pocket-change to Drizzy anyway, and he and the Raptors stand to make much more than that should KD surprise everyone and sign in Toronto.
Was Drake’s pitch worth it?
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