NBA official says the league never told the Raptors to ditch Drake

August 15, 2014

(Danny Moloshok/AP)

The NBA says it never asked the Raptors to fire Drake, the team’s “global ambassador,” despite what Globe and Mail columnist Cathal Kelly reported. The league fined the Raptors $25,000 after Drake incited a “KD!” chant by insinuating the Raptors would love to snag Kevin Durant when he becomes a free agent. The Oklahoma Thunder star was in the audience.

After the incident, Kelly alleged that “the NBA offered to drop the tampering fine if the team agreed to strip Drake of his title.”

But the NBA is refuting the report, saying that the league never said the team could pay its fine by canning Drake.

“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 this week (via TSN). “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.”

Drake may have started at the bottom, but he’s still here, people!

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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Marissa Payne · August 15, 2014