Rapper Drake looks on during an announcement that the Toronto Raptors will host the NBA All-Star game in 2016. Imagine all the stars he can tamper with then! (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Why does the NBA care so much about Drake?

Clearly, the Canadian rapper/Kentucky fan/Toronto Raptors “global ambassador” has gotten under the league’s skin a bit because it fined the Raptors$25,000 for tampering over relatively innocent comments Drake made during a concert about coveting Kevin Durant’s talents for the team.

Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Globe and Mail dissected the whole odd situation and noted that at one point, “the NBA offered to drop the tampering fine if the team agreed to strip Drake of his title. The Raptors apparently refused.”

Obviously, Drake’s presence is worth more than $25,000, but why would the NBA draw the line here, especially since everyone is going to “tamper” with Durant over the next couple of years? All Drake, who the team says it does not pay, said in a concert attended by Durant was:

“Before we leave, I just want to show one of my brothers something. You know, 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 NBA’s message, according to Kelly, is clear:

The crowd cheered. Durant was delighted. Drake burnished his local-hero status. For the sake of all concerned, it would best have been left there. Instead, the NBA completely freaked out.

Through Drake, the Raptors had forgotten their place in the grand order.

They are a small, insignificant team. They don’t start fights. They don’t poach.

Jay Z was allowed to flirt with all sorts when he was part owner of the Brooklyn Nets, but he’s from New York. The big American markets work to different rules than everyone else.

H/T Deadspin