Report: Raptors Refused to Strip Drake of Global Ambassador Title

by August 13, 2014

The NBA reportedly gave the Toronto Raptors two options in the resolution of this silly, mildly hypocritical affaire Drake – remove the “global ambassador” title from the rapper, or pay a $25K tampering fine.

The Raptors evidently chose the latter, since they hope Drake’s ability to help draw big-time talent (such ask Kevin Durant) north of the American border will be worth much more than that piddling sum. Per the Globe and Mail (via Deadspin):

Drake draws no salary. When the Raptors gave out Drake-branded OVO T-shirts at a game in January, they were purchased at cost. Drake didn’t make a nickel of profit from them. […] Everyone involved has been at pains not to cross that line, because they understand how this looks. Without ever saying the words, they also understand that it’s Drake’s job to recruit players.


That’s everyone’s job in the NBA – the owners, managers, coaches, other players, any random fan who runs into Kevin Love at an airport. There is a framework in place that controls how that happens. It isn’t the CBA. It’s having the good sense never to do it in public, or in indictable phrases.


This has risen beyond the level of a spat. It’s an executive knife fight. Raptors officials would not comment on the Drake versus NBA situation. They are plainly loath to make their secret war public. […] They also refused to address a key detail – that the NBA offered to drop the tampering fine if the team agreed to strip Drake of his title. The Raptors apparently refused.