Speed Reads

Raptor Rapper

The Toronto Raptors' refusal to ditch Drake cost them $25,000

Rapper, bandwagon-hopper, and Toronto Raptors "global ambassador" Drake cost his hometown team $25,000 for courting Thunder star Kevin Durant with an impromptu sales pitch. That much we knew after the league announced the fine earlier this week. But late Tuesday, The Globe and Mail added another wrinkle to the story: The NBA gave the Raptors a chance to dump Drake and avert the fine; they refused.

The brouhaha stems from a Drake concert earlier this month in Toronto, attended by Durant, where the Canadian rapper urged the league MVP to take his talents north. The remark was close enough to a sales pitch for the NBA to fine the Raptors for tampering, since Durant is under contract for another couple of years.

As global ambassador, Drake is tasked with bringing "new buzz" to the Raptors, the team said in announcing his appointment last fall. After making headlines for the mid-show recruitment drive and for his noted lint-rolling skills, it seems Drake is swiftly accomplishing that goal.