The saga of Drake's illegal recruitment of Kevin Durant took another turn this week, when it was reported that the NBA was willing to drop the $25,000 tampering fine against the Raptors if they fired the rapper from his official role with the organization.
Drake, who is considered an employee after the Raptors named him the team's "global ambassador," made a pitch to the NBA's MVP at his fifth annual OVO Fest in Toronto. That resulted in the tampering punishment.
“You know, my brother Kevin Durant was kind enough to come to the show tonight and watch us,” Drake said. “I just want him to see what would happen if he came to play in Toronto. Let him know what would happen.” The crowd cheered in response.
And now a report in the Globe and Mail indicates that the NBA was pushing a more severe punishment for the 27-year-old Toronto native. Cathal Kelly says the league was willing to drop the fine if the team agreed to cut ties with Drake.
The Raptors decided not to part ways with the rapper and instead forked over $25,000.
Drake has figured prominently into the Raptors marketing during the past year, as he was front and center at all of the team's playoff games. He also provided an assist to guard Terrence Ross during this year's Slam Dunk Contest.
Drake's association with the Raptors is worth much more than $25,000, and the team knows that.
What's unclear going forward is how the NBA will distinguish tampering, especially in the case of Drake. The rapper's plethora of associations with top athletes will prove tricky for the league to sort through.
Drake has been known to travel to lots of sporting events, and he was seen congratulating the Kentucky Wildcats after their Final Four victory over Wisconsin. Jay-Z, a former minority owner of the Nets, earned his team a fine after he visited Kentucky's locker room in 2011.
Drake hosted the ESPYs last month, where he hung out with dozens of athletes and posed for a photo with Durant. He also joked around with free agent guard Lance Stephenson.
It will be interesting to see how commissioner Adam Silver and his colleagues delineate between tampering and mingling. The ball is now in the league's court, so to speak.