NBA Denies Asking Raptors to Remove Drake

League says it never told Toronto to strip Drizzy of Global Brand Ambassador title.

Posted: 08/14/2014 09:19 AM EDT

The NBA doesn't hate Drake.

Late Tuesday, Toronto’s Globe and Mail posted a story alleging that the NBA notified the Toronto Raptors that they’d drop the $25,000 tampering fine against them if they stripped Drake of his global brand ambassador title with the team.

On Wednesday, the NBA responded, denying that they ever asked the Raptors to do such a thing with the Young Money MC, but warned that Drizzy must play by the same rules as anybody else affiliated with an NBA team.

"As the Raptors’ global ambassador, Drake must follow our anti-tampering rules,” Tim Frank, the league’s senior vice-president of basketball communications, wrote in an email to the Canadian Press on Wednesday. “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.”

This all stems from comments Drake made about Kevin Durant at the fifth annual OVO Fest concert last weekend in Toronto. At one point during the show, Drizzy stopped to recognize KD and the crowd roared in approval. Durant, the league’s current MVP and Oklahoma City Thunder’s superstar forward, is set to become a free agent in the summer of 2016.

“You know, my brother Kevin Durant was kind enough to come to the show tonight and watch us,” Drake said during the concert. “I just want him to see what would happen if he came to play in Toronto. Let him know what would happen.”

Drake publicly recognizing Durant coupled with his connection to the Raptors triggered the league into fining Toronto $25,000 on tampering charges Monday. The NBA insists, however, that it didn’t ask the franchise to remove Drake from his position with the team. 

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(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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