The Nets’ move to Brooklyn was in large part was due to the campaigning on behalf of hip-hop mogul Jay-Z – whose real name is Shawn Carter – a native of the borough. When the then Net, Jason Kidd, approached Jay-Z about taking ownership of the team, he was hesitant.
The team was struggling, moving further from their once-glory days in the Eastern Conference and was in need of a revival.
Their home court had become a backup arena to Madison Square Garden for Knicks fans to watch their team play a mere nine miles away, but for a lot cheaper.
However, when Bruce Ratner, minority owner of the Nets, approached Jay-Z about relocating the team to Brooklyn, he promised his hometown the idea would come to fruition.
After only one season, it appears Jay-Z is more than willing to give up the less than one percent of the share he owns in the Nets in order to establish his new sports agency, RocNation Sports, who earlier announced the signing of New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Canó.
Speculation ran rampant after news broke of the agency’s gateway into the baseball world as to whether Jay-Z would extend it to the NBA as well.
Selling his share in the Nets’ organization is essential to becoming a certified agent, as NBA rules dictate that no individual affiliated with a player representation enterprise is allowed to have ownership with an NBA team.
Jay-Z was in the spotlight for criticism over his alleged share in the team. While it was arguably quite low, the multi-millionaire rapper addressed his ownership at his string of eight concerts at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“That’s their way of diminishing our accomplishments,” he said at his concert. “Don’t let anyone diminish your accomplishments.”
He would then encourage the crowd to throw up middle fingers as his hit song “99 Problems” began playing.
The move appears to be happening this early, or rather late in the NBA season in preparation for the upcoming NBA Draft scheduled to take place on June 27 of this year.
Many argue that the enticement of a celebrity will give other established agencies a peculiar disadvantage and will seemingly be more appealing to upcoming professional athletes. Although Jay-Z won’t be actively engaged in the contractual side of the business, he certainly will have his hand in the marketing and entertainment side.
For the players, it has to be alluring. There have been very few known business ventures that Jay-Z has initiated that have failed to be lucrative. From his own clothing label Rocawear, to his line of upscale sports bars, Jay-Z has always maintained a profitable mindset.
As younger players venture into the NBA, it would be hard not to consider Jay-Z’s sports agency as a viable option. While NBA contracts seem ludicrous, the real money is off the court. If there is one thing Jay-Z does best, it’s making money.