Jay-Z, who joined Bruce Ratner in the original group of investors who bought the Nets a decade ago and became their iconic presence, is exchanging his role as owner for NBA agent.
Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Jay-Z is selling his tiny interest (0.067 percent or 1/15th of one percent as first reported by the Times) in the Nets so he can rep NBA players.
"Entertainment mogul and rapper Jay-Z has started the process of divesting his small share of ownership with the Brooklyn Nets to extend his Roc Nation Sports representation business into basketball, sources told Yahoo! Sports," Woj reports. Jay-Z, a Brooklyn native, became the symbol of the Nets, along with Mikhail Prokhorov, as the team moved into its new digs in the borough, introducing the team's jersey at his concert opening Barclays Center on September 28.
Jay-Z, aka Shawn Carter, must relinquish his interest in the Nets if he wants to represent NBA players as an agent. He announced the opening of Roc Nation Sports last week with the signing of Yankee Robinson Cano. He may soon sign Victor Cruz of the Giants, the Daily News reports. ESPN reported last week that he wanted to eventually rep NBA and NFL players as well as MLB. With free agency starting July 1, and the draft before that, it would seem Jay-Z would want to sell his stake soon.
Woj added, "CAA [the agency partnering with Jay-Z] and Jay-Z are taking time to carefully formalize the arrangement on the basketball end, sources told Y! Sports, and are sensitive to making sure he exits the Nets partnership in a way that is respectful to the organization."
League sources tell NetsDaily that he was informed he must sell out of the Nets even if he announces his intention to represent NBA players. The move didn't surprise Nets officials.
How much would his stake be worth? At the Forbes projected value of $530 million, Jay-Z's stake would be worth about $355,000, which according to some reports is a third of what he paid for it back in 2003. It is unclear if he will have to sell his similarly sized stake in Barclays Center, on whose board he sits. The team and arena entities are closely intertwined.
The rapper turned mogul played a key role in the design of the team's logo, its uniform, even interior spaces at Barclays Center. The arena architect called him "terrific to work with." His ad agency received the commission for marketing the team's transition. He was also demanding, which rubbed some the wrong way.
“I would say he had an enormous amount to do with the rebranding and the team,” P.J. Carlesimo said. “I was not close to him it all, but of what I heard and read and saw, he was a huge—it’d be hard to overstate how important he was to the rebranding, so that would be disappointing.
["He] is an excellent fan, obviously friendly with the players, obviously somebody who has been around a lot and not just this year, but in the past, also.”
Team officials were either unavailable or declined comment.
- Jay-Z looking to divest ownership share of Nets and become NBA agent - Adrian Wojnarowski - Yahoo! Sports
- P.J. Carlesimo: It’s “Disappointing” that Jay Z Is Divesting #Nets Ownership - Moke Hamilton - SNY Nets
- Jay-Z to sell his shares of Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
Jay-Z starts to cast Nets - Rich Calder - New York Post
Jay-Z reportedly seeking to divest ownership share of Nets - Star-Ledger
Jay-Z sells Nets shares to focus on player agent opportunities - Stacey Carey - Examiner