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Sources: Jay Z selling half his shares to J Kidd


In a summer of surprises, here's yet another.

Two Nets sources tell NetsDaily that Jay Z is selling half his shares in the team to Jason Kidd, the team's new head coach. The cost: $500,000.  The other half of Jay Z's stake has been purchased by a minority owner in the team, the two said. Kidd's stake includes part of Barclays Center, said one of the sources. The deal still must pass NBA hurdles, as does any ownership transfer, but no one expects any problem.

The New York Post first reported the news on Page Six, saying Kidd was purchasing all of Jay Z's stake. However, one source, who has knowledge of the transaction, told NetsDaily Kidd is buying half the entertainer's shares.

According to this source, Jay Z controlled 0.1608 percent of the Nets, or roughly 1/6 of 1 percent through Nets Sports and Entertainment (not 1/15th of one percent, as reported by the Times last year and the Post Wednesday.)  NSE is the ownership group headed by Bruce Ratner that sold 80 percent of the team to Mikhail Prokhorov in 2010. Jay Z, whose name is Shawn Carter, suggested during his opening night concert at Barclays Center that the real number was higher than what the Times' David Halbfinger had reported. He has never revealed the specific number.

The source said that Jay Z had originally planned to sell half his shares to another suitor, but that Kidd asked he sell the stake to him. The transaction would close the circle for Jay Z and J-Kidd. It was Kidd who reportedly was the first to  suggest that Jay Z buy into the Nets 10 years ago.  That conversation took place at Kidd's 30th birthday party, held at Jay Z's 40/40 Club in Manhattan, according to reports. Not long after, Jay Z met with Bruce Ratner.

As for a potential conflict, both sources said there is none, that coaches can own part of a team. Players cannot. Indeed, the Heat were able to lure Pat Riley to Miami with an offer of an ownership stake, something the Knicks wouldn't match.

Jay Z had to sell in order to represent professional athletes as a certified agent with Roc Nation Sports. He already reps Kevin Durant, Robinson Cano and Victor Cruz. Players unions, including the MLB and NBA players associations, saw a conflict of interest in Jay Z owning shares in a pro team while serving as an agent. The Nets source said Jay Z might have been able to get more than the $1 million but wanted to complete the transaction quickly so he could rep professional athletes. Still, the transaction values the Nets at nearly $600 million. However, the small scale of Jay Z's investment and the special circumstances of the sale don't provide a realistic assessment, said a league source.  The Nets are believed to be worth considerably more, with Mikhail Prokhorov hinting his stake is now worth "fivefold" what he paid for it, or $1 billion.

A source told Page Six, "Other owners want to give Jason a part ownership of the team, and urged Jay to sell his shares to him."