Jay-Z’s 99 problems won’t include the Nets for much longer.
The rap mogul and NBA franchise figurehead plans to sell his small share of the Nets, as reported by Yahoo! Sports, because Shawn Carter wants to elevate his new career as a sports agent.
New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports.
Jay-Z, who recently acquired Robinson Cano as a client in partnership with Creative Artists Agency, has begun the process of obtaining his National Basketball Players Association certification as an agent, reports Yahoo!, which would require him to relinquish ownership of the Nets.
Jay-Z reportedly owns just one-fifteenth of 1% of the Nets, but became the central figure in marketing the franchise’s move from New Jersey to Brooklyn. The 43-year-old has been a mainstay in the Barclays Center this season, and was the first to model the team’s new uniform during a concert in September.
Jay-Z and the Nets tried unsuccessfully to lure the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony to their squad.
Jay-Z also was credited with designing the team’s uniforms and choosing its colors. More important to Brooklyn’s on-court matters, he was among a small contingent at meetings trying (and failing) to lure LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to the Nets. He and Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov were pictured in a giant billboard above Madison Square Garden in 2010, calling the partnership “The Blueprint for Greatness.” But last week Beyonce’s husband snatched Cano from baseball superagent Scott Boras, prompting immediate speculation that he would soon sell out of the Nets.
CAA, which has partnered with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, already is a leading agency for representing NBA players, highlighted by clients Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Tony Parker.
Jay-Z will also sell his stake in the Barclays Center.
“I would say (Jay-Z) had an enormous amount to do with the re-branding of the team,” Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said before Tuesday’s game against the 76ers. “I was not close to it at all, but from what I heard and what I read and saw, he was huge — it would be hard to overstate how important he was to the rebranding.
“So it would be disappointing (if he left the Nets). I would be disappointed. I like his involvement with our team.”
New York Giants’ Victor Cruz may sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports.
Forbes estimated the Nets are worth $530 million, meaning Jay-Z’s tiny share has a value of just over $350,000. He reportedly paid $1 million for his shares in 2003, although that monetary number has been disputed.
Jay Z’s partnership with a sports agency will not force him to sell his small share of the $1 billion Barclays Center.