The era of Jay-Z as a Nets owner may be over as he prepares to take his sports-agency business well into the NBA, a move that would mandate that the rap mogul relinquish his minority stake in the Brooklyn franchise.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports hip-hop icon Jay-Z, legally named Shawn Carter, plans to sell off his share of the Nets in an effort to represent NBA clients:
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.
The news was expected after Jay-Z launched his Roc Nation Sports enterprise with the signing of Yankees' star second baseman Robinson Cano earlier this month.
At that time, ESPN's Darren Rovell reported the entry into the baseball world would be just the first step for what is hoped to be another successful endeavor for the Jay-Z empire.
The only sticking point for NBA agency certification would be the less-than-one-percent share he owns of the Brooklyn Nets. As Wojnarowski points out, "No one individual affiliated with a player representation company can have an ownership stake with an NBA team."
While the share might be a small piece of the overall franchise, Jay-Z was always seen as the predominant face of ownership, one that encouraged fans and players to gravitate to the team as it opened a new arena in a new state.
In a way, that is how things are shaping up at Roc Nation Sports, as Jay-Z will be far more a name than a hands-on agent. As with Rovell's report, Creative Artists Agency (CAA)—an agency that has handled $1.1 billion worth of negotiations—will be front and center in any new deals.
At least, that is what Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy seems to be hearing from agents.
Jay-Z won't be negotiating deals or anything. As one agent texted me: "This is CAA trying to gain clients who align themselves with Jay."— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 9, 2013
The hope is this process works out before the NBA draft in June—not that Jay-Z and his burgeoning sports-agency will rush things:
Those within Roc Nation and the CAA alliance aren't 'chasing a clock on this,' one source said. 'This isn't about one draft, but taking the long view of the business.'
Rival agents are anxious over the possibilities of Jay-Z on the recruiting trail, believing the lure of his iconic business and cultural standing will have a major impact on attracting top prospects and current league stars.
Wojnarowski goes on to say Jay-Z's certification is more of an eventuality, despite some minor roadblocks to maneuver around. In all likelihood, he will ultimately become a powerful recruiting entity, as cynically as some might take that.
And people fall for it RT @bookgirl96: People like Jay-Z don't actually negotiate deals. They slap their name on agencies to attract talent.— Nate Jones (@JonesOnTheNBA) April 9, 2013
Others will be quick to point out that rapper Master P failed with his foray into NFL agency with former star running back Ricky Williams.
Again, it seems far more likely that CAA will handle most of the business aspects of negotiations, with Jay-Z serving as one giant beacon to woo current and future sports stars.
Something tells me he will be fairly good at that.
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