What appeared to be a showing of support for the Kentucky Wildcats following a NCAA tournament win last weekend has now officially sparked an NBA investigation for rap mogul Jay-Z.
While initially being viewed as speculation, a spokesperson has now confirmed the investigation is underway.
An NBA spokesman confirms that the league is investigating Jay-Z’s presence in Kentucky’s locker room after the Wildcats clinched a Final Four berth. The rapper visited the players after their victory over North Carolina on Sunday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J, home of the Nets. Jay-Z is a part-owner of the team and attended the Nets’ 120-116 loss at New York on Wednesday. (Billboard)
Jay’s ownership in the New Jersey Nets restricts his distance from ineligible NBA draft players.
NBA rules prohibit team personnel from having contact with players who are not yet draft eligible, and spokesman Tim Frank told the Associated Press the league is looking into it. The investigation was first reported by CBSSports.com. (Daily News)
Despite the investigation, reports speculate Young Hov will get off easy.
Based on precedents, the expectation is the Nets will avoid serious punishment. In 2007, the Celtics were fined $30,000 after GM Danny Ainge sat next to Kevin Durant‘s mother during the Big 12 tournament. The league ruled it was “excessive contact.” In August, the Knicks were forced to end a consultant contract with Isiah Thomas because he’s the head coach at Florida International University. The Knicks weren’t punished further, although it’s believed Thomas still counsels owner Jim Dolan. In other words, it’s likely to be a slap on the wrist for the Nets and a warning to Jay-Z to not do it again. The league may also take under consideration that Jay-Z has little to do with the Nets’ basketball operations. (New York Daily News)
New York radio host DJ Clue poked fun at Jay’s speculated fine.
“Shout to my Boy @S_C_ aka Mark Cubans long lost cousin “Dark Cuban” ! He’s about to receive his 1st NBA Fine! Congratz !!!,” Clue tweeted Thursday (March 31). (DJ Clue’s Twitter)