New York Times reporter David Halbfinger has provided some more context behind a recent feature on the Brooklyn Nets and why the NBA had so much resistance toward approving Jay-Z‘s black and white colored uniforms.
Despite the published feature making it onto newsstands, Halbfinger said the NBA has completely denied his color scheme claims.
“Let’s be clear. The NBA’s spokesman officially and very adamantly denies what was printed that there was this feeling that a black and white color scheme particularly with heavy use of the color black would look poor on its athletes on TV. A person aware of these discussions was very clear to me that this is the concern rightly or wrongly. What is the truth? I don’t know and we can’t know. It’s possible that what was said along these lines was someone misrepresenting the league’s view. All I know is that I am told it was said.” (Launch Magazine)
He also said minority team owner Jay-Z had the league’s faith placed on him.
“Yes, there was resistance but it was approved. They had three color schemes in which black was a color but they hadn’t had black and white period. I was told it took a couple of calls to the deputy commissioner, once to make the case and appeal to them to back off. Then there was a second call again to make the case in which they were told they didn’t like the idea but were going to place some faith in Jay.” (Launch Magazine)
In his write-up, Halbfinger pointed out the NBA’s resistance to approving the Nets uniforms.
[Jay-Z] helped design the team logos and choose the team’s stark black-and-white color scheme, and personally appealed to National Basketball Association officials to drop their objections to it (the N.B.A., according to a person with knowledge of the discussion, thought that African-American athletes did not look good on TV in black, an assertion that a league spokesman adamantly denied). He counseled arena executives on what kind of music to play during games. (“Less Jersey,” he urged, pushing niche artists like Santigold over old favorites like Bon Jovi.) He even coached them on how to screen patrons for weapons without appearing too heavy-handed. (“Be mindful,” he advised oracularly, “and be sensitive.”) (New York Times)
A few months back, Jigga discussed the motivation behind his team’s colors.
With this new Nets move, Jay-Z and Nets brass looked to the past in order to ensure the team’s place in the future. Vintage New York transit system signage served as their chief inspiration. “It was really a take off the old subway signs, if you look at the old subway signs they were in black and white. It was that strong, beautiful, iconic black and white,” Jay said. “I wanted to pick something that would stand the test of time and be here forever.” (MTV)