Days after rap mogul Jay-Z announced the signing of New York Yankees star Robinson Cano to his newly launched Roc Nation Sports, industry insiders predict Young Hov could be leaving his Brooklyn Nets for good.
According to reports, the potential of Roc Nation Sports to extend outside of baseball and welcome in NBA clients could force Jigga to bow out from the Nets.
“I would expect there to be significant issues raised, even potentially forcing a sale of his interest in the Nets, if this matter was not addressed to the satisfaction of the NBA,” says Marc Ganis, president of the consultancy Sportscorp, Ltd. Jay-Z wouldn’t have to sell his Nets stake to represent baseball players, that’s for sure. But there are two major issues, says Ganis, that would arise if he tried to represent NBA players: whether or not he could handle their basketball-related matters given his status as a co-owner of the Nets, and whether he could handle non-basketball related matters like endorsements as well. There seems to be no question that Jay-Z would be prohibited from doing the former, and though the latter is a slightly more complicated issue, it appears that wouldn’t be permitted by the NBA, either. (Forbes)
Since Hov owns such a small stake in the Nets, analysts believe he would easily be persuaded to sell it to billionaire team owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
But Jay-Z may have already found a work-around. Though he once owned as much as 1.5% of the $530 million team, his stake has dwindled to one-fifteenth of one percent. Why? Jay-Z’s representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but it seems he may have converted the difference into equity in the Barclays Center. He now owns roughly one-fifth of one percent of the billion-dollar building. Given that his remaining stake in the Nets is worth about $350,000–comprising less than 1% of Jay-Z’s net worth–it’s no longer a financially significant sum to the rapper or the team. Jay-Z could easily sell his stake back to billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov or trade it for more equity in the arena itself. Either way, his existing interest in the Barclays Center would allow him to keep profiting from the Nets’ success while staying within the NBA’s rules. Knowing Jay-Z, that was probably his plan all along. (Forbes)
Earlier this week, Jay issued a statement backing his decision to launch Roc Nation Sports.
Cano will be co-represented by CAA, a leading sports and entertainment agency, and Roc Nation Sports, a branch of a company founded by Jay-Z. Jay-Z announced the launch of Roc Nation Sports as a full-service sports management company on Tuesday. “Because of my love of sports, it was a natural progression to form a company where we can help top athletes in various sports the same way we have been helping artists in the music industry for years,” Jay-Z said. (Fox Sports)
Some speculation has also developed which suggests he may look into becoming a licensed sports agent.
Sources say Jay-Z himself is planning to be a certified agent, first in baseball and eventually in basketball and football. In order to represent clients in basketball, he would have to give up his small share of the Brooklyn Nets. Jay-Z has always had a love for sports, but his passion grew through the Nets ownership and his 40/40 high-end sports bar in New York, which over the last nine years has become a hang out for athletes. (ESPN)