Rap mogul Jay Z will officially open the brand new Barclay’s Center with a concert tonight. The 675,000-square-foot arena in Brooklyn, NY is home to the Brooklyn Nets. Without Jay Z’s influence this night would probably never happened.
The 42-year-old rapper, real name Shawn Carter, used his political clout and business connections to move the former New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn, which is just a stone’s throw from his former stomping grounds where he dealt drugs as a wayard teen.
In an excellent article titled JAY-Z BARELY OWNS THE NETS AND THAT BARELY MATTERS, Vice.com explained that Jay Z “barely” owns the Nets. In fact, Jay’s ownership amounts to one fiftieth of 1 percent — not even a full percent.
To put it into perspective, Jay invested a million dollars in the team in 2003, which is a little more than what the Nets will be paying CJ Watson — who is good at Twitter but not that great at basketball — to sit on their bench this season.
Jay Z used his powerful connections with city government to help Russian businessman — and Nets owner — Bruce Ratner secure land to build the Barclay’s Center by squeezing poor residents out of their homes.
Vice.com writes: “it’s way easier to convince a city to let you bring a sports team there if you’re a really cool professional rap guy, especially one who grew up around the place where the stadium’s supposed to be.”
Vice.com also noted Jay Z owns Translation, an advertising agency whose only client is the Brooklyn Nets. If the Jay Z/Brooklyn Nets/Barclay’s deal is beginning to sound like an organized Rico racket, those thoughts will evaporate once the Nets ring up a winning season.
Thanks to loyal reader Sonia G. for the link!
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