On to the Next One


“Would’ve brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free. Except I made millions off it, you fucking dweeb. I still own the building, I’m still keeping my seat. Y’all buy that bullshit, you’d better keep y’all receipt.”

That’s Jay, ethering a bunch of you-know-who’s in Open Letter, a quickie home-made rap track with which he used to answer critics who had questioned his and Beyonce’s vacation to Cuba.

That flow, in particular, referred to Jay’s selling of his (very, very, very, VERY) tiny stake in the Brooklyn Nets, a move that was necessary since Jay’s newest business venture is a sports agency.

Hova’s going to be a sports agent, according to Hova.

Of course, for those of us who’ve followed the league, its news, Jay’s career, and the politics behind sports are well aware of the truth: Jay isn’t really going to be a sports agent. He isn’t going to be waiting by the phone at 11:59pm on June 30th, preparing to make free agent pitches to NBA general managers as soon as the calendar flips to July 1st. Jay won’t be dealing with red tape, or stressing over his client’s Bird rights.

Jay is going to be less early Entourage season Ari Gold than late Entourage season Ari Gold. Meaning, he’s going to be the face of the agency, and really, that’s about it. And since his agency, Roc Nation Sports, is really just a spin off of the all-powerful Creative Artists Agency — which is constantly tied with the corrupt NCAA system and has ties to every major basketball star from age 15 to 35 — Jay might not have many decisions to make regarding who to recruit.

In essence, Jay is selling his name and likeness to CAA, who hopes the rap icon’s status could lure more star athletes, woo more NBA execs, impress more young black high school star athletes (“Say, [15-year-old high school phenom], we know you promised your single mother you’d attend UCLA, but we think a player of your talent should go to the best basketball program, which would be Kentucky. Come meet Kentucky’s coach. Oh yeah, Jay and Bey will be there too. Via Skype. But you can say hi.”)

This facade isn’t unlike Jay’s “ownership” of the Brooklyn Nets. While Jay’s passion for bringing basketball back to Brooklyn is very real, what mustn’t be overlooked is that Jay was essentially a front for a Ohio-based property company who milked downtown Brooklyn for prime land space, kicking out hundreds (or thousands?) of Brooklyn residents along the way.

Jay’s share of the Brooklyn Nets was worth just $300,000 (about 1/50th of one percent). Jack Nicholson probably drops more than that on parking and wine per season with the Lakers.

So he helped a Ohio property magnate and a Russian billionaire — both white, by the way — land their business in Brooklyn, pockets millions, and now he’s gone. On to the next one.

There’s been speculation by Bill Simmons that LeBron James — a top two or three most powerful athlete on earth who just left CAA — will soon find his way back and side with Jay’s part of the agency (which is, really, CAA). The theory goes that, Bron is taking a quick detour to help his childhood friend with his agency, and soon, Bron, along with the infamous World Wide Wes (he’s one of the most powerful figures in basketball yet no one knows exactly what he does. he’s the ultimate hustler. read this profile of him to get a better idea), will return to Roc Nation Sports.

CAA was already becoming a monopoly in basketball — there’ve been stories that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was recruited by World Wide Wes to play for Kentucky at just 15 years old; Kentucky has had two of the past four top overall pick in the NBA draft, by the way — with Jay and Bron in the fold? Pure domination.

And I can’t hate on that. For one, the NCAA system — headed by old white men — is notoriously corrupt, and this here represents superstar athletes and rappers taking matters into their own hands. James gamed the NBA free agency system three summers ago, and now his homie Jay will game the sports system.

As for Jay and his basically selling his name/face to corporations to milk the system…well, can’t knock the hustle. He’s let his intentions known from day one. This has always been about cash.

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.”


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