Jay-Z can't control how many games the Brooklyn Nets will win next year, but according to The New York Times' David Halbfinger, that win-loss record may be the only thing that Jay-Z won't have his hands on when Nets and its home arena, the Barclays Center, open up their season in September. Halbfinger's got a great read this morning on Jay-Z, a.k.a. Shawn Carter, a.k.a. H.O.V.A., a.k.a. part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets, and his massive imprint on the team. What it boils down to is that the Nets will be a reflection of Jay himself (he was born and raised in Brooklyn after all) and that means he's planning everything down to the arena music played (more Santigold, less Bon Jovi). Halbfinger's piece hits that sweet spot of what it's like to work for a rapper: Bloomberg Businessweek's Susan Berfield told us what it was like to work for 50 Cent this week, and Jay-Z sounds a lot more... hands on. (But both sound way better than Diddy, who made his band walk to Junior's for cheesecake or and derives some pleasure by making potential bandmates run
forever six miles in Central Park and then dance.)
So how involved with the Nets has Jay-Z been? Well:
He 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.”)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.