Shawn Carter, a.k.a. Jay-Z, is being sued for $600 million over the use of the name "Brooklyn Nets," Radaronline.com is reporting. From Business Insider:

RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned that the rapper and businessman has been named as a defendant in a $600M lawsuit by a disgruntled entrepreneur who claims that he trademarked the name “Brooklyn Nets” long before the NBA team ever moved out of New Jersey. The Nets were also named as defendants in the suit.

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Just when you thought this summer couldn't get any weirder... New Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd is primed to buy Jay-Z's minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets, according to the New York Post. NBA rules force Jay-Z to sell his shares due to his involvement with Roc Nation Sports, a sporting agency that represents NBA athletes, as well as athletes from other sports.

As part of the team, Kidd would have no such conflict -- though that could change if he ever pursued employment with another franchise or a sports agency.

NetsDaily has reported, conflict to the Post, that Kidd is buying half of Jay-Z's shares, with the other half going to a minority owner. The shares Kidd are purchasing are reportedly worth about $500,000.

Jay-Z's influence on the Brooklyn Nets has been enormous -- he opened Barclays Center with eight concerts in nine nights, helped design the logo and pick out the color scheme, and is routinely a spectator at games in his courtside seat.

Hope Kidd never has to fire himself.

New York Post -- Jay sells Nets stake to Kidd

NetsDaily -- Source: Jay Z selling half his shares to J Kidd

 

Jay-Z outside the 40/40 club. (AP)

ESPN's Darren Rovell reports today that Sean Carter A.K.A. Jay-Z has officially become a licensed NBA agent with his agency Roc Nation Sports, but may not be able to represent players yet because of his ownership stake with the Brooklyn Nets.

Jay-Z owns less than 1% of the Brooklyn Nets and has yet to sell his shares as of Wednesday night. Owners cannot also represent players, for obvious reasons.

From Rovell's report:

Industry speculation is Jay-Z might be able to sign players as long as he agrees to pass off his share of the Nets in the near future.

Roc Nation Sports is teamed up with Creative Artists Agency, which represents players like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Tony Parker, Paul George. CAA partnered with Roc Nation Sports to sign New York Yankees second basemen Robinson Cano, as CAA had no licensed MLB agents in its agency.

Along with Cano, Roc Nation Sports has signed New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith and former Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins, who was selected third by the Tulsa Shock in this year's WNBA draft. It's also expected to announce an agreement with New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz soon.

ESPN -- Jay-Z now a licensed NBA agent

 

Via Life & Times, Jay-Z's official website:

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There's some debate about the precise words in the new Jay-Z song, especially in terms of who, exactly, he was calling an effing dweeb. Devin heard it as:

"Would've brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free. Except, I made millions off of you f***ing dweeb. I still own the building, I'm still keeping my seats, you buy that bulls***, you better keep your receipts.

Some heard it as made millions off "it" instead of "of."  Either way, at the risk of over-interpreting a bunch of rap lyrics, it sounds like Jay-Z thinks:

a) He single-handedly brought the Nets to Brooklyn.  I guess Bruce Ratner, Mikhail Prokhorov, Marty Markowitz and the many other people who have been agitating for a Brooklyn team for years, were irrelevant.  The Nets came to Brooklyn because Jay-Z decided it should be so. And, "I still own the building."   He was no doubt very important in creating the brand but even accounting for normal celebrity trash talk, this sounds a bit too much like The Donald.

b) Nets are suckers.  Whether he's mocking a particular Nets executive or the entire deal, he's saying the Nets  could have gotten his help for free but they paid him!  Ha ha ha ha.  (By the way, the Nets did just fine in this relationship: whatever they paid, they probably got their money's worth in terms of brand-buffing and publicity.)

It's quite possible that Jay-Z was mostly intending to push back at those who made fun of him for having a small stake in the team.  That seems to have really gotten under his skin, which is a weird thing to care about.  So he's saying, "you think I had a small stake!  Well then how come I made millions!  Still think I was used??"

But whatever his motivation, the combination of him selling his shares to go off and make some more money as an agent and this Nets-whack makes it slightly harder to think of him as the Nets Number One Fan in quite the same way.  He was supposed to be our Spike Lee. This week, at least, he's sounding more like our Donald Trump.

 

Jay-Z

Jay-Z, playing at Barclays Center (AP)

Amidst the information leaking that Jay-Z, AKA Shawn Carter, is divesting his shares in the Brooklyn Nets to begin the sports agency "Roc Nation Sports," Jay-Z recorded a pissed-off song titled "Open Letter" addressing the sale and the reaction to it, including attacking an unnamed person -- presumably a member of the Nets organization. Audio and lyrics after the jump.... MORE →

 

Jay-Z

Jay-Z. (AP)


According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Brooklyn Nets minority owner Jay-Z has begun divesting his shares of the Nets franchise, clearing a path for his new sports agency (Roc Nation Sports) to represent clients in basketball.

There is currently no timetable for Jay-Z -- real name Shawn Carter -- to complete this process, but there's a good chance that Roc Nation Sports will be able to compete for players entering this June's draft, according to Wojnarowski:

The process is expected to be completed in time for Roc Nation to compete for players entering the June NBA draft, but there's no guarantee of the timing, sources said. Those within Roc Nation and the CAA alliance aren't "chasing a clock on this," one source said. "This isn't about one draft, but taking the long view of the business."

Rival agents are anxious over the possibilities of Jay-Z on the recruiting trail, believing the lure of his iconic business and cultural standing will have a major impact on attracting top prospects and current league stars.

CAA and Jay-Z are taking time to carefully formalize the arrangement on the basketball end, sources told Y! Sports, and are sensitive to making sure he exits the Nets partnership in a way that is respectful to the organization.

Among NBA, NBPA and Nets constituencies, there are several hurdles to overcome before a formal announcement will be made. Nevertheless, none are significant and Jay-Z's certification as a player agent is a mere formality.

Jay-Z opened Brooklyn's Barclays Center on September 28th with the first of eight concerts in nine nights.

Read More: Yahoo! Sports: Jay-Z looking to divest ownership share of Nets and become NBA agent

 

Earlier this week, Jay-Z's entertainment company, Roc Nation, announced the launch of a sports agency, Roc Nation Sports, and made an immediate splash by signing Yankees star infielder Robinson Cano. For an encore (do you want more?), the fledging agency signed Giants free-agent wide receiver Victor Cruz on Wednesday.

If that wasn't enough, Jay-Z has reportedly expressed interest in becoming an agent himself; first in baseball, then in football and basketball. In order to become an NBA agent... MORE →

 

Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z, has started a sports agency group, Roc Nation Sports, and has announced the signing of Yankees All-Star infielder Robinson Cano as the venture's first client, because Jay-Z.

Ever the master of image cultivation,  Jay-z has gotten CAA Sports, a division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), a leading entertainment and sports agency, to co-represent Cano with Roc Nation Sports.  Here's Jay-Z's thoughts on his latest entrepreneurial adventure:

“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.”

In order to sign with Roc Nation Sports, the 30 year old four time All-Star left MLB super agent Scott Boras. Cano, who is named after baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson, wears number 24 in honor of the Brooklyn Dodger great's  number 42, which had been retired by the time Cano entered the league. In yet another sign that Jay-Z has his tenticles all over pop culture, the rapper-turned-Nets-minority owner's "Brooklyn We Go Hard" has been used heavily in TV spots for the upcoming biopic on Jackie Robinson's life, 42: The True Story of an American Legend.

“At this point in my career, I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors both on and off the field,” said Cano. “I am confident that the pairing of Roc Nation Sports and CAA Sports will be essential in helping me accomplish my short- and long-term goals. I am making this important decision now so I can keep my focus on helping the Yankees succeed in 2013, while minimizing any distractions for me and my teammates.”

For baseball purposes, Cano will be represented by  a team of agents led by CAA Sports’ Brodie Van Wagenen. But don't rule out Jay-Z in the future. According to Buster Olney and Darren Rovell of ESPN:

"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."

If Jay-Z does give up his tiny share of the Nets, would he be able to sway clients to come to Brooklyn as an agent? Then again, Jay-Z probably wouldn't  let his considerable Brooklyn pride and former ties to the Nets get in the way of getting the best deal for his client, wherever that may come from. After all, Jay-Z isn't a businessman. He's a business, man. So let him handle his business, damn.

Read More: RocNation - -  Roc Nation Launches Roc Nation Sports + Signs New York Yankees All-Star Robinson Cano

Read More: ESPN Buster Olney and Darren Rovell  - - Robinson Cano hires Jay-Z  

 

Jay-Z listed the five coolest things about the Brooklyn Nets for GQ. The first few are good -- the jerseys (great), the court (beautiful), Barclays (The Black House), and Brooklyn. But the fifth?

Jay-Z: "Me? Ha, I am Brooklyn."

To be fair: he's probably right. Jay-Z is one of the coolest things about this franchise. Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov can't sell a franchise to a borough while using eminent domain, but Jay-Z sure can!

Though if he wanted to seem humble, there are lots of other cool things about the Brooklyn Nets. Here are some of my suggestions:... MORE →

 

The fifth episode of The Road to Brooklyn, Jay Z's Life + Times, features Brooklyn residents talking about the meaning of the Brooklyn Nets to the borough -- and how that might change depending on the team. Jay-Z does not make an appearance, but some other familiar Brooklyn faces do, including Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz.

Sweet vid.