Posted on: September 26, 2011 10:51 am

Nets change name to... Brooklyn Nets

By Matt Moore

The New Jersey Nets held a press conference Monday to announce the official name of the Nets when they move to Brooklyn. And the winner is... the Brooklyn Nets. 


There had been rampant speculation about a possible name change for the team upon its relocation to the new Barclays Center in 2012. My personal favorite was the Brooklyn Hipsters, but that was a longshot. The name is a loaded issue. On the one hand, the Nets have a lot of history, dating back to the ABA. More importantly, sadly, rebranding is really expensive. In the midst of what many expect to be a lengthy lockout that could sacrifice the entire season, spending the money to rebrand everything from banners and jerseys to merchandise and letterhead probably isn't feasible in a dead income year. 

On the other hand, the name is the Nets. It's unoriginal, lacks any real identity, and seems like something an office full of unimaginative people would come up with.

But for Prokrhorov, Ratner, Jay-Z et al, the important part of the name is the "Brooklyn" part. That's the key to their success, the untold riches headed their way, a real shot to compete with the Knicks for the New York market, however unlikely that may be.

To slip off on a tangent here, it's remarkable that no one's batting an eye at the move for the Nets. Yes, the arena is only a short trip away. But there are kids in Jersey who won't be able to attend those games and will be, in essence, losing their team. Now it's only a small number of people, and that's why no one really cares. But we're a country that celebrates individualism, that fights to protect individualism, and in general, we get a little squeamish about utilitarianism. However, that's the opposite in this case. We don't care if the Nets move, or the Hornets are contracted, or the Kings slip town because we care about the most people. Just an interesting little offset.

Anyway, yeah, the Nets. Let's hear your thoughts on the "name change" in the comments.  
Posted on: August 10, 2011 2:07 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 3:31 pm

Jay-Z doesn't care if the Nets go winless

Posted by Royce Young

The Nets have always kind of played little brother to the bright and big franchise across the Hudson River. The Knicks have had more success, more starpower, the more famous arena and on and on.

But things started to kind of roll toward the Nets when world-famous rapper Jay-Z became a minority owner in the club. Just that name alone connected with the franchise gave it a boost. Then Mikhail Prokhorov purchased the team, the Brooklyn arena project actually got underway, the team traded for Deron Williams and things started looking up.

Having Jay-Z as an "owner" -- his stake is something like 1.4 percent, a $4.5 million annual stake -- has been huge in credibility. NBA players are impressionable, whether we think so or not. The thought of getting to be part of Jay-Z's business and be closely connected to him is appealing. The Nets have a certain cache because of him, even though he's a small part of the business.

He's involved a decent amount, at least in the public eye. He went to the groundbreaking of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, attends games and had a formal meet and greet with Prokhorov when he bought the team. He cares about the team. I think.

But on his new super album "Watch the Throne," Jay-Z raps on the song "Ni--as in Paris" that he's cool with whatever happens with the Nets. He says, "Ya'll don't know that sh-- don't faze me. The Nets could go 0-for-82 and I look at you like this sh--'s gravy."

Now CLEARLY, this is just a song and it doesn't ACTUALLY mean anything. Jay-Z's just saying he rolls with stuff. That's the point. Still, you're cool with your team going 0-82? Maybe he's just desensitized to the idea of it since it almost happened two years ago when the Nets started 0-18.

I guess he probably doesn't care about the supposed major financial losses of the team either. So I guess what I'm saying is, why can't all owners be like Jay-Z right now?

Via Complex
Category: NBA
Posted on: April 8, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2011 3:37 pm

Report: Nets fined 50K for Jay-Z's UK contact

New Jersey Nets co-owner Jay-Z has reportedly been fined 50,000 for contact with the University of Kentucky. Posted by Ben Golliver. jay-z-kentucky

Back on March 27, we noted that rapper and New Jersey Nets co-owner Jay-Z was celebrating with the University of Kentucky basketball team in their locker room after the team advanced to the Final Four. Kentucky has two likely lottery picks -- in guard Brandon Knight and forward Terrence Jones -- and we wondered at the time whether Jay-Z had violated NBA rules by intentionally fraternizing with college players.

On March 29, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that the league would indeed launch an investigation into the incident. ESPN.com reported on Friday that the Nets have been fined $50,000 for Jay-Z's Kentucky locker room visit.
The New Jersey Nets have been fined $50,000 for Nets minority owner Jay-Z's presence in the Kentucky locker room after the Wildcats clinched a Final Four berth, according to sources with knowledge of the penalty.
Word circulated around the league Friday that an unnamed team -- which sources confirmed to ESPN.com is the Nets -- was fined for violating league rules that prohibit contact with players that still have remaining intercollegiate basketball eligibility.
The NBA's investigation, first reported by CBSSports.com, was triggered by a video showing Jay-Z visiting with various Kentucky players in their locker room at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., after the Wildcats' quarterfinal victory over North Carolina.
That fine is in line with a previously noted precedent: Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge was fined $30,000 by the NBA for "excessive contact with the family" after sitting with Kevin Durant's mother during the 2007 Big 12 tournament.

While the fine is a miniscule amount for a mogul such as Jay-Z, the NBA deserves praise for not allowing this to be swept under the rug. Tampering and illegal contact rules only work if they are strictly and regularly enforced. Any slippery slope -- or even the perception of a slippery slope -- compromises the league's fair play and, by extension, the NBA's integrity. 

Is this fine enough to prevent this from happening again? Probably not. But it does send a message that the league is watching, something we were all left wondering about after the New York Knicks were let off the hook so easily in their scouting scandal during the fall.    
Posted on: March 30, 2011 5:54 pm

NBA will investigate Jay-Z's Kentucky appearance

NBA will investigate Jay-Z making an appearance in University of Kentucky locker room after team clinches Final Four appearance. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Jay-Z is a popular guy, I'm sure you've figured out. Being arguably the biggest rap star alive will do that for you. But he's also very popular in the basketball community. He's a close, personal friend of LeBron James.  And it would seem he's in with James' friend John Calipari as well, as he visited the Kentucky Wildcats locker room last weekend. Which, naturally, is not so much in the realm of being okay with league rules concerning interactions with NCAA players. From CBSSports.com's Ken Berger: 

The NBA plans to investigate contact between Nets part-owner Jay-Z and members of the Kentucky basketball team after the Wildcats beat North Carolina Sunday to advance to the Final Four, a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com. The hip-hop mogul's visit was documented in photos and video showing him congratulating players in the Kentucky locker room, which happened to have been occupied by two potential lottery picks -- Brandon Knight and Terrance Jones. As noted here, this offense would seem to be comparable to Celtics GM Danny Ainge sitting with Kevin Durant's mother during the 2007 Big 12 tournament. Ainge was fined $30,000, a slap on the wrist in exchange for the opportunity to schmooze a top prospect's mom. But given that standard, Jay-Z should be docked $30K for each college player who was in the locker room.
via Post-Ups: NBPA looks to learn from NFLPA's decertification tactics - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

The assumption by many is that the link between Jay-Z and the Wildcats is Jay-Z's friend William Wesley, who has his hands in just about everything NBA, and actually represents Calipari for CAA.  That's a pretty obvious link. 

The question has to be if that's how Jay-Z was granted access, if Calipari was the reason and Wesley the facilitator, what the NBA will do about it. The answer? Nothing. It's easy to look at this as a harmless incident, and for the most part it is, which is why the Nets minority owner will receive a minor fine and things will go on. But it's part of a continuing pattern where elements are being moved in conjunction with one another as part of the same base. It also reinforces how bizarre it was that LeBron James elected to head to Miami instead of New Jersey. 
Posted on: March 27, 2011 11:49 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 1:05 am

Nets owner Jay-Z celebrates Final Four with UK

New Jersey Nets owner Jay-Z spent Sunday night celebrating with the University of Kentucky after the team secured a trip to the Final 4. Posted by Ben Golliver. jay-z-kentucky

As the University of Kentucky Wildcats were celebrating a 76-69 victory over North Carolina that sent them through to the Final 4 on Sunday, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports that the team was greeted by an unexpected visitor: rapper and New Jersey Nets co-owner Jay-Z.
Jay-Z, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, is a partial owner of the NBA's New Jersey Nets. UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said his visit to the UK locker room wasn't planned in advance.
Peevy wasn't certain if the rapper had been in the stands for the game. He was waiting in the hallway as UK players returned to the locker room after the game, and players were caught by surprise.

“I said, ‘Oh that's Jay-Z!' ” forward Terrence Jones said. “We all gave him a handshake and he came in the locker room, and we just kept screaming ‘Jay-Z in the locker room!' He congratulated us, just said he was proud of us.”
When your team is headed for its fifth straight trip to the NBA Draft Lottery, you might as well get an early start on getting to know your future players, right? Kentucky has two potential lottery picks -- guard Brandon Knight and forward Terrence Jones -- this season after becoming the first program to ever produce five first round picks in 2010. That locker room would be a pretty awesome place to be if you're a fan of basketball, especially if you're a fan of basketball and happen to co-own an NBA team.

I can understand Jay-Z's desire to hang out with winners for a change, but this seems like it should be against some NBA protocol or another. While it's not that big of a deal -- certainly nothing compared to the New York Knicks illegally working out recruits --intentional contact between an NBA owner and future NBA players while they're still in college just months before the draft screams competitive advantage and slippery slope. What's next? Kentucky wins the title and Jay-Z greets them with an Ace of Spades shower and a rainstorm of 100 dollar bills?

In 2007, Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge was fined $30,000 by the NBA for "excessive contact with the family" after sitting with Kevin Durant's mother during the Big 12 tournament. What does that make Jay-Z guilty of here? Excessive dapping? 

Photo of Jay-Z in the Kentucky locker room via YFrog .
Posted on: February 20, 2011 12:26 am
Edited on: February 20, 2011 3:16 am

Melo, Nets meet with no resolution

Carmelo Anthony and agent meets with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z in Los Angeles to discuss prospective trade for Nets to acquire All-Star. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has confirmed an AP report that Carmelo Anthony and Nets majority and minority owners Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z met earlier Saturday night to discuss the Nets' interest in acquiring the All-Star small forward.  The meeting occurred just hours after Prokhorov released a statement through his spokesperson stating no meeting had taken place or was planned, and that they would have no further comment on the matter. The meeting also coincided with a renewed interest from the Knicks as owner James Dolan has become more involved in the talks, Berger reports. 

ESPN reports that the Nets meeting lasted 40 minutes and included Anthony's agent Leon Rose and advisor Bay Frazier, as well as Nets CEO Brett Yormark and GM Billy King. Melo was reportedly "noncomittal" following the meeting, and Yahoo! Sports reports that the Nets "didn't come away very confident." 

So the Nets got their meeting, and failed to hit the home run. But they're not out of it yet. Their biggest problem? James Dolan, who has become involved in the negotiations on the Knicks' side, and is offering up more and more assets to get the second superstar, threatening to damage the leverage Donnie Walsh has very carefully maintained throughout these negotiations. The Nets' biggest advantage? Their remaining ability to threaten Melo by not trading him, then taking his extension offer off the table, leaving him high and dry for the extra money entering a new CBA. 

The Nets have now offered three picks, Devin Harris and Derrick Favors for Melo in a three-way, walked away and said they were through, come back, offered the same deal plus an extra pick, said they weren't meeting with Melo, reaffirmed they weren't meeting with Melo, then met with Melo, and now they still don't have a deal. 

You've got to give it to the Russian, though. 

He's a persistent dude. 

Posted on: February 18, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 3:40 pm

Melo: "No meeting at all" scheduled with NJ, NY

Carmelo Anthony denies that any meeting is scheduled with Mikhail Prokhorov and that any such meeting is news to him.
Posted by Matt Moore

UPDATE 3:30 p.m. EST: The AP also reports that Anthony denied any meeting with James Dolan, just as Berger had reported

There are also reports that Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan wants to meet with Anthony this weekend. Anthony said there was no meeting scheduled with him, either, but seems to see the value in talking with a team that's interested in him. "Whether it's Prokhorov or Dolan or (Lakers owner Jerry) Buss, the third team that just came out last week, whoever it is, you would want to sit down and have eye contact with him and get a feeling for him," Anthony said.

If there are talks ongoing, it's being done without bringing Melo in, yet. Which, you know, is unlikely. If Melo's not being honest here, it's a continuation of his strategy of "playing dumb' throughout this process. If he's being honest, he's also not actively pursuing such meetings. Melo continues to play this very cool. 

Refuting reports from multiple sources, Carmelo Anthony told the AP today that "no meeting at all" was scheduled with Mikhail Prokhorov or the Nets organization. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported Thursday night no meeting had been scheduled with Anthony and the Nets, or the Knicks

Granted, considering it seems that absolutely no one is telling the truth in this situation, Melo could in fact have already met with Prokhorov, or have scheduled a meeting, or be on his way to a meeting.  But if he's being honest, then that means that a lot of the noise coming out of the Nets camp may not be as reliable, which calls into queston how close the Nets really are to getting him to agree to the extension that would push the trade through. 

Newsday reports that it's not just Prokhorov who the Nets are trying to get Melo to meet with, but minority owner Jay-Z.  The report also states that Jay-Z is trying to get a deal done Friday, as Saturday he has his annual dinner with close friend LeBron James. Such a busy guy, that H.O.V.A..

The takeaway here is that the Nets deal is probably not nearly as close as some outlets are trying to let on. Our own Ken Berger will keep you updated on the latest, just as he has since this whole Melodrama Melocatastrophe started. . You can follow him on Twitter here
Posted on: December 15, 2010 9:41 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:36 pm

Cleveland radio edits "LeBron" out of Jay-Z song

Cleveland radio station 96.5 FM has digitially edited a popular Jay-Z song so that the word "LeBron" is indecipherable. Posted by Ben Golliverlebron-jayz

One look at all the signs and shirts displayed and worn by Cavaliers fans the Miami Heat's trip to Cleveland earlier this month makes it clear exactly how welcome LeBron James is in Ohio these days.  WaitingForNextYear.com reports that Cleveland radio station 96.5FM WAKS has taken that dislike a step further, digitally editing "Empire State of Mind," a popular rap song by Jay-Z, to obscure the word "LeBron" so that it cannot be clearly understood on the radio. 
What was once “[If] Jeezy’s paying LeBron, I’m paying Dwyane Wade” – a reference towards the purchase price of an illegal drug – is now relatively indecipherable as the two-time NBA MVP’s name is edited – or as female hip-hop star Missy Elliot calls, “flipped and reversed.”
WFNY caught up with the man behind the decision, night time disc jockey (“Java”) Joel Murphy, to discuss the move. Murphy tells us that the decision was more of an epiphany, but its one that the station feels resonates well with Clevelanders given their well-documented feelings towards the departed James. “I was playing the song and realized that the word “LeBron” is as offensive to some people as the ‘Seven Words You Can’t Say On The Radio,’” said Murphy. “Anytime one of those words shows up in a song, we either bleep it, cut it out completely or obscure it by flipping it backwards. So, I suggested to our programming dept that we should treat the name “LeBron” similarly.”
Hats off to WAKS for the creative and above-board nature of their LeBron-hating. It's enough to make this blog consider a similar policy, but we write about James so much if we did implement similar censorship there would be so many asterisks it would look like it was snowing year-round. Hat tip: Deadspin.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com