Earlier in the year, the New York Times ran a story stating Jay-Z’s impact as part owner of the Brooklyn Nets was small. In fact, he only owned 1/15th of 1 percent, or an initial investment of $1 million dollars.
Seems like his role has been anything but small.
Jay-Z designed the team’s new uniforms, added respect among NBA players, had a role with NBA2k13 and turned the Brooklyn Nets into a larger part of culture.
During the last of eight sold-out shows to kick off the opening of the Barclays Center, he fought back against the critics. Ben Golliver watched the YouTube live-stream of the concert, and he wrote about Jay-Z’s comments for Eye on Basketball:
Jay-Z first disputed the reported percentage — telling his audience that he didn’t know where the media got their numbers — before asserting that “some” in the media have presented his role in the ownership group in a way that was intended as a purposeful slight.
“That’s their way of diminishing our accomplishments,” he said. “Don’t let anyone diminish your accomplishments.”
The real story, he explained, goes like this: “[I'm] a young black African male who was raised in a single-parent home in low-income housing and I stand before you as an owner of the Brooklyn Nets.” The Barclays Center crowd erupted in cheers.
“Don’t let anyone diminish your accomplishments,” Jay-Z repeated. “You don’t have to be inspired by me, be inspired by Barack Obama if you choose to. Latinos in here, be the first Latino president. Ladies in here, be the first female president.”
Jay-Z then encouraged the crowd to raise their middle fingers into the air before breaking into his hit song, “99 Problems.”
Ball Don’t Lie, a sports blog by Yahoo Sports says it best, The issue here is not what Jay-Z has accomplished by becoming an owner, but what he’s achieved as an owner. There are people with full 100 percent stakes in teams who haven’t done so much to increase their teams’ presence in the market. The Nets and Jay-Z are a special case, certainly, but they’re also an example of what can be done with a certain level of commitment to a clear set of goals. It’s a useful example for other owners to follow, no matter how much money they’ve put into their investments.