Jay-Z may have spent years promoting the debut season of the Brooklyn Nets, but the rapper and entertainment mogul has decided to sell his minority ownership of the Brooklyn team in order to become an NBA agent.
According to Yahoo Sports, Jay-Z (whose real name is Shawn Carter and is perhaps even better known as Beyonce's husband) isn’t selling his Brooklyn Nets shares out of any disappointment with the team. He has instead opted to become an NBA agent and must sell off his remaining shares in the Brooklyn Nets to comply with NBA regulations.
Though he owns less than 1 percent (1/15th of a percent, to be exact) of the team, Jay-Z has been a high-profile minority owner of the Nets for years, spearheading a public relations campaign as the franchise moved to its new home in Brooklyn. Regardless, Forbes reports that Jay-Z’s share in the team has dwindled over the years, and his stake in the company now represents less than $350,000, which should be easy to sell.
Forbes also notes that Jay-Z may have converted his Brooklyn Nets stock into equity for the Barclays Center. It’s probable that Jay-Z will simply trade his remaining ownership to majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov for a larger stake in the team's arena.
The news comes as Jay-Z’s company Roc Nation announces a partnership with Creative Artists Agency to launch a sports agency division. New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano became the group’s first client earlier in the month.
If Jay-Z wants to expand this side of his business into basketball, he is required by NBA regulations to divest of the Brooklyn Nets in order to avoid a conflict of interest. Jay-Z reportedly hopes to sell all of his stock before the start of the 2013-14 season.
Still, while the move makes business sense for Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports, Brooklyn Nets fans and staff will be sad to see their unofficial mascot go.
"It would be disappointing," Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said to ESPN. "He had an enormous amount to do with the rebranding of the team. I wasn't close to it at all, but from what I've seen, it would be hard to overstate his importance in this all. I like his involvement in the team; he's at the games, and maybe he's around more than I realize behind the scenes. But he's an excellent fan, one that wasn't just around this year, but a lot in the past too, which is very telling to me."
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.