The Takeover: Is Jay-Z qualified to be an NBA mainstay?
Jay-Z has never picked up a basketball, professionally at least. He has never coached a team, or drawn up a play and probably has no idea what it is like to have the ball in your hands with two seconds left in a tie game. Yet, the hip-hop icon has become very closely associated with the NBA.
Jay has been a court-side fixture for quite some time at various high profile NBA contests; even before he became part-owner of the now Brooklyn Nets. And he is not one of those inactive owners that just sits back and collects a check. Despite actually owning only .067 percent of the Nets, Jay-Z has been intricately involved with everything from the team’s exodus out of New Jersey, to the designing of new uniforms. That percentage is obviously not indicative of his influence.
Now, with it recently being announced that he will be executive producer of the NBA 2K13 video game, Hov has delved even further into the NBA world. Into something not even directly affiliated with the league itself. With this assignment he takes on a an obscure role, far outside the realm of your typical entertainer. Really, can anyone name the last two executive producers of the NBA 2K series? Anyone?
The fact that Jay-Z is even affiliated with this project gives it an even greater buzz, and added validity. Surely some will question if he is suitable for such a task. Take this guy for instance, who apparently feels that the lyricist should not be anywhere near the Brooklyn Nets; and that his image is actually detrimental to the team and the league itself.
It is a fair question. Is Jay-Z qualified to be in these coveted positions and given so much control? Maybe not. But Shawn Carter, the hustler who created Jay-Z most certainly is. The creative mastermind who has written countless classic songs, helped to successfully launch a record label, clothing line, fragrance and nightclub chain is more than capable of performing in his new roles. Mr. Carter, with a net worth of about $460 million has a pedigree which can not be questioned.
He is a business man, a mighty fine one. The fact that he has made such a mark in the NBA is proof of this. Because, while notoriety will get you through the door, it won’t keep you in the room. Not only has Jay remained in the room, but he now has his feet on the couch.
Despite what all of us die-hard, loyal fans like to believe, every professional sports league is a business above all else; the NBA included. This is an arena which Shawn Carter knows very well. And while you’re sitting there contemplating whether or not this is true, he’s probably making plans to dominate your industry.
Break’s over. —Examiner.com