After Jay-Z stirred up controversy last week when he released a song titled “Open Letter” in the wake of the announcement that he would be selling his small ownership stake in the Nets, the rap mogul issued a more formal statement on the matter Thursday on his website, lifeandtimes.com.
“Being a member of the Nets organization surpassed some of my greatest ambitions,” he said in the statement. “It was never about an investment; it was about the NETS and Brooklyn. My job as an owner is over but as a fan it has just begun. I’m a Brooklyn Net forever. It’s been an honor to work with Mikhail Prokhorov, Dmitry Razumov, Christophe Charlier, ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment, Brett Yormark and all the wonderful people involved in making the Nets first class. My sincerest thanks goes to Bruce Ratner, who first introduced the idea of moving the Nets to Brooklyn.A thank you and deepest appreciation goes to the fans. You are the lifeblood of any team.”
The reason that Jay-Z, whose given name is Shawn Carter, had to give up his stake in the team was because of his decision to enter the sports agency business. With his new agency, Roc Nation Sports, partnering with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to go into the realm of repping professional athletes, and having already picked up Robinson Cano and Victor Cruz as clients, the next step for the new agency is to represent NBA players, and agents are not allowed to have any kind of ownership stake in any team.
“The Nets have made their mark on the NBA and as they enter a new era, Roc Nation does as well; as we embark on Roc Nation Sports,” Jay-Z continued in the statement. “Our newest endeavor is committing to building the brands of professional athletes as we have done for some of today’s top music artists. For Roc Nation Sports to function at its full potential,” NBA rules stipulate that I relinquish my ownership in the Brooklyn Nets. It was a tough decision, but as I stated earlier, it’s not about ownership. Congratulations to The Nets on a great season and good luck in the playoffs! I will always be a Brooklyn Net.”