July 01, 2008
"So in a couple years baby, I'm a bring you some Nets," rapped Jay-Z in a recently released song called, "Hello Brooklyn." And after a big trade last week, the hip-hop star/Nets minority owner is in position to bring LeBron James to Brooklyn, too.
The Nets stole headlines from the rival Knicks by trading forward Richard Jefferson to Milwaukee for 20-year-old Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. By making the move, New Jersey is expected to be $20-22 million under the salary cap in 2010, when James becomes a free agent. While the struggling Knicks are New York City's longtime franchise, the Nets will get a piece of the Big Apple by moving to Brooklyn, probably in 2011. But in two years, don't be surprised if Jay-Z helps bring his buddy James to a franchise that will be attractive to play for by then.
"We didn't have cap space in 2010," said Nets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe. "This deal brings us some cap space."
James was born in Akron, Ohio, and plays for the Cavaliers. But his love for Jay-Z and New York is readily on display. It's not uncommon to see James don a Yankees cap, not a Cleveland Indians cap. James even flashed a Roc-A-Fella Records hand signal, for Jay-Z's label, when he was introduced at the 2005 All-Star Game in Denver.
When James and Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson had a war of words during the first round of the playoffs, Jay-Z sided with "King James" by dissing Stevenson in an underground rap song. The lone Celtics home game Jay-Z attended this season occurred when James and the Cavaliers were in town in the playoffs. Also, James loves Jay-Z's music so much that the majority of the songs played at Cavaliers' home games are Jay-Z's. Coincidence? Yeah, right.
"So in a couple years baby, I'm a bring you some Nets."