Now that Jay-Z has entered the sports agency game, he can’t also be an NBA owner if he wants to represent professional basketball players. In a letter on his website Life and Times, the rapper clarified why he’s selling his stake in the Brooklyn Nets. His newly launched sports agency, Roc Nation Sports, signed New York Yankees all-star Robinson Cano as its first client earlier this month. Representing an MLB player isn’t against NBA rules, but Jay-Z would be unable to represent an NBA player while being an owner in the league. By selling off his shares, he can court basketball players as clients.
“Our newest endeavor is committed to building the brands of professional athletes as we have done for some of today’s top music artists,” Jay-Z wrote. “For Roc Nation Sports to function at its full potential, NBA rules stipulate that I relinquish my ownership in the Brooklyn Nets.”
Jay-Z was the most visible figure in the investment group that brought the Nets from New Jersey to his native Brooklyn, and was active in the marketing and launch of the team this past season. But according to Forbes, his stake in the $530 million team shrank from 1.5 percent to less than one percent, with an estimated value of about $350,000.
Still, Jay-Z said it wasn’t about business, but rather about his love for his borough. “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,” Jay-Z wrote, thanking the team’s owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, and others. “A thank you and deepest appreciation goes to the fans. You are the lifeblood of any team.”
Jay-Z’s stake already has a taker: Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who lives in Brooklyn, is interested in becoming a Nets minority owner. “I have tried to make as many public and private overtures as I can to let Hova know that I would absolutely be honored to buy those shares,” Ohanian said on Bloomberg’s “Money Moves,” as noted by SB Nation’s Nets Daily. He even joked on Reddit that he’d make all the players participate in the site’s popular Ask Me Anything (AMA) series.