The Brooklyn Nets are losing one of their biggest names as they prepare for the playoffs.
Jay-Z owned just a little piece of the team, but was a large presence when the franchise changed homes and identities this season.
The rap mogul is selling his stake in the Nets so he can become certified as a player agent, possibly before the end of the season. The process is under way, with paperwork already filed, a source said Wednesday. The source was not named because NBA rules prevent anyone from being involved in ownership and player representation.
Yahoo Sports, which first reported Jay-Z’s plans, said his Roc Nation company has partnered with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and hopes to compete for players in this June’s Draft.
Jay-Z owns less than 1 percent of the Nets, but has had a major impact with the franchise’s move to his hometown. He had input and in some cases complete control of everything from the interior of the $1 billion Barclays Center to the design of the team’s black-and-white uniforms, which he debuted himself during his run of eight sold-out concerts in September that served as the debut of the arena.
A spokesman for Jay-Z did not respond to a message.
Friendly with LeBron James and a number of sports superstars, Jay-Z could quickly make Roc Nation a force in the agency field. The company recently signed New York Yankees All-Star Robinson Cano. The Nets hoped his reputation and friendships would help them three years ago when James led a loaded field of free agents, but the Nets, then playing in Newark, failed to land any of them.
Knicks’ big men missing
The New York Knicks will be without big men Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin tonight when they bring their 13-game winning streak to Chicago. Chandler missed the Knicks’ 120-99 victory over Washington on Tuesday because of a bulging disk. The All-Star center had played in the previous four games after missing 10 in a row, then told coach Mike Woodson he felt soreness Sunday. Martin returned Tuesday from a two-game absence with a sore left knee, then went down with a severely sprained left ankle.