I actually just typed NJ Nets into the headline, that’s how powerful is that muscle memory. From a global standpoint — on the planet today — Brooklyn is a bigger brand than New Jersey. Jay-Z is a bigger brand than Shawn Carter. Barclay’s Bank and Barclay’s Center are bigger than Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov. Messrs. Ratner and Prokhorov, though well-known in certain global circles, are building something truly amazing from the ground up that will transcend Deron Williams, Joe Smith and Dwight Howard.
By allowing Mr. Carter, aka Jay-Z, who happens to own one fifteenth of one percent of the Nets to be brand manager and face of the franchise, Mr. Ratner and Mr. Prokhorov have insured not only success but brand cachet. This isn’t some Robert Moses shizz anymore, knocking down brownstones, this is music. And sports. And rebirth. This is an overdog story turned into an underdog story. Thanks to Jay-Z, the attachment rate of coolness to the Brooklyn Nets brand is como se rich.
It is all good right now. (The NY Knicks could steal a page.) Jay-Z is smiling and respected. His empire fits nicely into all of this. But the moment disrespect rears its ugly little head – as power and influence begins to change – there may be trouble. Let’s not go there. All the players have done too much right. Celebrate. Brooklyn. Where my people are from. Peace!