Jay-Z has officially switched the plan up.
Weeks after news broke that the hip-hop mogul would need to divest his minority ownership stake in the Brooklyn Nets in order to pursue his NBA certification as an agent with Roc Nation Sports, Time magazine's "Most Influential People in the World" cover man erased any doubt with a formal statement. It all went down Thursday (April 18), just days before the Nets embark on their first-round playoff run against the Chicago Bulls.
"Being a member of the Nets organization surpassed some of my greatest ambitions," Jay 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."
But just as he so boldly rapped in the incendiary track "Open Letter," the Roc Nation CEO — who is reportedly working on his 12th studio album — will still "own the building" and be able to watch Brooklyn "keep on taking it" from his courtside throne.
"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 continued in the statement. "Our newest endeavor is committed 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 making the playoffs! I will always be a Brooklyn Net."
Jay shook up the sports world earlier this month with the signing of New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano as his first Roc Nation Sports client. Sports industry insiders believe that Hov is racing against the clock in order to be eligible to compete for players who are entering the NBA draft in June.