Posted by Matt Moore
Jay-Z is a popular guy, I'm sure you've figured out. Being arguably the biggest rap star alive will do that for you. But he's also very popular in the basketball community. He's a close, personal friend of LeBron James. And it would seem he's in with James' friend John Calipari as well, as he visited the Kentucky Wildcats locker room last weekend. Which, naturally, is not so much in the realm of being okay with league rules concerning interactions with NCAA players. From CBSSports.com's Ken Berger:
The NBA plans to investigate contact between Nets part-owner Jay-Z and members of the Kentucky basketball team after the Wildcats beat North Carolina Sunday to advance to the Final Four, a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com. The hip-hop mogul's visit was documented in photos and video showing him congratulating players in the Kentucky locker room, which happened to have been occupied by two potential lottery picks -- Brandon Knight and Terrance Jones. As noted here, this offense would seem to be comparable to Celtics GM Danny Ainge sitting with Kevin Durant's mother during the 2007 Big 12 tournament. Ainge was fined $30,000, a slap on the wrist in exchange for the opportunity to schmooze a top prospect's mom. But given that standard, Jay-Z should be docked $30K for each college player who was in the locker room.via Post-Ups: NBPA looks to learn from NFLPA's decertification tactics - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.
The assumption by many is that the link between Jay-Z and the Wildcats is Jay-Z's friend William Wesley, who has his hands in just about everything NBA, and actually represents Calipari for CAA. That's a pretty obvious link.
The question has to be if that's how Jay-Z was granted access, if Calipari was the reason and Wesley the facilitator, what the NBA will do about it. The answer? Nothing. It's easy to look at this as a harmless incident, and for the most part it is, which is why the Nets minority owner will receive a minor fine and things will go on. But it's part of a continuing pattern where elements are being moved in conjunction with one another as part of the same base. It also reinforces how bizarre it was that LeBron James elected to head to Miami instead of New Jersey.