Jay-Z Says 'Brooklyn Nets' Will Be New Name for NBA Team

Monday, September 26, 2011

When the basketball team known as the New Jersey Nets moves to its new home in Brooklyn next year, it will be renamed the Brooklyn Nets, rapper Jay-Z, an investor in the team, announced on Monday.

"I asked for two things out of my partners in ownership is that we rename the New Jersey Nets the Brooklyn Nets, and the second one is that I open it with a concert," he said.

No date has been set for the concert, but organizers said it would be about a year from now. It also unclear how many nights Jay-Z will appear at the new Barclays Arena.

"Maybe one, maybe two, maybe three. I sound like Lebron [James]", he said. "Definitely more than one."

Jay-Z is an investor in the team, but the naming decision was up to the majority owner, Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, said Bruce Ratner, the real estate developer behind the new arena.

Ratner said Prokhorov recognized that the Nets' name has history. And he dismissed recent reports that Prokhorov has fallen out of favor with the Kremlin.

"Mikhail Prokhorov is on the ins with Brooklyn and America, so you know what? Whatever happens, happens. But we love Michael Prokhorov," Ratner said.

The New Jersey Nets' current home is the Prudential Center in Newark.


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Comments [5]

Norman Oder

Sorry, my earlier comment referred to the evening's event, which nobody but me covered: the head of the state agency in charge of the project met with local legislators and concerned citizens, and mostly gave the cordial brush-off.

My coverage of the Jay-Z event was here:

Sep. 28 2011 10:41 PM
Norman Oder

Here's more comprehensive coverage, including video:

Sep. 27 2011 11:45 PM
sarah wenk

Really, WNYC? Nothing about the broken promises, the neighborhood's objections, the lack of local politicians at the announcement? I'd think you'd try to dig a little deeper and not just be PR hacks for Ratner.

Sep. 27 2011 05:12 PM
Michael Galinsky from brooklyn

While I completely understand time/space constraints, I find this article incredibly disappointing and agree wtih Jezra Kaye. It was money well spent yesterday- to build a tent- hang a sign- and trot out Jay Z. I spoke with Mr. Martinez after the event. When asked what I thought about the name of the team, I instead wanted to talk about the idea that this press event was designed, "like a magicians trick" to divert attention from the fact that there are no jobs or housing. The press doesn't have to be complicit - and report what the developer wants. Stories can have larger context. I don't need to see my quote, but I expect more counter narrative from WNYC. If this station doesn't provide context how is anyone expected to get it. Here is my take on the situation.

Sep. 27 2011 01:49 PM
Jezra Kaye from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

It's impressive how deftly and thoroughly the Markowitz/Ratner PR machine was able to turn attention from the fact that only a few hundred jobs have been created by trotting out Jay-Z for this non-announcement. Half a million dollars a year of PR investment sure buys you some good press.

Sep. 26 2011 11:03 PM

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