Now we have four rappers who are part owners of NBA teams. Still only one that anyone talks about, but four total.
Will Smith — rapper, actor, the Fresh Prince himself — and his wife Jada Pinkett are now minority owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, it was announced at the introductory press conference for the ownership group. He did not attend the press conference because, well, he’s Will Smith. “Men in Black 3” and all. But he’s all in.
Smith was born and raised in West Philly, if you didn’t know. That was before he moved to Bel Air. But he didn’t forget how to play hoops — we have the video footage.
Smith is part of the new ownership group headed by Joshua Harris, who came in and made a splash at their first public introduction. That started by slashing ticket prices for the majority of seats in the building.
The new owners also set up a Web page where fans can leave thoughts and suggestions for ownership. Just don’t tell them to trade Elton Brand (they already know).
As for the other rappers in the ownership game, there is Jay-Z and his one-percent of the Nets, Usher with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Nelly with the Charlotte Bobcats.
The new Sixers owners also officially let former GM Ed Stephanski go, which was the humane thing to do rather than watch him twist in the wind. He was on his way out with Rod Thorn and others being called in. Stephanski is in the running for the Portland GM job and started to have serious talks with Toronto but those have apparently run into a snag.