Sure, the Finals were fun, in a sort of “two-teams-shooting-35%-from-the-floor” sort of way. But now the real entertainment begins. Watching professional franchises, several steeped in rich history and other heralded by some of the most powerful men in the world, crawl and beg before a 25-year-old small forward from Akron, Ohio.
First up? H.O.V.A.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the New Jersey Nets will be the team invited to visit with LeBron James first regarding his free agency on July 1st.
The Nets are hoping James’ relationship with the Nets’ representative, rap mogul Jay-Z, will be a key factor in where he decides to land. New majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov will also join team officials for the presentation. Prokhorov’s key influence should be his ability to model for LeBron what it’s like to be a billionaire, and to pitch a global influence for his brand.
The teams invited (the Nets, the Bulls, the Heat, the Cavs, the Knicks, and, ahem, the Clippers) will not be hosting LeBron, but instead visiting Akron to make their pitch, as James’ manager told ESPN.com Friday.
James has long been a friend with Jay-Z, with some describing him as a mentor to the young superstar. If the Nets want to convince James to play two seasons in New Jersey before making Brooklyn his kingdom, Mr. Carter may have the best shot at making an impact.
On a taped segment on the David Letterman show Friday night, Jay-Z made it clear that they’ll be selling James on Brooklyn, not Newark. He also carefully sidestepped any comments that might result in a fine.
Being first may not be the best thing for the Nets, as there’s a thing called the recency effect which influences memory on the first thing in a series you’re presented with. But bringing in a billionaire Russian businessman and the most famous rapper on Earth? That’s a pretty good way to make an impression.
Let the games begin.