For the second straight day, Jay-Z has made headlines in the sports world for legal reasons: Yesterday the rapper was settling his night club lawsuit with Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, and now Jigga has drawn the ire of the NBA after he appeared in the locker room of the Kentucky Wildcats after their Elite Eight win in the NCAA basketball tournament this past Sunday. Post-victory celebrity visitors to the Kentucky locker room have become a trademark for the team -- LeBron James and Drake have both stopped by after big wins in the past -- but Jay-Z's standing as a part owner of the New Jersey (soon-to-be Brooklyn) Nets violates a code of conduct in the NBA.
CBS Sportsline's Ken Berger points out that since the Kentucky team has a pair of players that may be headed to the pros as high draft picks, Jay-Z's interaction with the team will be investigated by the NBA. It's similar to a situation in 2007 when Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was seen sitting next to the mother of then-Texas Longhorn and current NBA all-star Kevin Durant at a college game. Ainge was fined $30,000 for that incident, so it's likely Jay-Z will face a punishment along those lines, if not more due to the amount of players involved. Good thing he has that Ortiz settlement money.
Ironically, the Nets lost any chance of drafting Kentucky's marquee players (Brandon Knight and Terrance Jones) when they dealt their first-round lottery pick to the Utah Jazz for Deron Williams, so Jay-Z likely wasn't there to scout talent. Instead, Jay and Kentucky coach John Calipari share a powerful and influential friend: sports agent and Wildcats fan William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley, the man credited with roping celebrities into the Kentucky locker room in the first place.
Tune in tomorrow as Jay-Z inevitably and single-handedly settles the NFL labor dispute.
- Boston Red Sox
- David Ortiz