Jay Z (no hyphen) has been doing various interviews after dropping his Magna Carta...Holy Grail LP, and the subject of his Roc Nation Sports Agency keeps coming up. After relinquishing his minority ownership of the Brooklyn Nets to become a sports agent who can represent NBA players, the Roc Nation guru says in an interview with Elliott Wilson that his “time was up,” with the Nets.
What’s interesting, is Jay talks about why he wants to represent these young athletes, NBA player particularly, and says he wants to rescue athletes from the pitfalls of big contracts and spending their money unwisely. He sees himself, and these athlete as coming from “the same neighborhoods,” and wants to help them conserve their money, and in the process move “the culture forward in another way.”
Before becoming an agent he was giving advice to players like LeBron James and mentoring several players. Eventually, Jay Z and his associates decided they should go professional and help athletes.
Check out a transcription of most of his key points, and the full interview below.
"I think my job was done as far as the Nets. You know they got back to Brooklyn, I played my part in that. You know, even the look, the design, and attitude of the Brooklyn Nets. If you look at the statistics, most athletes go broke in three of four years. It felt like it needed, now I’m not saying I’m Superman, I felt like there was a greater purpose there...we were always doing it, we were always mentoring, you know the LeBron James...as friends though. It was no business arrangement, just having discussions and talking about it. We were always doing it anyway, so it was like ‘man, let’s step in and do this the right way’ and use the connections and power that we have to...I felt it was important to at least use the agents off they ass and let them get up and get to work. Guys were just signing contracts and then going home. You know, 10-year contracts, and thinking ‘I’m getting paid every year, I don’t have to do anything,’ and ya know I thought it was a travesty. And just watching these guys go broke in four years and it was like ‘yo, you guys don’t even care about their well-being.” This is egregious...it’s fine that ya’ll are signing contracts and you’re going broke...that’s just terrible management...I’m helping the culture...I’m pushing the culture forward in another way. I’m not letting these guys get take advantage of...we come from the same neighborhoods, the same thing. Take LeBron James, ‘your Dad left? My Dad left too...your mom’s name is Gloria? My mom’s name is Gloria.’”