Hip-Hop legend Jay-Z tried to convince LeBron James to bring his talents to Brooklyn over Miami during his famed 2010 free-agency
Ever since he was in high school, LeBron James was considered the next big player since Michael Jordan. Even before his graduation, James had NBA attention and had players attend his school games. He was selected as the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. Spending the first seven seasons of his career in Cleveland, LeBron James won two MVP honors and was an All-Star in all seasons, minus his rookie season.
However, in 2010, LBJ wanted more. He wanted to win a championship, and he wasn’t sure he could achieve the same in Cleveland. Almost every team in the NBA wanted to secure James’ talents. Teams all over the league set up meetings with the King, and the Nets were no different.
To ensure that LeBron considers the Nets seriously, their co-owner tried to use his approach with King James.
Jay-Z tried using his friendship with LeBron James to get him to sign with the Nets
Being friends with LeBron James is a big flex. However, I’m not sure which party has the more considerable flex in Jay-Z’s case. The Hip-Hop sensation has been friends with the King for a long time. In the summer of 2010, Jay-Z decided to use his friendship to lure James to the Nets, a team he co-owns.
Describing the whole scenario, the then Head Coach of the Nets, Avery Johnson, said,
“It was a circus show,” said Avery. “We were very excited. But in all honesty, we weren’t ready as an organization. And we were playing in Newark for the next two years — not New York. But Jay-Z really gave a great pitch. He appealed to their friendship and sold New York.”(via ESPN)
Apparently, Z stayed behind an extra 15 minutes to talk to James and really sell him the idea of playing in New York.
The idea of winning alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh appealed to LBJ more than his friendship with Jay-Z. However, the friendship between the two wasn’t affected by this decision, as Z performed at LeBron’s wedding in 2013.