Jay-Z and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov put in their official pitch to recruit NBA all-star player Lebron James for their Brooklyn Nets team on Thursday (July 1). The Brooklyn rapper, who owns a small stake in the team, sat down for a 90-minute session with James, majority owner Prokhorov and Nets coach Avery Johnson to kick off the million-dollar bidding war for the two-time NBA MVP.
Johnson reported that the meeting went “well,” before the Nets team packed up and headed to Chicago to meet with other free agents Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Hov and Prokhorov’s pitch was followed by a presentation from the New York Knicks, who were allotted two hours to woo the 25-year-old star, with the allure of playing at the infamous Madison Square Garden. In the upcoming week, at least six NBA teams, including James’ hometown Cavaliers, the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers will make their pitches.
James’ decision isn’t expected to be finalized for at least another week, but in the meantime sports bloggers are having a ball by pitting Jay-Z’s Nets against the Knicks. The rap mogul’s longtime friendship with James have led many to believe that James might be more inclined to join the Nets in the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Nets recently launched their Blueprint campaign a spin off of Jay-Z’s recent album the ‘Blueprint 3′ to rebuild the ailing team. Images of Jay-Z and Prokhorov bearing the slogan “The Blueprint for Greatness,” can be found on Internet ads, and outdoor locations in Newark and New York, including the most visible mural painted above the Knicks’ home at Madison Square Garden.