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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yahoo! Sports: LeBron will choose Jay-Z, billions, over White Owner Guy, millions

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 7:44 AM

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Danny Ferry delivered LeBron his trinkets, and while their sum total is closer to a four-finger gold ring than the iced-out grill he was hoping for, he’s certainly seemed content since the trade. On Friday night against the Wizards, as Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, and Joe Smith sat in a luxury box in suits like unwrapped presents, LeBron danced during timeouts, always a good indicator of his mood. The next game, his new friends uniformed and on the court, the re-tooled team promptly smashed the Grizzlies. But as Yahoo! sportswriter Adrian Wojnarowski feels inclined to remind us, any satisfaction Cleveland can give LeBron will likely be short-lived. Because how can we compete with The Jiggaman? Jay-Z may be more of a street-cred figurehead than an operational owner of the Nets, but he’ll still likely be the face of the franchise when the team moves to Brooklyn—the lesser borough’s version of Spike Lee, only he’s allowed to enter the locker rooms and perhaps oversee the signing of a backup center.
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And since we all know that LeBron is enamored with Jay-Z — before you blame him, look how the guy wears a hat — this is kind of like knowing your steady sweetheart since high school will leave you for somebody else, and who that somebody else is, and exactly when and why you’re going to be dumped — and no amount of gift-wrapped Ben Wallaces will keep him forever. That’s basically the gist of the Wojnarowski column, which underlines LeBron’s quest to become the first billion-dollar athlete, and quotes a gushing sports marketing executive on the lucrative potential of a Jay-Z/LeBron partnership. “Jay-Z is the one person that I can put in a parallel universe with LeBron from where they started and where they are now,” says Sonny Vaccaro, the endorsement virtuoso who signed Michael Jordan to his first sneaker contract. “If LeBron has a role model in life, it’s Jay-Z. I’ve never been around a more perfect match of young genius. What would be better than these two kids in New York?” It’s nothing Clevelanders haven’t heard before. But the column reminds us that our only hope is that, in the next three years, Jay-Z goes Howard Hughes on us — selling his stake in the Nets, holing up in a hotel room, and bottling his toenails and feces. Let us hope. – Gus Garcia-Roberts

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