Maybe Jay-Z went to the the University of Kentucky / North Carolina game simply as a basketball fan, and maybe he went to the locker room just to congratulate these young men after their win. Maybe he went in as Jay-Z, super star rapper, not Shawn Carter, minority owner of the New Jersey Nets. The NBA doubts it though.
The NBA is now investigating whether his presence in the locker room goes against their rules that team personnel are prohibited from having any contact with college players before they declare the draft. He faces real trouble, because it was specifically UK which has several lottery picks, including Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones.
Four years ago, Boston Celtics general manager, Danny Ainge was fined $30,000 for sitting with Kevin Durant’s mother during a Big 12 tournament game before the then University of Texas freshman had declared whether he’d enter the NBA draft or not.
It’s not clear whether Jay’s intentions were to convince anybody, especially since the Nets don’t have a 2011 pick after the Deron Williams deal, but who knows what the NBA will decide. The fine could be a hefty one – especially if its $30,000 per player present – but its not much to Jay-Z and its especially chump change to Nets owner, Mikhail Porkhorov (who’s like a gazillionaire). If he’s the one footing the bill, he’ll probably tell Jay to go on a national college tour.
Note to Hov: learn the rules and if you’re going to break them, don’t allow cameras around :)