Jay-Z recently made an appearance on FOX Sports Radio's "The Stephen A. Smith Show" - not as a rapper or label head, but as part-owner of the New Jersey Nets and friend to NBA superstar LeBron James.
Smith asked Hov about his opinion on LeBron's much-talked-about difficulties in the recent playoff games against the Boston Celtics. "Is it teammates not stepping up, is it the head coach not doing what he's supposed to be doing, is it Boston's defense? Knowing basketball the way that you do, combined with LeBron James the way that you do, what is the most frustrating element out there that some of us might not be seeing?"
Jay identified Boston's recent dominance as an important factor in LeBron's difficulty. "...The first thing I would say is never really underestimate the heart of a champion. Like, Boston just won the championship two years ago, and it was a great story for everybody to dismiss them as old and just say this is going to be an easy series. I think LeBron and the Cavs know from the beginning, because they're basketball players, they're not into, you know, media sensation. They knew this was going to be a war and a tough series. I think Boston got healthy at the right time, and the fact that a lot of them were out a lot of the year, it helped them, it kind of worked in their favor because a lot of them rested...you know, they're rested and they're healthy at the right time. And this is the champion two years, just two ago. So, it's not like a 16-seed, this is a real team, and Rondo is playing like Nate Archibald, or somebody. [Laughing] Who is this guy, man?"
Stephen A. Smith also posed a question for Jay-Z regarding his role with the New Jersey Nets now that the organization has a new owner. "Well, uh, yeah, I sat down with him and we had a fantastic conversation, and, you know, there were things that I wanted to really make clear, that I wanted to be like an active owner, and this is something that I really care about and it's not just a name cache for me. You know, it certainly isn't, at this specific moment, making me any money, so, you know, it's really just a thing that I love. And you know me, you know I love sports, so, you know, everybody was happy about what I was saying so it looks like I'll be taking a more active role in, you know, what's going on, and it should be fun."
When asked to clarify what an "active" role meant, Jay simply explained that his relationship with the new owner is "off to a flying start."