Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Roundtable: Who's Buying the Brooklyn Nets?

With Jay-Z selling his ownership stake in the Nets, what celebrity would be best standing next to owner
Mikhail Prokhorov next? (

BDD's Friday Roundtable is a weekly discussion among a group of our writers on a trending NBA or college basketball topic.

This week's question: With Jay-Z selling his minor ownership stake in the Brooklyn Nets (and writing the song "Open Letter" about it, nonetheless), which celebrity should buy the shares and claim courtside seats in Barclays Center?

I’m prefacing my response with this: I’m a man. A man’s man. Wait, that’s not right. Meat is my thing. Men like me. Oh, God. I mean, sports! Hoops and balls and rims, that’s what I’m talking about, you guys! Damnit.  

I think Andy Cohen should nut up and buy the Brooklyn Nets. You may not think you know Andy Cohen, but you know Andy Cohen. And more importantly, your girlfriend, the one with all the disposable income and 84 percent of your DVR, knows Andy Cohen. He’s the fella responsible for the Real Housewives franchise, among other things.  He’s the triple threat: loud, gay, and a television genius. Look out, Miami! Andy Cohen’s Nets are coming to box and one LeBron AND solve all of South Beach’s sartorial offenses.  

Why would Andy Cohen be a good NBA owner?

1.     Boom, the entire season is a reality show. Just like that. How many times have you watched an episode of Hard Knocks and thought, “you know what this show needs? More Andray Blatche!” With Andy Cohen at the helm, ask and you shall receive. I’m talking cameras in the locker room, in the practice facility, in Brook Lopez’ cedar closet (I’m not the only one assuming Brook Lopez has a cedar closet, right?). Twenty-four-seven access to the Brooklyn Nets.
2.     Luxury Tax? Hel-looo! Andy Cohen has size nine Ferragamos that cost more than Keith Bogans. Andy Cohen laughs at your luxury tax, Mr. Stern. Only he does it in a really intelligent, passive aggressive way that leaves Stern questioning his own acumen, and then, like, whether they were even BFFs in the first place. And omigod, Andy, why did you have Adam Silver over for brunchtails and not David? He’s way upset.
3.     Star power. According to this GQ article , Andy Cohen has the following folks in his rolodex: Jerry Seinfeld, Meryl Streep, John Mayer, Mark Ruffalo, Dan Rather and Sarah Jessica Parker. That’s a compelling courtside angle. Also, hell of a kiss cam with Rather and SJP. Gross.

Sidenote: Which jersey do you think Meryl would wear? I’m thinking Jerry Stackhouse. That woman is all class. John Mayer would rock Mirza Teletovic because, man, he would never comply with the disgusting social norm that is supporting Deron Williams.  

That’s it. Cohen is the guy. I’ll leave you with one lasting image: Lakers amnesty Kobe. Upset Kobe tells all on Bravo. Jeanie Buss and Andy Cohen throw champagne at each other during the next owner’s meeting.
Obviously part of Jay-Z's appeal with the Nets is the not-at-all secret that Brooklyn is his home and his third love behind his wife Beyoncé and black clothing. So naturally it would make sense for his replacement to also have ties to the Brooklyn or New Jersey (the Nets former home) area.

As cool as it would be for New Jersey native "The Boss" Bruce Springsteen to be an NBA "boss" (he's more of a baseball guy, anyway) I'm going with a basketball fan who may spend his days in Hollywood, but grew up in Brooklyn and who's personality would make the Nets instantly entertaining. And that man is Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel has become a big name in late night TV and comedy with a connection to the NBA as his ABC show Jimmy Kimmel Live! has a primetime "Game Night" show during the NBA finals. Not to mention he gets current and former NBA player on his show as guest on a routine basis.

Imagine how entertaining Nets media events would be with Kimmel cracking jokes. Hell, imagine one-on-one conversations with he and majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov. "Hear me out, Mikey, medicinal marijuana night would make concession sales skyrocket!" Kimmel would recruit free agents to the Nets as guests on his show and entertain the crowd with a stand-up act at halftime. The final step would be getting his good friend, and Boston lover, Matt Damon to own a piece of the Celtics and the two would plot and conspire to split up and take down the Heat and reclaim the NBA for their respective cities. Then the two can compete for who gets LeBron James on Kimmel's show by letting LeBron fire a current Nets or Celtics player on live TV. You're welcome, ABC.

There are too many good answers to this. Here's one I discarded: Kevin Garnett. He's surly against opponents and Craig Sager, plus he was involved in a scuffle against the Nets earlier this season. Imagine how he would leverage this against a divisional foe that should be in the Eastern Conference playoffs every year for the foreseeable future. It's the kind of thing that, combined with Garnett's high-level trash talk game, could cover any slips in his game for the next 10 years. The Celtics might consider stashing him in the D-League when Garnett is ready to retirement, if only to call him up for games against Brooklyn. Allowing a current player to own a share of an NBA franchise he is not part of is probably against some bylaw, I don't know, but this is worth exploring if you are Doc Rivers.

The best answer, though, is the easy one. Did the Nets trade Kris Humphries? No? He's still there? Then Kanye West should buy those shares and any others he can until he has a significant ownership share. He's already in good with Jay-Z and has a history of rubbing other celebrities the wrong way, so this move actually wouldn't be too shocking. Yeezy's history with Humphries is more serious than any of Garnett's superficial beefs in the name of sport, especially as Humphries' ex-wife moves further along in her pregnancy with Kanye's baby. West could maneuver to keep Humphries under contract with the Nets for the remainder of his NBA career, smugly smiling from seats at the end of the bench with Kardashian and Babye the entire time.

It wouldn't all be bad, of course. Kanye could perform at every halftime, bring his bear mascot into Barclays for additional crowd entertainment and expand his designer dabbling into the realm of athletic wear. (He couldn't do any worse than Jay in the last category.) Oh yeah, and the Kris Humphries thing. That would be great. 

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