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Jay-Z has a potential interest in Nets

May 7, 2004 at 8:35 PM

DETROIT, May 7 (UPI) -- Rapper Jay-Z's possible purchase of the New Jersey Nets has given its playoff series against the Detroit Pistons a unique buzz in the sports world.

Jay-Z was not scheduled to be at the Palace of Auburn Hills Friday night as the Nets took on the Pistons. He's scheduled for two concerts in London and a talk with Prince Charles.

But the hip-factor is upped for the series with the shadow of this iconic, influential 34-year-old rapper, born Shawn Carter, hovering over the basketball games. The excitement quotient is further enhanced by Jay-Z's girlfriend, R&B superstar Beyonce.

Jay-Z recently joined a group led by New York real estate developer Bruce Ratner as it prepared to purchase the New Jersey Nets with a $300 million bid. Jay-Z did not disclose what financial stake he has in the purchase, but he is not the lead investor.

"It's the first time that a rapper has had his hands in any professional sports. It's a good thing for the community," says Nets star Kenyon Martin, a Saginaw native who has hung out with the rapper on several occasions.

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