JAY-Z has joined as the company’s president of basketball operations. “We’ve been working with Roc Nation for quite some time. They’ve been great partners to us for several years. We’ve done many different deals with many different ambassadors,” Adam Petrick, Puma’s global director of brand and marketing, told Complex.
BAQUET Do you think basketball is more politically active than football? JAY-Z Yeah. BAQUET Why is that? JAY-Z I think because, first of all, it’s smaller numbers. It’s 12 people on a team. In football you have 53 people. So it’s harder to get 53 people thinking the same thing. It’s easier to have a conversation to get 12 people on the same page. For one. Two, [the N.B.A. has] a great … they have a great commissioner who’s really open. And, you know, supports them. And you feel that. You feel like, you know, when you have someone behind you that really believe in what’s right, it motivates you to do the right thing. I think those two factors show why they’re much further along.
JAY-Z Yeah, there was a great Kanye West line in one of [his] songs: “Racism’s still alive, they just be concealin’ it.” [“Never Let Me Down,” from West’s 2004 album, “The College Dropout.”] Take a step back. I think when Donald Sterling3 got kicked out of the N.B.A., I thought it was a misstep, because when you kick someone out, of course he’s done wrong, right? But you also send everyone else back in hiding. People talk like that. They talk like that. Let’s deal with that. I wouldn’t just, like, leave him alone. It should have been some sort of penalties. He could have lost some draft picks. But getting rid of him just made everyone else go back into hiding, and now we can’t have the dialogue. The great thing about Donald Trump being president is now we’re forced to have the dialogue. Now we’re having the conversation on the large scale; he’s provided the platform for us to have the conversation.
Jay-Z shared a conversation that he had with LeBron James with the fans at his concert at The Q in Cleveland on Sunday. James was at his concert in Detroit the night before. The rapper said to the crowd that he told James (via the Instagram video shared on Monday): “I told him, ‘Hey man, you my guy and all that, but you can’t be taking pictures at The Garden talking about you’re the king of New York, so I told him I’m coming to Cleveland. I’m the king of Cleveland now.”
Lonzo Ball says he’s incredibly thankful to Jay-Z for ordering 3 pairs of his ZO2 kicks — but reminds the mogul the shoes ain’t coming for another 3 months! We got Lonzo out in Bev Hills over the weekend — after dropping some cash at Louis Vuitton — and asked about Jay publicly and privately throwing his support behind the Big Baller Brand. “I’m just thankful man,” the Lakers rookie said … “Appreciate it.”