The Times They Are A Changing

Every so often something will happen in the sports world that reminds me that I am getting old. Times change.  Players get old.  Teams move on.  But it's always weird when it actually happens.  It's not unusual to see players end their careers on a different team than they spent most of their careers. Or to see power house franchises struggle.  But over this next year, we're gonna witness some things that I think are gonna seem bizarre. 

Paul Pierce is a Brooklyn Net

I have assured anyone who would listen this year that there was no chance that the Celtics would trade Paul Pierce.  I didn't think they'd do it.  I don't really buy into team legacy too much. But if there is one team where legacy matters, it's the Boston Celtics.  Paul Pierce is a Celtic. I don't care what jersey he ends his career wearing. 

 Ray Lewis is retired and Ed Reed is a Houston Texan

I really started following football closely in 2000.  Before then, I watched football. But I didn't really know what was happening. I just knew Terrell Davis was a monster, Dan Marino was really good and Merton Hanks' neck was not that of a human. So it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that I don't really know an NFL without Ray Lewis. Not sure if it will be weirder not seeing him on Sunday's or seeing Ed Reed in a Houston jersey.

Mariano Rivera is Retiring  

Like with Ray Lewis, I don't really remember the New York Yankees before Rivera. It seems like he's always been there.  I'm not sold this will be his last season and he's still pitching well.  Also, is there an easier gig in sports than closer? You pitch one inning and your main goal is to not screw up. And no one not screws up better than Rivera.

 The LA Lakers are in the Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes

I know everyone is saying that Kobe will start the season and will be 100%. But this isn't happening. Lakers fans are in for a rude awakening.  We are all used to the Lakers being one of the favorites to win it all. It's been this way for the past 15 years barring a few down years. I get that there are few athletes that can rival Kobe Bryant's will and competitive nature. But the guy isn't one of the Avengers. He has a torn achilles tendon.  He's not just popping back up. Settle in for a long season Lakers fans.

 

Jay-Z: Agent?

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Jay-Z can be described as many things. Rapper. Mogul. Businessman. (A fan. A phony. A fake. A p***y. A Stan. At least that's what Nas would call him.) But one thing you've never been able to call him is stupid. Its impossible to remain at the top of any industry for almost two decades and be stupid.  Especially an industry as fickle and youth obsessed as the music industry can be.

Time and again he's shown the ability to reinvent himself. From drug dealer. To rapper that used to be a drug dealer. To pop star that used to be a drug dealer. To Def Jam president. To business mogul. At this point, Jay can announce his next business venture will be launching a new brand of Tupperware called Roc-A-Ware and we will just nod and say "Ok." 

So when I heard the news today that Jay-Z was looking to sell his stake in the Brooklyn Nets so that he can become an NBA agent, my first thought was "Of course he is." This is what Jay-Z does. Color me unsurprised.  But what does surprise me is one revelation I learned.  Jay owned 0.067% of the Brooklyn Nets. Yes, you read that correctly. 0.067. As in less than 1%. Worth about $350,000.  For a franchise worth approximately $530 million.

HUH? That's it? I've always known he didn't own a great portion of the franchise. But really? $350,000? I don't mean to suggest this is a small amount of money. But Jay-Z and Beyonce allegedly spent $200,000 on their daughter Blu Ivy's 1st birthday party.  It turns out that Jay truly was a mascot of sorts for the Nets. He never owned a substantial enough portion of the franchise to have any real power. 

So with the move to Brooklyn complete leaving him without a ton to do and the novelty of "owning" an NBA team wearing off, Jay is a rich guy looking for something else to do with his money. So why not become an agent? He's super popular among players. His name carries weight. And it's not like he's gonna actually be negotiating any contracts.  He'll be a mascot. Same as he was for the Nets. Only this time he stands to make a lot more money.

To quote one of the greatest rappers of all time "Don't be mad at him when it's on to the next one."