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The Internet is popping with a report that the hip-hop magnate, who's also a minority owner of the New Jersey Nets, is upset that James kept him out of the loop on his decision to join the Miami team.
The website Mediatakeout.com quotes an "EXTREMELY CREDIBLE insider" - the capital letters are meant to underscore the source's supposed reliability - saying "Jay-Z felt disrespected that King James did not consult with him during the free agency process."
And Gatecrasher got a similar take from a source in Jay-Z's camp. "Jay never expected LeBron to sign with the Nets. He knew that no 25-year-old kid with James' profile was going to spend years in Newark," the source tells Gatecrasher. "But he's pissed, or at least disappointed, that LeBron didn't consult with him."
Still, our source says, "I don't think it's going to affect their friendship."
According to Mediatakeout's insider, James' silent treatment made Jay-Z look bad with Nets' management. While LeBron was making his decision, "he didn't even take [Jay-Z's] calls. It made [Jay-Z] look like he couldn't deliver to the Nets management," the website's source says. If Jay-Z could have landed a star player, "he could have been seen as a legitimate asset to the team," the source said. "Now they see him as just dead weight."
Perhaps, but our source points out that given Jay-Z's minuscule $1 million investment in the Nets, the responsibility to put together a killer team doesn't really lie with him.
"It's not Jay's team," says the source. That dubious honor goes to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who paid $200 million for an 80% stake in the Nets.
Another NBA insider says Jay-Z's real source of dissatisfaction should be Prokhorov. "The Nets have no basketball team," the source says, saying that Prokhorov "overpromoted and overmarketed" the team, but wasn't able to deliver a player with genuine box-office appeal.
Jay-Z's spokeswoman did not respond to our request for comment by deadline, and a spokesman for James declined to comment.
With Carson Griffith