Shawn Carter, better known as rapper, entrepreneur, and one-time Brooklyn Nets part owner Jay-Z, once famously boasted in a lyric, "I'm not a businessman. I'm a business, man." And his new business took a major step forward Friday, man.
Carter, having sold his stake in the Nets to begin a venture as an agent with his newly formed Roc Nation Sports, will reportedly sign Oklahoma City Thunder forward and three-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant to his agency according to Yahoo! Sports.
As ProBasketballTalk points out, Roc Nation Sports is a collaboration between Carter's group and Creative Artists Agency, an established power in the market and a company whose client list includes Miami's Dwyane Wade, San Antonio's Tony Parker, and Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari.
Roc Nation made its two biggest signings in recent months, nabbing New York Yankees star Robinson Cano and former West Virginia quarterback and New York Jets second-round pick Geno Smith. It has reportedly also shown interest in New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.
But the reported signing of Durant changes everything, both for the company and the client.
Durant, who averaged 28.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for Oklahoma City last season, is already one of the most dominant players in the league on the court and one of the most marketable players off of it. The union of the D.C. native and one of hip-hop's most influential figures could signal the start of a paradigm shift in professional sports.
"KD doesn't want a traditional NBA agent anymore," a source told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Friday night. "He wants Jay-Z to handle his branding.…He had a chance to be with his idol and couldn't say no."
Durant already has major endorsement deals with Sprint, Nike, and Gatorade, among others, and is in a league with few others when it comes to a consistent NBA face in television commercials. His Sprint ads rival Chris Paul's State Farm spots and Blake Griffin's Kia advertisements as perhaps the ones most commonly on repeat between whistles during the NBA Playoffs.
So what could the union with Carter mean?
His experience with the Rocawear line opens the door for Durant's possible foray into clothing, if not Carter's other ventures into alcohol (Armadale vodka), night clubs (40/40), and most obviously music.
Might we see a Shaquille O'Neal-style rap album from Durant? As of now, I'd doubt it. Can we expect a few Jay-Z lyrics that include references to the young NBA star? Most certainly.
What rhymes with "Durant"?