Hip hop mogul and New Jersey Nets part-owner Jay-Z was in his old stomping grounds in Brooklyn on Monday to announce that he will be performing a series of concerts to mark the opening of the Barclays Center next September.
He also let it be known that the New Jersey Nets, who are relocating across the bridge and will call the Barclays Center home beginning in the 2012-13 season, will get a name change: to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets organization has played around with the name since announcing it would move the franchise to Brooklyn, but it will remain the Nets.
"I can't wait, for those Knicks, a.k.a. Manhattan Knicks, to step out of the way for what will surely be our NBA champions, the Brooklyn Nets," said Jay-Z, a.k.a. Shawn Carter.
Jay-Z believes the opening of the Barclays Center will catapult the Nets into contention for NBA titles soon. Only time will tell if that belief will become a reality.
In the meantime, folks seem to excited about the prospect of Jay-Z performing a number of concerts to open the arena. The number of shows and the dates are yet to be determined.
“We're going to open this arena right here with a concert. Maybe one, maybe two, maybe three ... I sound like LeBron," said Jay-Z, who was referring to LeBron James’ prediction of how many NBA titles the Miami Heat would win when he defected from Cleveland last summer.
At any rate, Jay-Z sounds excited about bringing basketball to his hometown and the prospects of performing in the new arena.
"From the moment the Barclays Center became a reality, I knew this meant something significant for Brooklyn," Jay-Z said. "This is where I'm from, I'll always be Brooklyn, and opening this arena will mean more to me than anywhere else. I also look forward to opening night for the Brooklyn Nets. We're going to create an atmosphere like only Brooklyn can."
(Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESSAP)