Rapper Jay-Z once tried to convince LeBron James to join the then-NBA team New Jersey Nets. As per reports, the 50-year-old rapper held a private meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers star in 2010, before he decided to join Miami Heat. ESPN reported about the incident, revealing how Jay-Z and James met to discuss the then-New Jersey Nets deal.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst wrote about LeBron James' and Jay-Z's interaction during the time, detailing what happened before James decided to join the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. As per Windhorst, Jay-Z and James met a week before James' The Decision TV Special. On July 1, the Nets were among the first six teams to arrive at the IMG building in Cleveland to meet with James. Windhorst stated that Nets owner
Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z exited the car together. Avery Johnson, who was hired as the coach, stated that it was a 'circus show' as they were excited but not ready as a team or an organization. However, Johnson stated that 'Jay-Z really gave a great pitch', appealing to 'their friendship and sold New York'.
As per Windhorst's reports, Jay-Z stayed for some more time after the others had left to talk to James in private for around 15 minutes. After Jay-Z's SUV left the building, he passed the New York Knicks owner James Dolan and general manager Donnie Walsh, who was on a wheelchair due to a surgery. "Our cars were rolling in as the Nets were rolling out," then-Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni revealed. "It was all surreal. That moment was a great piece of NBA history. We'd been waiting two years to make that pitch." The LeBron James Knicks meeting was reported to be a 'disaster' by The Ringer's Bill Simmons, who revealed that James directly signed with the Heat after that.
While reports claimed that Jay-Z made a good pitch, he was not able to close the deal. James ended up signing with the Miami Heat a week later, with whom he won two back-to-back NBA Championships. James did return to Cleveland after four years, where he won the team their first NBA title.
The New Jersey Nets landed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving that same offseason. James is currently with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he was averaging 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and career-high 10.6 assists. James has led the Lakers to a 49-14 win-loss record, ranked first in the Western Conference. James is also in contention for his fifth NBA MVP award along with reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. In a recent LeBron James The Decision documentary aired on Sunday (Monday IST) called Backstory: The Decision talked about the process behind the TV Speical in 2010.