Things haven’t been easy for the Brooklyn Nets over the past decade.
Just two winning seasons in 10 years have culminated into the ultimate frustration that is the 2016-17 season: A league worst 16-58 record and the possibility of winning the No. 1 draft pick… only to have it sent to the Boston Celtics as a part of the 2013 deal that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn.
As a way to try and develop into a competitor in the Eastern Conference, that trade came three years after LeBron James’ famed free agency saga in which he left the Cleveland Cavaliers to turn the Miami Heat into a superpower alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
While every team seemingly had interest in James during that summer of 2010, the Nets might have been working on their pitch for the superstar in as early as 2008.
West Coast hip-hop legend Too Short appeared on the Scoop B Radio Podcast with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson in March and revealed that former Nets minority owner Jay-Z’s 2008 diss track, “Blow the Whistle,” might have been an early attempt at getting James to the Barclays Center.
Jay-Z used the instrumentals from Too Short’s earlier version of a track also titled “Blow the Whistle,” to go after former Washington Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson, who claimed that James was overrated.
Below is an excerpt from Jay-Z’s track:
Uh! Ask my ***** LeBron!
We so big we ain't gotta respond
When you talkin' to a don, please have respect like you're talking' to your mom
We let the money do the talkin'
As you see we be talkin' rather often (chatterbox!)
The ROC Boys in the buildin'
Another hundred fifty million don't it sound like we yellin?!!!
Who the **** overrated?! If anything they underpaid him
Hatin' that's only 'gonna make him spend the night
Out of spite with the chick you've been datin'
We the best of the best
We 'gon be here so the rest could take a rest
I gotta get this off my chest
“So I guess in his mind he was gearing up to, at that point, I think he was thinking about signing LeBron and having him play for the Nets and he was courting LeBron and LeBron was special to him and ol’ boy [Stevenson] stepped on LeBron’s toes talking s*** and Jay was like, ‘I’m going to shut this down,’” Too Short told Robinson "And he probably saw the moment where the crowd reacted to the song and then that was on his mind.”
It did little to affect James’s decision as he took his talents to Miami and won a pair of championships. To add insult to injury, he and the Heat knocked the Nets out of the Eastern Conference semifinals in five games during the 2014 playoffs.
Jay-Z was out of the picture with the Nets by then though as he sold his stake in the team and the Barclays Center in 2013.