Does President Carter Influence the New Jersey Nets?

ImageHas Jay-Z influenced the NBA's New Jersey Nets since becoming a co-owner last August? That all depends on who you ask.

Nets head coach Lawrence Frank, who has been coach since January 2004, says Jay has helped out with the team whenever needed.

"He helped us this summer with recruiting, just spending time calling guys up, meeting with guys, and lending his time," Frank told andPOP's Adam Gonshor. "He's just been outgoing and a helpful owner. You know he's a busy guy but he still is able to carve out time to help with that."

Nets forward Richard Jefferson spoke to the difference in game attendance since Hov has joined the team, "He's always at the game and he's a staple in New Jersey. People come to games just to see if he's going to be there. He's very positive when it comes to the team and it has a good effect."

Vince Carter, acquired by the Nets last December in a trade with the Toronto Raptors, told the reporter that having an entertainer involved with the team could have some impact on a free agent's decision of who to sign with, pointing out, "[Jay-Z] opens so many doors after basketball."

Indeed, the rapper, born Shawn Carter, has stake in a little bit of everything. He's president and CEO of Def Jam Records, owner of Roc-A-Fella Records, the Rocawear clothing label and the 40/40 sports club chain, and may soon branch into the magazine business as well.

Still, not everyone is a fan of his work in the sports game. Former Nets player Aaron Williams, who was traded to the Raptors last year in the deal for Carter, said, "He had zero impact on the team. He was never there. He has no say. He's just there for publicity."

Williams went on to add, "I don't think he's qualified to be involved. He's a rapper and a businessman. I don't think he knows anything about the business of basketball."

Since Jay-Z became a part owner, two other high profile artists have entered the NBA's owner's club-Usher with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Nelly with the Charlotte Bobcats.

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