Right now, there’s a family tiff that’s got LeBron James riled up.
The Met Gala elevator Solange Knowles drum session wasn’t the only instance of Jay Z or a member of his Roc family catching a beat down on video. With Jay Z courtside for a pivotal Game 4 in Barclays, James wailed on the Brooklyn Nets en route to a virtuoso 49-point performance.
Jay Z may not be an official ambassador like Toronto's Aubrey Graham or own a little Brooklyn Nets baby fat anymore, but the franchise still manifests itself as the scion of Jigga. The Nets are still his 15-man entourage, but LeBron James is fam too. As early as the summer of 2003, Jay was calling his “extended family” one half of the Two Kings.
“It's real family, and that's my boy right there. It's just that, you know, rap artists and basketball players, we joined at the hip anyway.” Jay told Sway before James had played his first pro game.
Jay’s recent tiff with Drake further complicates the “family dynamic”.
On Monday night, LeBron carried the swag of a champion and shared tough love with Jay the Brooklyn way. Sway couldn’t find the answers to stopping James if he had the cheat sheet printed out for him as the MVP runner-up came a last-second missed free throw from setting a new playoff-career high en route to Miami's 102-96 win.
The Nets find themselves in a precarious situation.
James barely broke a sweat in Games 1 and 2 before rediscovering his stride in a Game 3 loss. The victory compelled Paul Pierce to start smacking his gums.
Unlike the Knowles-Carter beef, we actually have the audio that explains the root of this most recent stir-up. James’ 49 points was a thundering response to Pierce puffing up his chest post-Game 4.
"You know you've got to have that type of mental [approach] when you're going against a juggernaut," Pierce explained about his axiom for creating an edge following Sunday's Nets practice. "When you go against the best … a lot of series are won on fear factor, or the non-belief. When you have that non-belief, then you have no chance.
James remained reticent, blew the dust off of Jay's old Black Album CD, and started dropping familiar bars.
I try to ignore him, talk to the Lord
Pray for him, but some fools just love to perform
You know the type, loud as a motorbike
But wouldn't bust a grape in a fruit fight
And only thing that's gon' happen is
I'm-a get to clapping and
He and his boys gonna be yapping to the Captain
Most of the bruises dished out were incurred by Pierce’s ego. After all that talk, Pierce’s 36-year old body couldn’t back up what his mouth started. Pierce still has the cache from years of All-Star caliber play in Celtic green, but his post-Celtics career is a lot like Jay Z’s Post-Black Album career.
Pierce approved the trade to Brooklyn for an opportunity to finish what he started. The trio of Pierce, KG and Ray Allen kicked off the super-team era and have been trying to thwart James since they expelled him from Cleveland in 2010. Pierce looked as antiquated on the court as Jay sounds on Magna Carta, Kingdom Come and Blueprint 3. Time catches up to us and then beats us into submission. James’ tallied a bucket for nearly every year of the age Pierce looked on Monday night
Pierce did follow through on his plan to guard James, but the plan blew up in his face like cake on Anna Mae and the effects of time were ratified on Pierce's body.
Seven defenders squared up to defend James in halfcourt scenarios and he gave them all the Solange heel-toe-swing combo.
Idk what Jay said to Solange, but I know what set LeBron off. Y'all gone learn today. pic.twitter.com/90BIpFNi2E
— DJ Meta Dunson (@CerebralSportex) May 13, 2014
The Nets have fought admirably with a shorthanded, decaying roster but this is only a final preamble for the heralded battle for the Eastern Conference crown between Prince (Paul) George and King James.
The Nets are simply a pre-Showtime Boxing sparring partner helping James and Dwyane Wade make weight. He brought his old Celtic toughness to Brooklyn, but unfortunately he forgot to leave behind his fossilized ankles and ligaments behind as well. As Game 5 approaches, the silence from Pierce is deafening and Jay Z is somewhere devouring fondue. Pierce should make himself a doggy bag for the trip to Miami.