MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

June 24, 2013

Jay-Z is Durant’s new agent

Kevin Durant has become the first NBA star to sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation agency.

Durant posted a photo on social media Monday of himself and the rap mogul with the paperwork. Jay-Z became certified as a representative by the NBA players’ association last week.

A quote attributed to Durant above the picture says he’s “grateful for this opportunity with Roc Nation Sports. It’s go time.”

The Oklahoma City star and Olympic gold medalist — who had a field goal percentage over 50, a 3-point percentage over 40 and a free-throw percentage over 90 — leaves agent Rob Pelinka to sign with Roc Nation.

“He has a 90.5 free throw shooting rate, the youngest player in NBA history to join the 50-40-90 club, a giving individual and a legend in the making. What more can I say?” reads the quote attributed to Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter.

The partnership will immediately test Jay-Z’s ability to score out-of-the-box marketing deals.

After all, Durant is one of the most bankable athletes in all of sports, having endorsement deals with Nike, Sprint, Gatorade, Skullcandy headphones, BBVA Compass, 2K Sports and Panini America.

Although Durant will be a full client of the firm, he doesn’t need a contract agent because he signed an $85 million extension with the Thunder in 2010 that will take him through the 2015-16 season. Perhaps that’s the reason why Durant can be signed, even though a source told ESPN.com last week that Jay-Z had not sold his small ownership share (1 percent) of the Brooklyn Nets. An owner of a team cannot have any affiliation with a sports agency that represents players in contract negotiations.

Jay-Z can, however, do marketing deals now even if his share of his Nets holdings hasn’t been sold.

Aside from Durant, Jay-Z’s sports clients include New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith and Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins.

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