Rap mogul Jay-Z — co-founder of the hip clothing line Rocawear — is working with Nets brass and Adidas to design uniforms for the team when it moves into the under-construction Barclays Center in Brooklyn next year, Nets officials told the Post yesterday.
Jay-Z and team officials had gathered near the arena construction site to announce that the New Jersey Nets team would be renamed the “Brooklyn Nets.”
Jay-Z is also set to open the 18,000-seat arena in September 2012 with up to three concerts.
Jay Z, Adidas and the Nets are currently ironing out a logo for the Brooklyn Nets and deciding what colors their uniforms should be.
No matter what, the logo will feature Brooklyn prominently because the club wants to tap into the borough’s world-popular brand name, officials said.
The Nets’ current logo features the word “Nets” hovering over a basketball.
“Brooklyn will be involved in whatever we do,” said Fred Mangione, chief marketing officer for the Nets and Barclays Center.
The team’s colors — currently red, silver, white and navy blue — will likely be changed, officials said.
“We will always tinker with things along the way,” Mangione said.
Team officials confided that they briefly considered renaming the team the “Brooklyn Dodgers” — in honor of the borough’s beloved baseball team that fled to Los Angeles in 1957 — but eventually nixed the idea.
Developer Bruce Ratner, who is building the arena and is another part-owner in the Nets, said team officials stayed with the Nets name out of respect to its “loyal fan base.”
He said the Nets, despite being perennial losers in recent years, have a "legacy" that includes two championships in the old American Basketball Association and two appearances in the NBA Finals.
Borough President Marty Markowitz said he was pleased with the team’s renaming, although he did not get his full wish — that the team be dubbed the “Brooklyn Bridges” or “Brooklyn Tudes” — as in “Attitudes.”
“My main issue was that the team had to have ‘Brooklyn’ in its name, so I’m happy,” he said.
The Nets started off in 1967 as the New Jersey Americans in the former ABA before moving to Long Island a year later and being renamed the New York Nets.
The club entered the NBA in the 1976-77 season and a year later, moved to New Jersey.
While reflecting on his 2004 decision to become part-owner of the Nets, Jay-Z said the arena project is especially important to him because he grew up nearby at the Marcy Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Referring to how many concerts he plans to hold for what is expected to be part of a gala, three-week, arena opening in September 2012, Jay-Z said “Maybe one, maybe two, maybe three."
“I sound like LeBron [James] now,” the “Empire State of Mind” rapper then joked, referring to the Miami Heat star’s infamous proclamation that he, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade would win multiple NBA championships.