The primary logo — that far-left, blacked-out shield with “NETS” and a B-emblazoned basketball in the crest, zealously called “the new badge of Brooklyn” by a very optimistic Nets CEO Brett Yormark — was designed by part-owner and hip-hop legend Jay-Z, one of the most famous and successful musicians ever to come out of Brooklyn.
Based on the gear available for purchase at the Nets’ team store, the team seems to be leaning pretty hard on hip-hop references in an attempt to tether the team to Brooklyn’s rap history. To wit:
• Multiple “Hello Brooklyn” shirts, a shoutout to “B-Boy Bouillabaisse” from the Beastie Boys’ 1989 classic “Paul’s Boutique.”
• A wood sign that reads “Sure Shot,” referencing the popular track off the Beasties’ 1994 record “Ill Communication.”
• Shirts referencing “Brooklyn Go Hard,” Jay-Z’s 2008 hit with Kanye West and Rihanna.
[Related: Jay-Z, Miami Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez hang out in NYC]
• A shirt trumpeting “THE BKLYN WAY,” a shout to a line from legendary Brooklyn rapper The Notorious B.I.G.’s first hit, 1994’s “Juicy.”
• And my personal favorite of the rap references, a piece that namechecks “Brooklyn’s Finest,” the classic third track on Jay’s 1996 album “Reasonable Doubt,” on which he joined with Biggie to form a tandem they famously claimed would make enemies “[poop] their drawers.”