NBA commissioner David Stern today levied a $1 million fine against Nets minority owner Jay-Z after recently overhearing the rapper reference LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in his chart-topping hit “Empire State of Mind.” The lyric in question refers to paying the Heat stars and set Stern off.
“During this critical period of the labor dispute it’s crucial that our ownership does not refer to players, and especially to their salaries,” said Stern who reportedly heard the song when his chauffeur was playing it. “To think that Jay-Z would run so fast and loose with our policies is disturbing and needs to be addressed immediately.”
Jay-Z said he plans to contest the fine because the song was released in 2009 and the lyric in question — “If Jeezy’s payin’ LeBron, I’m payin’ Dwyane Wade” — actually refers to dealing drugs.
“I don’t know what Stern’s problem is,” said Jay-Z. “That old man is so out of touch it’s hard to believe he makes all his money from the hard work of hundreds of young brothers from the hood.”