Friday’s game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Brooklyn Nets features two teams trying to solidify themselves as NBA Championship contenders. It also marks the first time that Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z go head to head as minority owners of NBA teams. This comes just weeks after the release of the single “Suit and Tie” off Timberlake’s new album “The 20/20 Experience”, which features Jay-Z.
Their two NBA teams have a lot of things in common this season, their records are almost identical, they both play terrific defense (Nets are fifth in points allowed while the Grizzlies are second in that category), and both teams have two of the most well known celebrity owners in the NBA. Jay-Z has been a minority owner of Brooklyn (formerly New Jersey)for a few years, while J.T. is a minority owner for the first time this season. They both have it all including millions of dollars, adoring fans, and gorgeous wives, but who would win a matchup between the two giants of entertainment?
Here are five categories to decide who has it best, Justin Timberlake or Jay-Z…
Jay-Z: Hov lays claim to just over two million followers on the social website, which is quite an impressive feat for someone who has just 36 total tweets. Jigga’s last tweet was in late November, stating that “The city is under new management”, after the Nets beat the Knicks.Justin
Timberlake: Timberlake’s twitter account is far more active, and he uses it as a way to connect more to his fans. He makes announcements (like when his new song “Suit and Tie” featuring Jay-Z was available on iTunes), retweets fans, and is an all around entertaining person to follow. This is why he has almost 16 million followers, and wins the battle for twitter.
Winner: Justin Timberlake
Jay-Z: With 14 platinum albums (11 solo and three collaborative), Jay-Z has solidified himself as one of the greatest artists ever. Also, half of his albums earned the honor of multiplatinum status. No wonder he is called the “Best Rapper Alive”.
Justin Timberlake: While he may not have the 14 platinum albums Jay-Z has, Timberlake is no slouch. He saw success as a part of the group N’Sync and as a solo artist also. N’Sync is one of the best boy bands of all time, with their best album, No Strings Attached, earning a Diamond Certification selling more than 11 million copies in the U.S. alone. However, The Prince of Pop just does not have enough to beat Hov. J.T. only has two solo albums since N’Sync broke up, and while both of them went multiplatinum, they are five less than the seven multiplatinum albums Jay-Z has.
Money in the bank
Jay-Z: There are not many entertainers that can compete with the amount of money Jay-Z has, and comparing the hip hop mogul to anybody else is unfair. Jay-Z is a hustler in every sense of the word, and thanks to that he has become one of the wealthiest entertainers in the business. His primary source of income started off as music, but now he has his hands on several multimillion dollar ventures. Thanks to Rocawear, the 40/40 Club, Def Jam and most recently his help with NBA2K13 (among other fiscal avenues) his estimated net worth is close to $500 million.
Justin Timberlake: With a net worth of $70 million, Timberlake is only $430 million away from Jay-Z. Now $70 million is not bad, and Timberlake owns his fair share of businesses including his restaurant Southern Hospitality and his clothing line William Rast. However, Timberlake is not near the fiscal mogul Jay-Z is.
Jay-Z: Jay-Z has only been in five movies, and the highest grossing film made about $10 million (State Property). Two of the five films were documentaries, good ones (Backstage made me attempt to launch my own rapping career at the ripe age of 13), but not high grossing ones.
Justin Timberlake: It is not even a close one as the “Prince of Pop” crushes Jigga when it comes to their movie careers. Timberlake has been in 15 movies, with his highest grossing film (Shrek the Third) making just under $800 million. In fact, six of his last nine movies have grossed over $100 million dollars a piece. Sorry Jay-Z, but this category belongs to Justin hands down.
Winner: Justin Timberlake
This year’s NBA teams
Jay-Z: The Nets are now in Brooklyn and have one of the most exciting teams in the East. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson make up a dangerous back court, that is capable of putting up big numbers in a heartbeat. While Brook Lopez looks like a future All Star center with every game he plays.
Justin Timberlake: Memphis on the other hand, has one of the best front courts in the league. Led by All Star Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay form a one, two, three punch that is difficult for any opponent to stop. So who is the minority owner with the best NBA franchise? We will find out tonight when the two teams face off in the first annual “Suit and Tie Classic”.
UPDATE: The Grizzlies defeated the Nets, 101 – 77 at the first “Suit and Tie” Classic at FedExForum on January 26, 2013. Timberlake is now 1-0 against Jay-Z in the NBA.
CJ Hurt covers the NBA for MemphiSport. Follow him @churtj09 for live tweets from games.