Nelly Gets Bobcats Hot in Herre

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

Cornell Haynes Junior is now a part-owner of the Bobcats. Better know as Nelly behind such hits as "Hot in Herre," he becomes the second rap star after Jay-Z to get an ownership stake in an NBA franchise.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, so we know neither the percentage stake nor the amount paid for it. Nevertheless, it is an easy prediction to suggest that Nelly's songs will not be on the "banned" list of songs for the PA announcer to play at various points throughout home games.

Nelly joins such part-time Bobcats owners as former Celtic M.L. Carr, a NASCAR team owner, and a former Bank of America CEO.

Bobcats second-round pick Bernard Robinson toldThe Charlotte Observer that Nelly's young fan base should flock to the arena. "He's a different type of rapper," he said, "and that caught on quick with me."

The Bobcats rested yesterday from the Rocky Mountain Revue but resume play tonight.

The 2-1 Bobcats, winners of two in a row, hope to keep their momentum going in the Reebok Rocky Mountain Revue. They resume action tonight in Salt Lake City, taking on Brezec's former team, the Indiana Pacers, at 8:00 p.m. EDT/6:00 p.m. MDT. The remainder of their RMR schedule is as follows:

*ATLANTA 87, Charlotte 62
*CHARLOTTE 74, San Antonio 61
*CHARLOTTE 85, Seattle 63
*Monday, July 19th - Bye
*Tuesday, July 20th - Indiana - 8:00 p.m. EDT
*Wednesday, July 21st - Dallas - 10:00 p.m. EDT
*Thursday, July 22nd - Chicago - 8:00 p.m. EDT
*Friday, July 23rd - Utah - 10:00 p.m. EDT
*Saturday, July 24th - Bye

The Charlotte Observer liststhe following as the Bobcats ownership group:
• Bob Johnson (majority owner).
• Bank of America Corp.
• Wachovia Corp.
• Skipper Beck, partner in Beck Automotive Group.
• M.L. Carr, former NBA player and executive.
• Carlos and Jorge de Cespedes, Astri Group partners.
• Howard Levine, chairman and CEO, Family Dollar Stores.
• Hugh McColl Jr., chairman of McColl Partners.
• Nelly, entertainer.
• Felix Sabates, NASCAR team owner, Charlotte Checkers owner, chairman of Trinity Yachts.
• Nelson Schwab III, co-founder of Carousel Capital.
• Anderson Warlick, CEO of leading textile manufacturer Parkdale Mills.
• Ed Weisiger Jr., President/CEO of Carolina Tractor.
• Professional Sports Investment Group, led by managing partners Rev. Claude Alexander and Dr. Spurgeon Webber III.


The Associated Press writes It's an eclectic bunch that owns the expansion Charlotte Bobcats. There's a former N.B.A. player, a NASCAR team owner and the former CEO of Bank of America. Now, add a rapper to the group. The team announced today that rapper Nelly is a part-owner. Majority owner Robert Johnson says it's a great opportunity for both the team and the rapper.Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Haynes Junior, joins an ownership group that includes former NBA player and executive M.L. Carr; NASCAR team owner Felix Sabates,, and former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl Jr.

David Scott ofThe Charlotte Observerwrites: The Bobcats announced Monday that rapper Nelly has bought a partial interest in the team.The amount of Nelly's investment and the percentage of his stake weren't revealed. Nelly, 29, joins several ownership partners on the Bobcats, headed by majority owner Bob Johnson... Nelly -- born Cornell Haynes Jr. -- is a three-time Grammy winner whose style is more relaxed than traditional rap and has been called "pop-rap." Some of his videos, however, have been criticized as exploiting women.

Rich Rock ofSOHH.comwrites: The Charlotte Bobcats expansion basketball team just added Nelly to its ownership group, making the St. Lunatic the second rapper to have a stake in an NBA team... Earlier this year, Jay-Z became the first rapper to hold an interest in an NBA team when he took an ownership stake in the New Jersey Nets.