Hop in the KSR Time Machine, we’re going back in time to a great moment in UK swagger history.
The year is 2011 and John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats are headed to the Final Four, the school’s first trip since winning the whole thing in 1998. A 4-seed in the tournament’s East region, Kentucky upset No. 1 overall seed Ohio State in the Sweet Sixteen, and then beat No. 2 seed North Carolina in the Elite Eight game to advance to the final weekend.
What a blast that UK-Ohio State game was.
The UK-UNC game too. Coach Cal kissing DeAndre Liggins after Liggins’ corner 3-pointer is an all-time moment.
After that win over the Tar Heels to snap a 13-year Final Four drought, the program’s swagger reached uncharted swagger territory when the players found themselves celebrating with Jay Z in the locker room.
Jay Z is as cool as they come, and there he was, celebrating Kentucky’s Final Four bid with Madisonville’s own Jon Hood.
The celebration drew national attention because (A) it was awesome; and (B) it came with a price.
Due to Jay Z’s minority ownership in the New Jersey Nets (the Nets haven’t always been in Brooklyn, kids), his contact with the UK players was a violation of the league’s rules regarding student-athletes. For his crime, the Nets were fined $50,000 on this date, April 8, 10 years ago, a day that would later be commemorated in Jay Z’s Grammy-winning song, “N***** in Paris.”
“Ball so hard m——– wanna fine me… What’s 50 grand to a m——– like me, can you please remind me?”
So Happy 10th Anniversary to Jay Z and to the Nets and to Jon Hood and all of the guys on that 2011 Final Four team. Jay Z and Kentucky should link up again for another Final Four party sometime soon because it’s been far too long. And what’s another fifty grand to a m——– like Jay Z, please remind him.