By Jeff Labrecque
Updated September 27, 2011 at 01:29 PM EDT

Jay-Z’s dream to bring his New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn is on the verge of reality, and the rap mogul announced yesterday that he’ll personally open the Barclays Center with a concert (or two or three) when it opens next September. A Brooklyn native who’s owned a share of the Nets since 2004, Jay-Z intends to play an active role in the creation of the team’s new logo and uniforms, which will prominently feature their proud new neighborhood. Watch the New York Post‘s video clip of yesterday’s press conference below.

Now that the Nets long-rumored move to Brooklyn is a done deal, the Nets/Knicks rivalry is going to take on a whole new dimension. It won’t only play out on the court, but in city playgrounds and on Madison Avenue. I’m from New Jersey, but the Brooklyn Nets are immediately cooler than the New Jersey Nets. (The Beastie Boys didn’t sing, “No Sleep Till Secaucus!”) And with Jay-Z as one of the faces of the franchise, the Nets have immediate street cred, even if the team struggles initially. With him at courtside with Beyonce and other celebs, even Liz Lemon might change her tune about the outer borough (“I’m 37, don’t make me go to Brooklyn!”).

Are you open to rooting for the Brooklyn Nets, or are Jay-Z’s promised concerts the only thing that will bring you to the Barclays Center?

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