Nets raise 'B.I.G.' banner to rafters on 'Biggie Night'
The Brooklyn Nets will do virtually anything to connect with the cultural roots of the borough the team moved to from the New Jersey swamp in 2012. Short of trying to turn Spike Lee's allegiance from the crosstown New York Knicks, one logical way is to embrace Brooklyn's hip-hop history.
And given that Jay-Z sold his 1/15th of one percent ownership stake in the franchise to Jason Kidd in 2013, the next-most legendary rap name to come out of Kings County was the late Notorious B.I.G. That's why the Nets hosted "Biggie Night" on Sunday against the Knicks.
The event lined up with the 20th anniversary of the rapper's death. On March 9, 1997, Biggie Smalls - whose real name was Christopher Wallace - was shot and killed in Los Angeles. On Sunday, his former producer, Diddy, attended the festivities alongside Wallace's mother, Voletta.
Voletta was gracious while speaking to the crowd at halftime, and said it was the first professional basketball game she's ever been to.
Then, a banner honoring Wallace was raised to the rafters next to Jay-Z's. The "72" represents the year of Biggie's birth, and the banner also features the words "Spread love, it's the Brooklyn way."