Jay-Z's NBA team The New Jersey Nets comes to London


Jay-Z and Beyonce

Jay-Z is bigging up the arrival of the NBA in the UK ahead of the first official league games to be played in Europe.

The rapper is co-owner of NBA team The New Jersey Nets.

They take on the Toronto Raptors at the O2 Arena in London's Docklands on Friday and Saturday night (4 and 5 March).

He told Newsbeat: "This whole thing about the NBA going global is fantastic."

They will be the first ever regular season NBA fixtures outside America.

Fast paced game

Jay-Z reckons the NBA willl appeal to a British crowd because of all the melodrama.

He said: "There is momentum and struggle as well as it being a fast paced entertaining game."

The rapper, along with a group of investors, paid $300 million (£184m) for the team back in 2004.

"I hope they win. The Nets are excited about coming to the UK."

I hope they win, The Nets are excited about coming to the UK
Jay-Z on his team's chances in first European game

The New Jersey Nets are suffering from a six-game losing slump though, and rivals 'The Raptors' have only won four out of their last 24 games.

The NBA wanted to have clubs in Europe for a long time.

In previous years there have been exhibition matches in Britain.

Saturday's game is already a sell-out with officials hoping it will lead to a boost in interest in the sport ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

Asked if he could get anybody he wanted to perform at half-time, Jay-Z went for a British star.

"Chris [Martin] from Coldplay, my favourtite person in the whole world. I don't think we could afford him though."

Jay-Z also said the rumours about him buying Arsenal football club were "untrue".

He also looked ahead to Glastonbury this year.

"I heard there will be some great people there performing." [Laughs]

His other half Beyonce has already been confirmed as Sunday night's headliner.