He shoots and scores. The New Jersey Nets now have a new courtside fan, Bill Cosby, who recently purchased an undisclosed minority percentage of the team. Cosby now joins an exclusive group of African Americans, most notably Earvin "Magic" Johnson, with a minority ownership stake in National Basketball Association teams. Johnson owns a piece of the Los Angeles Lakers.
While neither officials from the New Jersey Nets nor Cosby’s spokesperson, David Brokaw, will disclose specific terms of the deal, Nets principal owner Lewis Katz noted that Cosby’s minority percentage cost several million dollars. In addition to purchasing two courtside seats for home games, Cosby purchased stock in the Community Youth Organization, a trust benefiting local youth. CYO is the team’s largest shareholder, with a 35% to 40% ownership stake. Any profits the trust makes in a season or through the team’s future sale is earmarked for minority education, scholarship and mentoring programs.
According to Brokaw, the Nets’ commitment to youth was one of the things that attracted Cosby when fellow Temple University alumnus and principal owner Lewis Katz approached him.