The story goes like this: Vivek Shah is a college student. One day he’s just chilling near Rockefeller Center when he notices Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark walking out of a sushi place. Shah is pumped, approaches Yormark and they take a picture together, maybe bond over some tuna love and a mutual nostalgia for Jason Kidd highlights, and before you know it Yormark has invited the college kid down to the Barclays Center to take a tour of the front office. During that tour Yormark offers Shah an internship in the team’s finance department (a tough gig to get) and then gives him some free team gear. Cool story, bro? Cool story, bro.
I don’t want to totally shit on this, because this is a dream come true for every sports fan, but I might have to call shenanigans. Brett Yormark is not exactly a recognizable face of the Nets. He’s not the GM, that’s Billy King. Now King’s face is on ESPN and in the newspaper pretty frequently. As are the faces of the team’s owner, Mikhail Prokhorov and part-owner Jay-Z. If a typical Nets fan recognized any of these guys, that would be totally normal. Yormark? That’s surprising. I asked multiple die-hard Nets fans (including BuzzFeed’s own Kevin Lincoln) and none of them were able to identify Yormark by face. The premise of the narrative just seems weird. Like, “maybe this is a setup for a viral video where we give people a tour of our offices,” sort of weird.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Shah is one of Yormark’s 3,018 followers on Twitter (not a big number for someone in a high-powered sports job). Shah’s account is protected, so it’s hard to say, but maybe he’s beyond a die-hard. Maybe he was stalking Yormark looking for an opportunity. I don’t know. But I hope this video is exactly what it claims to be. I want to take it at face value. I want to believe that working in the front office of your favorite sports team is just one serendipitous post-sushi encounter away from happening.. Then again, I also want to see this video with Jay-Z leading the tour through the office and giving out internships, so maybe that’s where my doubts are coming from.