Rapper Nelly gets stake in Bobcats

Rapper Nelly is gettin' it started in the NBA, becoming a part-owner of the expansion Charlotte Bobcats.

"This is a great opportunity for both the Bobcats and Nelly," Robert L. Johnson, the team's majority owner and the founder of Black Entertainment Television, said Monday in a news release.

"Nelly is a great entertainer and a smart businessman and those two traits will serve us well as we prepare to tipoff our inaugural season this fall."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Haynes Jr., joins an ownership group that includes former NBA player and executive M.L. Carr; Felix Sabates, owner of NASCAR racing teams, and Hugh McColl Jr., former CEO of Bank of America.

"Of the many dreams that I have fulfilled in life, being an NBA owner is certainly one of the biggest achievements," Nelly said in a release issued by the Bobcats.

"To be able to make this move with Bob Johnson and to be a part of the first-ever minority owned professional sports franchise in history is a great opportunity.

Nelly, a three-time Grammy winner and St. Louis native, is known for such hits as "Hot in Herre", "Pimp Juice", and "Gettin' It Started".

with files from Associated Press