Someone out there—a company named Cyber Mesa, we think—is under the impression that touting Jay-Z will get on Mikhail Prokhorov's nerves enough to make him a buy a (presumably very expensive) domain name.
For some time, we've been speculating as to the agenda of the owners of Nets.com, the URL that should be but isn't redirecting to www.nba.com/nets, as it would if you typed in the name of any other team (except Magic, Thunder, and Jazz, for obvious reasons).
First, it redirected to a page with a picture of Mark Cuban sticking his tongue out, captioned with a little prostitution scandal-related trash talk—the best kind of trash talk—directed at Mikhail Prokhorov. Was it billionare Mark Cuban messing with his billionare rival by retaining ownership of the domain name? Nope: Some company named Cyber Mesa owned it. The redirect then changed, from Mark Cuban sticking his tongue out, to a page for purchasing Dallas Mavericks tickets. Then it changed again, to the Knicks homepage, an ingenious troll maneuver considering the budding rivalry between the two franchises.
Now? An even better one: Cyber Mesa's creating (or capitalizing on) friction between Nets owners—heavy majority Nets owners and small minority Nets owners—by redirecting Nets.com to jayzonline.com, a Jay-Z fansite. You can see a screenshot above.
When we first began this journey into the Nets.com URL, we couldn't tell what Cyber Mesa wanted, or how they were hoping to get it. With every different redirect, though, the goal becomes clearer: convince Mikhail Prokhorov to buy the domain name because otherwise visitors to Nets.com will find themselves at destinations that promote Prokhorov's ostensible rivals. (Whether Jay-Z and Prokhorov actually have a rivalry will probably never be known, but Prokhorov doesn't like to be overshadowed.) The next step? Probably whatever dirt (or libel) they can find on Prokhorov himself. Godspeed. We suggest this weird little slice of internet.
h/t Eric R.