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Daily News columnist Hamill, always happy to buff the Brooklyn Nets, salutes Jay-Z, ignores "ethical pickle"

Daily News columnist Denis Hamill, who thinks the Brooklyn Nets can give Brooklyn a soul, swallowed Forest City Ratner promotional spin, and saluted those building the arena, deserves notice for his celebratory column yesterday.

The headline: Jay-Z's hardknock life in Marcy Projects paves way to a better life for daughter Blue Ivy Carter: Beyonce and Jay-Z's newborn gets a New York welcome into the world.

You see, Hamill back in December 2002 met Jay-Z when the "shy and humble" rapper was reading to fifth-graders--JAY-Z GIVES KIDS GIFT OF EXAMPLE--and remains quite impressed.

The "ethical pickle'

Jay-Z's a reader, and that fueled his writing skills and helped get him out of the projects, Hamill related back in 2002 and again yesterday. Yes, a dedication to reading is an admirable thing, and it allowed Jay-Z to build on his skills and gifts.

But Jay-Z, in case Hamill needs a reminder, also exited the projects because he was a drug dealer, and that, as writer Sam Anderson once put it, "the ethical pickle at the core of the Jay-Z myth."

The basketball connection

The 2002 event, by the way, was sponsored by the New York Knicks, which might have given Bruce Ratner and aides an idea.

And no, Hamill yesterday did not mention Jay-Z's willing role as frontman for the Nets.