Friday, August 13, 2010

What if the team's "name change" is just a feint to announce "Brooklyn Nets" in a big ceremony?

WNYC's Matthew Schuerman picks up the news (as stoked by principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov) that Nets to Change Name, and May Not Use 'Brooklyn'.

And while that news drew anxiety from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and told-you-so-scorn from Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, a listen to Nets CEO Brett Yormark leaves me with another impression: they're simply waiting to make a splash with a gala announcement about the "Brooklyn Nets."

It could all just be a way to generate some more buzz.

From WNYC

WNYC reports:
"The owners from day one—the one pledge they made, beside other pledges, was that the name would be the Brooklyn something,” Borough President Marty Markowitz said. “And I don’t care what the second name is as long as the first name is Brooklyn.”

But Markowitz is talking about the team’s previous owners, a group led by developer Bruce Ratner, who used the Nets' move as a key selling point for his 22-acre housing and entertainment complex at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues. Ratner’s group sold a majority stake in the team last year to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Markowitz says he hasn’t spoken with Prokhorov about the name change.

On ESPN

On ESPN yesterday (podcast) with Seth Everett, Yormark answered some questions.

SE: Mikhail Prokhorov was very coy... what's the franchise's take on the actual name of the team?

BY: There's a timing with respect to making any kind of name change. You need to plan, obviously, well, in advance... We will open up the Barclays Center in the late spring of 2012 and be playing for the '12-'13 season. So, all the preparation is now beginning... and obviously, the name change is part of that. We have not made any final decisions. I can assure you that New Jersey will not be in the name... Where we will land we're not ready to discuss just yet. I think it's fair to say there will be a name change--of some sort.

The way "of some sort" was tacked on to his statement left the impression that the change might simply be technical, to the name everyone expected.

SE: You have not ruled the chance you're not the Nets anymore?

BY: It's not been ruled out, because obviously we have not come out with a definitive name, but we obviously have grown to like the Nets. The assumed name right now on the street has always been the Brooklyn Nets, and in short order we'll certainly come out with a final statement regarding what the name of the team will be.

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