I chatted with Nets CEO Brett Yormark about what the arena means to Brooklyn, why the Nets need a superstar, the building of the brand and a man he calls Michael -- that would be Mikhail Prokhorov.Not so. He needs to get out more.
“I’ve been engaged in this whole move for about six years,” Yormark said. “I’m in Brooklyn quite often, if not daily. The disbelief that the Dodgers left [in 1957], that underserved nature with respect to sports and entertainment, has been passed on from generation to generation."
As I wrote in March 2009, Michael D’Antonio's revisionist biography of Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, Forever Blue: The True Story of Walter O'Malley, Baseball's Most Controversial Owner,and the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles, put Dodgers nostalgia in perspective, blaming it on Roger Kahn’s book The Boys of Summer.
The Dodgers left in 1957. Consider this excerpt from Forever Blue published in Sports Illustrated:
Was it true? Had O'Malley crushed Brooklyn's spirit? The answer is no. In 1963, after the Dodgers vanquished the Yankees in the World Series, a New York Times editorial titled Joy in Flatbush declared, "At last the wounds have healed." In 1969, when the New York Mets won the World Series, Brooklyn honored them with a rally at Borough Hall. The victory made the Dodgers seem like ancient history.
But then, in 1972, Kahn published one of the most romantic and moving baseball books ever written. The Boys of Summer turned the Brooklyn Dodgers into paragons of virtue, living symbols of all that was good about America before the upheavals of the 1960s: the counterculture, the shock of political assassinations and the wrenching protests over the Vietnam War.