Friday, March 04, 2011

AP offers big-picture piece on meaning of Knicks-Nets rivalry; ex-Brooklynite professes "cosmic scale has swung"

After the New York Observer's big think piece on the meaning of a Knicks-Nets rivalry, now comes a similar article from the AP, headlined As team prepares for move, hope is Nets-Knicks will be new Dodgers-Giants.

The article acknowledges some bitterness:
The Nets' campaign to build a fan base has been hampered by a drawn-out battle between neighborhood residents and developer Bruce Ratner over the Atlantic Yards development, anchored by the Barclays Center. Many Brooklyn residents opposed the project's scale and the use of eminent domain to clear the land.

Eric McClure, a spokesman for the group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, said, "I used to root for the Nets until they announced that they were going to be taking people's homes to build a taxpayer-subsidized basketball arena."
But the "he-said, she-said" technique ends up with a source who's upbeat about the move:
But some Knicks fans say they may switch their allegiance once the Nets are in Brooklyn.

Michael Shapiro, the author of another book about the Dodgers, "The Last Good Season: Brooklyn, the Dodgers and Their Final Pennant Race Together," said the Nets' move to Brooklyn means "the cosmic scale has swung."

"It's going to be really hard for me to root against a Brooklyn team," he said. "Call me in two years."
Shapiro--a native Brooklynite who lives on the Upper West Side--is worth talking to, but it's dismaying that a journalism professor is more concerned about fandom and "the cosmic scale" than, say, the shenanigans behind sports business today.

Unfortunately, he's also helped perpetuate the "same site" error, mythically connecting the arena site with the hoped-for location for a new Ebbets Field.

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