Thursday, July 05, 2012

Front-page news in the Times: "Nets Move to Brooklyn with [a narrow notion of] Legitimacy in Sight"

It's front-page news in the New York Times, coincidentally seven years to the day after another front-page story.

The headline in print today is Nets, After a String of Homes, Hope to Settle Into Brooklyn, but an alternate headline, as indicated by the URL is "Nets Move to Brooklyn with Legitimacy in Sight."

That's a narrow notion of legitimacy, limited to the universe of sporting competitiveness, not to the overall move, one tainted in numerous ways, not least by the recently-emerged scandal regarding naming rights sponsor Barclays.

On the front page, it's glaring: if the only questions reporters ask a handful of fans and basketball professionals are about whether the boldly revamped team can compete, that's all the discussion will concern.

Here's sports columnist/reporter Harvey Araton's conclusion:
The arena is all but built. The star point guard is staying. And the Nets — the first major professional sports team to call Brooklyn home since the Dodgers, and the first to hit the city in 50 years — might actually be capable of taking the borough, if not yet the city, by storm.
Looking for confirmation

So who confirms that?
  • James Robinson, 25, who works in a sneaker store not far from the arena
  • Brooklyn-born-and-bred hoops star Chris Mullin (who's an NBA analyst for ESPN and was already on board, saying last December, "I love the fact that they’re going to Brooklyn. I think it’s going to work.")
  • Robert Liff, a longtime Nets season-ticket holder, who's renewed his season tickets, a Brooklyn native
  • Herb Turetzky, the Nets official scorer, since 1967, a former Brooklynite who lives in Queens
That's one civilian--and if he works at a sneaker store he's likely a basketball fan to begin with--and three already on the "team."

The article includes one voice of caution, a Brooklynite who "remains a stalwart Knicks fan" but "seemed open to persuasion."

But Hall of Famer Mullin gets to respond, suggesting that "one or two new players can change everything" for young people and that the mere banner of "Brooklyn" will generate loyalty.

Surely it will for some, especially if the story is limited to basketball.

A dialogue on Twitter

I responded to Araton, and he volleyed back. So it looks like we'll talk. Note that not all of these are in direct sequence. Click on links in first sentence for all.



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