Skip to main content

BK hoops essayist (and former Forest City contractor) Klores: Ratner "cannot share the depth of the Brooklyn soul" but it "hardly matters," because he and allies "have brought us a triumph"

Updated Sept. 18 regarding Klores's status--see bottom.

There's a nice essay about the roots of Brooklyn basketball in the Times Sports section today headlined The Brooklyn Game Had Its Own Beat, by Dan Klores, described as "a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and playwright. His first film was 'The Boys of Second Street Park.'”

Unmentioned is that Klores is also the founder and chairman of dkc Public Relations, Marketing & Government Affairs, which just so happens to have Forest City Ratner as a client. And though Klores on the one hand suggests that pro hoops can never compete with the real rooted Brooklyn game, he also ultimately gives his clients major props and suggests--in a vision most commonly experienced by men of a certain age--that the Brooklyn Nets can replace the loss of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

His essay concludes:
So now, here are the Brooklyn Nets, an idea hatched out of another vision, a real estate deal, and promoted with the all-consuming vigor of a tummler borough president, Marty Markowitz. On Nov. 1, they will become a grand and appropriate replacement for a gaping loss, a sense of revenge, a concept in the psyche of all true Brooklynites.

No doubt, the arena will be filled. But when all the noise dies down, the child walking into the gym, ball in hand, alone, ready to bank his first shot off the board, that is still the point of the game and its people. Much has changed. The sounds of Jay-Z have replaced Little Anthony and The Tokens. Yiddish and Italian are now Creole and Russian. The transistor has died. Even Spike Lee’s Radio Raheem is 23 years gone. Neighborhoods filled with junkies and hookers where the White Rose was the place to cop are now buzzin’ trendy. The walk from park to park in search of proving yourself is no more. Now kids get free shirts from sponsors, endure the desperate hopes and anger from their fathers to make it in the nasty A.A.U. world in which thug “coaches” rant and rave, juice birth certificates and believe the game is merely about “pressure, pressure.”

In the new Brooklyn, the argument of the day revolves around baby strollers, while the real Brooklynite still waits for the bus to get to work. The new Brooklyn doesn’t know that only 10 years ago, hailing a yellow cab home from “the city” was a test of creativity and guts. “Yeah, well, I’m already inside so whattaya gonna do about it?” Banks and nail salons have replaced the record store and the shoemaker. The scheduled play date will hopefully at least result in, “I’ll be Deron, you can be AmarĂ©.”

Dreamers and doers, though, win out. You can’t get one without the other. So here comes a new 18,000-seat arena. It hardly matters that an outsider, Bruce Ratner, from Cleveland, created the concept but cannot share the depth of the Brooklyn soul. Nor can the Nets’ new owner, Mikhail Prokhorov from Moscow, nor General Manager Billy King, nor even the cerebral coach Avery Johnson.

Still, they have brought us a triumph that related to the gut of all Brooklyn b-ballers: be proud and play to win.
Update on Klores

Klores, I've since learned, sold the company in the middle of the last decade, after it had begun working on the Forest City Ratner account--hence the updated headline. However, at the time the essay was published in the Times, he was listed on the firm web site as "founder and chairman." After complaints were lodged, he was listed merely as "founder.'

Either way, Klores surely would want his former firm, and a high-paying client, to do well.

\

Comments

  1. Here is an email sent to the Sports section editor. Let's see if they do the right thing and rectify this:

    Mr. Sexton,

    I read the nice essay "The Brooklyn Game Had Its Own Beat" by Dan Klores.
    (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/sports/basketball/before-nets-the-brooklyn-game-had-its-own-beat.html)

    Overall, it is a touching essay about the special place basketball has in Brooklyn.

    But there is a problem. There are 24 paragraphs and the final five paragraphs are in high praise of developer Bruce Ratner and the imminent arrival of pro basketball in Brooklyn and the opening of the Barclays Center arena, part of the larger Atlantic Yards project by Bruce Ratner and his firm Forest City Ratner. Those paragraphs are below my sign off.

    I'm not writing about how strange it is that the Times seems to no longer disclose (or arbitrarily decides where it needs to disclose) that the Times Corporation partnered with Forest City Ratner in building the new Times tower. That is an ongoing problem, and a head scratcher.

    I'm writing about something even more troubling and astounding. The essay is by Dan Klores, and the bio at the end simply states:

    Dan Klores is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and playwright. His first film was “The Boys of Second Street Park.”

    While that is true, there is a glaring and startling omission. Mr. Klores is the founder and chairman of DKC (Dan Klores Communications) the firm that's been the lead communications agency (PR, lobbying, marketing) from 2003 to present, in the effort to get Atlantic Yards and the Barclays center approved and built. To this day, the firm's Managing Director is Joe DePlasco, the chief Atlantic Yards spokesman for the developer.

    See these links:
    http://www.dkcnews.com/about-dkc/dkc-clients-case-studies/forest-city-ratner/
    http://www.dkcnews.com/about-dkc/about-dan-klores/

    It seems to me that that without this information readers are being misled, and it calls into question the paper's credibility; especially given the paper's business relationship with the developer. I mean, what else is Klores going to say about his client other than glowing praise??!

    I'm requesting that the paper add this critical information in the end of essay bio and run a correction.

    Sincerely,

    Daniel Goldstein
    Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB)


    The offending paragraphs are the last five here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/sports/basketball/before-nets-the-brooklyn-game-had-its-own-beat.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous8:39 PM

    Dan Klores sold the agency years ago and has nothing to do with the business. In fact, he's been in the office as much as you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. And he's listed as founder/chairman.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

At 550 Vanderbilt, big chunk of apartments pitched to Chinese buyers as "international units"

One key to sales at the 550 Vanderbilt condo is the connection to China, thanks to Shanghai-based developer Greenland Holdings.

It's the parent of Greenland USA, which as part of Greenland Forest City Partners owns 70% of Pacific Park (except 461 Dean and the arena).

And sales in China may help explain how the developer was able to claim early momentum.
"Since 550 Vanderbilt launched pre-sales in June [2015], more than 80 residences have gone into contract, representing over 30% of the building’s 278 total residences," the developer said in a 9/25/15 press release announcing the opening of a sales gallery in Brooklyn. "The strong response from the marketplace indicates the high level of demand for well-designed new luxury homes in Brooklyn..."

Maybe. Or maybe it just meant a decent initial pipeline to Chinese buyers.

As lawyer Jay Neveloff, who represents Forest City, told the Real Deal in 2015, a project involving a Chinese firm "creates a huge market for…

Is Barclays Center dumping the Islanders, or are they renegotiating? Evidence varies (bond doc, cash receipts); NHL attendance biggest variable

The Internet has been abuzz since Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick reported 1/30/17, using an overly conclusory headline, that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Is Dumping the Islanders.

That would end an unusual arrangement in which the arena agrees to pay the team a fixed sum (minus certain expenses), in exchange for keeping tickets, suite, and sponsorship revenue.

The arena would earn more without the hockey team, according to Bloomberg, which cited “a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season--a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said."

That "signal," however, is hardly definitive, as are the media leaks about a prospective new arena in Queens, as shown in the screenshot below from Newsday. Both sides are surely pushing for advantage, if not bluffing.

Consider: the arena and the Islanders can't even formally begin their opt-out talks until after this season. The disc…

Skanska says it "expected to assemble a properly designed modular building, not engage in an iterative R&D experiment"

On 12/10/16, I noted that FastCo.Design's Prefab's Moment of Reckoning article dialed back the gush on the 461 Dean modular tower compared to the publication's previous coverage.

Still, I noted that the article relied on developer Forest City Ratner and architect SHoP to put the best possible spin on what was clearly a failure. From the article: At the project's outset, it took the factory (managed by Skanska at the time) two to three weeks to build a module. By the end, under FCRC's management, the builders cut that down to six days. "The project took a little longer than expected and cost a little bit more than expected because we started the project with the wrong contractor," [Forest City's Adam] Greene says.Skanska jabs back
Well, Forest City's estranged partner Skanska later weighed in--not sure whether they weren't asked or just missed a deadline--and their article was updated 12/13/16. Here's Skanska's statement, which shows th…

Not just logistics: bypassing Brooklyn for DNC 2016 also saved on optics (role of Russian oligarch, Shanghai government)

Surely the logistical challenges of holding a national presidential nominating convention in Brooklyn were the main (and stated) reasons for the Democratic National Committee's choice of Philadelphia.

And, as I wrote in NY Slant, the huge security cordon in Philadelphia would have been impossible in Brooklyn.

But consider also the optics. As I wrote in my 1/21/15 op-ed in the Times arguing that the choice of Brooklyn was a bad idea:
The arena also raises ethically sticky questions for the Democrats. While the Barclays Center is owned primarily by Forest City Ratner, 45 percent of it is owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov (who also owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets). Mr. Prokhorov has a necessarily cordial relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — though he has been critical of Mr. Putin in the past, last year, at the Russian president’s request, he tried to transfer ownership of the Nets to one of his Moscow-based companies. An oligarch-owned a…