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.Update on Klores
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 Amaré.”
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.
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.