We're still waiting for the transportation plan to be announced before tomorrow night's opener against the Toronto Raptors, but people must be optimistic about that: prices on the secondary market have risen from $35 to $52 in a day.
And the NBA and its players maybe realized that they had a public relations problem on their hands. So they're both doing the right and, I'd say, some strategic p.r. From the Star-Ledger:
Following the lead of the NFL and its players union, the NBA and its players union, the NBPA, have jointly agreed to donate $1 million to the Red Cross and other organizations, including The Salvation Army, New York Cares and Jersey Cares, to aid those groups' efforts in helping people affected by Hurricane Sandy.A shitshow near the arena
Will Leitch wrote in New York magazine, Tomorrow Night, the Brooklyn Nets Are Real:
If you've been around downtown Brooklyn over the last couple of days, it's been that much more clear why there was no way the Brooklyn Nets could have hosted that opener against the New York Knicks last night. We met a friend for a drink last night at Black Sheep, a bar just down the street from Barclays, at 9 p.m., and the whole front concourse of the arena was still packed with people trying to get on buses. (We sort of imagined them finally getting on one after showing up earlier that morning.) It was a shitshow already; trying to play a basketball game — an opening basketball game — would have been a nightmare. And that's not even accounting for the question of, uh, how anyone was going to get there. So: They will try it again tomorrow night.Some arena round-ups
The Guardian's SportBlog (The Guardian!) offers Brooklyn Nets: NBA's newest franchise ends 55 years of hurt since Dodgers left: Team owned by Russian billionaire and rapper Jay-Z is set to bring major-league sport back to the most populous borough:
...when the Dodgers took off for Los Angeles, leaving behind a gaping hole in the hearts of their fans, never mind the enormous hole containing the undeveloped rail yards space which would remain virtually untouched while the borough went into a deep slide.The functioning rail yards, which were never put out for bid, actually. The conclusion:
Yes, there are still protests about the project, about traffic and parking and more, but the Nets' public-relations battle is centered on developing a fanbase for a team that has landed smack in the middle of Knicks territory. According to one report, the team is paying $25 to store owners to put Nets posters in their windows that read "First Home Game since 1957". The subways are blanked with the new Nets colors and logos and the catchphrase "Hello Brooklyn", all designed to bring a hometown feel to the borough's new team.From Newsday, Brooklyn's Barclays Center: the food, the art, the shops. This article concerns only the interior of the arena--well, including some shops at the arena that are open to the street.
Will it work? Yes – and especially if they win.
Reasons for protest
SBNation, Branding Brooklyn:
Those who protest the existence of the Barclays Center and the attendant development of Atlantic Avenue [sic] do so on three grounds: That the state displaced hundreds of residents via the use of eminent domain to secure Ratner's rights to the property; that the hoped-for affordable housing on Atlantic has yet to, and may never, materialize; and that the development of Atlantic will lead to runaway gentrification. The first complaint is plainly valid—eminent domain is brutal—and the second may become so, depending on what happens with those holes in the ground at the edge of Prospect Heights. The third complaint is crazy. This corner of Brooklyn gentrified a long time ago, which is why the most constant complaints about the arrival of the Barclays Center come not from long-time residents who fear rising rents, but from those residents whose arrival has caused rents to rise. (Full disclosure: I am one of those residents.)I'd point to the Culture of Cheating.
"The boys on the Knicks, maybe they're not from New York, but at least they want to come here," he said. “Just like people from all over the world want to come here. That makes it a hometown team. But the Nets? The Brooklyn Nets? The Brooklyn Nets is just a logo. Maybe one day it'll be more than that, but not yet. Not for a long time."Is there a rivalry?
New York Times columnist Harvey Araton, Proximity Alone Does Not a Rivalry Make:
“No disrespect to them, it’s not a rivalry, not yet,” [Knicks center Tyson Chandler] said, before turning his attention to the Knicks’ opener at Madison Square Garden on Friday night against the Miami Heat, an opponent worthy of some good old-fashioned hatred, and at least as much envy.Well, maybe. There are a lot more Knicks season-ticket holders to make it tougher to "storm the Garden."
Chandler was not being intentionally banal, merely contending that you do not declare a rivalry as much as you create one. “Two teams have to go through some big things,” he said, suggesting, for starters, a hot playoff series or two.
...The shortsighted benefit of Thursday night’s sensible postponement in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and far more pressing concerns is that the Nets were spared the embarrassment of hearing those familiar Knicks cheers in their sparkling new home after enduring them in three New Jersey arenas over three and a half decades.
Anecdotal evidence of turncoat Knicks fans aside, we will know with far greater certainty that the Nets have arrived as a true intracity alternative when a fair number of their Nets loyalists manage to storm the Garden and create a similar mixed crowd dynamic.