Everything had gone right for the Nets. Their new home in Brooklyn was complete, their apparel had become a huge hit among fans, they unexpectedly retained their signature star, and they were going to be able to show all of that off in a season opener against the Knicks.My comment:
Then Hurricane Sandy hit.
With the city’s tunnels flooded, gasoline becoming scarce and the subway system shut down, suddenly the opener, scheduled for Nov. 1, had to be postponed and all of the excitement seemed to wither away.
Two days later, with the transit system still a mess and the city in a fierce debate over the cancellation of the marathon, it was decided that the Nets would go ahead with their scheduled game against the Toronto Raptors, a far less exciting opponent than the Knicks, risking empty seats in what they had hoped would be their grand debut...
Come game time, the crowd had filled out nicely, helped by a last-minute surge in ticket sales through online marketplaces like StubHub, and the Nets took the floor with Jay-Z watching and BrooklyKnight rappelling from the ceiling.
It was not a pretty game, with the Nets falling behind early and then struggling to catch up, but a strong second quarter led to the first major Brooklyn sports team since 1957 winning, 107-100.
Considering everything that had gone into the move from New Jersey, and the conditions surrounding the season’s start, the actual basketball was the easy part.
So, the Barclays Center opening "had to be postponed."
What the Times coverage glossed over was the bullheadedness of the Nets/NBA in pursuing the nationally-televised opener against the Knicks in the face of the severely compromised transit system, and arena/team CEO Brett Yormark's claim that everyone, including the mayor's office was onboard.