Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The circle is completed? Ebbets Field flagpole placed outside arena; Abdul-Jabbar salutes "budding rivalry" with Knicks

"The Barclays Center’s marketing team has long tried to draw a connection with the Brooklyn Dodgers," the Daily News reported yesterday, and so many (but not everyone) comply:
“It’s gorgeous,” Sharon Robinson , 62, said while standing outside Barclays Center on Tuesday. “I think my father would be very proud.
“My father loved sports. He was a four-letter man at UCLA. So it’s right here in the city, and that would’ve been important to him, as it is to us.”
The Post reported:
“We are proud that such a historic symbol of Ebbets Field will now stand permanently outside of Barclays Center to connect the borough’s great sports past to its present,” said [arena developer Bruce] Ratner.
“The memories of Ebbets Field and the Dodgers, most notably the 1955 World Series championship, will always be an important part of Brooklyn’s history. Now fans from throughout the borough can take enormous pride in seeing a piece of Ebbets Field en route to watching Brooklyn’s new professional sports team, the Brooklyn Nets, at Barclays Center.”
“Bravo to the Brooklyn Nets and to Bruce Ratner for this fitting tribute to our beloved ‘bums’ of yesteryear—the Brooklyn Dodgers,” Markowitz said. “There is no better way to honor the Dodgers’ legacy in Brooklyn than by raising the Ebbets Field flagpole with Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson, a product of Brooklyn and great American hero.”
Photo: Reid B. Kelley/Barclays Center
The Nets' Ben Couch wrote:
"I think that it's a beautiful connection to Ebbets Field," Sharon Robinson said. "To imagine this flying over Ebbets Field and being so much part of that history, to have this plaque will remind fans that the Brooklyn Dodgers were here and made such a difference in the community."
The Times covered it from the perspective of Nets player Jerry Stackhouse, who wears 42, which was Robinson's number, though not chosen for that reason. The Times covered not just the Nets/Knicks game but the rivalry among fans.

Kareem joins bandwagon

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a commentary yesterday for ESPN, Nets compete for their NY minute: Brooklyn is back in the game in a city known for historic sports rivalries:
Nets-Knicks has the potential to recreate the fervent rivalries of the 1950s among Gotham's sports fans. Both teams have gotten off to a great start and have been among the better teams early in the season. Another important aspect to the budding rivalry is that Brooklyn native and megastar rapper Jay Z is part-owner of the Nets. So the team is part of the whole social fabric of the borough.

Brooklyn also has supplied talent to the NBA since day one... Now Brooklyn kids can dream of playing NBA basketball in front of friends and family in their home borough.

Mikhail Prokhorov, the Nets' Russian owner who moved the team from New Jersey, could open the game to a whole new set of fans. And don't be surprised if the team drafts a player from Russia to appeal to the large Russian expatriate community there. That would be fully within the tradition of a melting pot that has been the first U.S. home for immigrants from around the world.

In 2015, the Islanders will also be moving in, giving Brooklyn sports fans even more to root for.

I'm looking forward to seeing some of the zaniness that was part of watching a game at Ebbets Fields. The stage is set and I think that a great new era of sports in New York is upon us. I can only imagine the fun arguments the next generation of kids will have about their favorite teams.

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