Monday, March 30, 2015

Yes, Brooklyn Nets celebrate Chinese culture--and a lot more

It's hard to read today's China Daily article, Brooklyn Nets celebrate Chinese culture, without wanting to fill in some blanks.

At the Barclays Center yesterday, the Brooklyn Nets co-hosted "A Celebration of Chinese Culture" with the Sino-American Friendship Association (SAFA). It included a press conference involving Nets CEO Brett Yormark and Zhang Qiyue, the Chinese consul general in New York.

"As a franchise, we aspire to be global, and connecting with China in general is something that is very important for management and ownership," declared Yormark. "It's also very important for the NBA."

That's not just because Chinese-Americans in Brooklyn and Chinese nationals in China might be fans, as the article suggests, but also because Chinese millionaires seeking green cards have been lured to invest in Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park under the misleading suggestion that the investment goes into the Barclays Center.

It's about business

"The United States and China are working very hard to build a major relationship built on cooperation," declared Zhang. "And basketball games, or any sport, bring our people closer together."

And, of course, the Shanghai government-owned Greenland Group has invested in 70% of the Atlantic Yards project (excluding the arena and B2) going forward.

"The great part about this event is the Nets have a mission," said Li Li, SAFA's executive vice-president. "They advocate for an American sports team being introduced to Chinese people in the US, but they also explore opportunities and partnerships with China globally as well."

It's all about business.

Similarly, Yormark said, "Chinese Americans and China in general are very dear to our heart, and we look forward to fostering our relationship and growing it in the years to come."

Remember how Yormark said that Atlantic Yards was "very dear to [Frank Gehry's] heart" even after Gehry--we now know--had been dropped from the project?

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