Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Turning point? As surging Nets beat Knicks at Barclays, the crowd finally goes hard for Brooklyn

Nets just stole New York’s basketball heart from Knicks, wrote Brian Lewis after the 1/25/19 come-from-behind victory, before a near sellout--17,033 out of 17,732 capacity at at Barclays Center. As he wrote:
And for a change, the arena wasn’t taken over by Knicks supporters streaming across the East River. It was filled with raucous fans actually cheering for the hottest team in the NBA, one that has embraced a next-man-up mentality.
I'm not sure that, in the Brooklyn Nets' seventh home season, that helps give "Brooklyn a soul," as boosters like Bruce Ratner once said, but it does mean savvy basketball fans and bandwagon locals respect a team that rebuilds smart, plays hard, and wins, as the Nets have been doing.

And it means the Nets dominate the back of the tabloids.
An ex-Brooklynite in London

The Nets Are Looking Really Good, Even From London, wrote former New York Times journalist (and former Prospect Heights resident) Peter S. Goodman for his former paper 1/24/19, describing how he and his 7-year-old son were following "one exhilarating victory after another for our suddenly mighty Brooklyn Nets."

He wrote:
My embrace of the Nets began seven years ago when the Knicks — the only team I had ever rooted for — shunned a gift from the basketball gods by letting Jeremy Lin leave town. It was the final indignity after years of atrocious basketball. I dumped my Knicks season tickets and adopted the fledgling club whose arena had just risen over my Brooklyn neighborhood.
Of course he didn't drop the Nets after they acquired and then traded away the oft-injured Lin.
I did not do so lightly. As a born-and-bred New Yorker, I saw abandoning a team as a serious breach of the tribal code. I disdained fans from other cities who rooted for two teams in the same sport...
... I fought through a sense of exile in the slick, new Barclays Center, which was full of fans for whom the game itself appeared peripheral to the cool Brooklyn food, the dancing during timeouts, and whatever fascinating things were happening on their phones.
Goodman describes "the mostly mercenary fans got what we deserved: a team of past-their-prime castoffs imported by the bombastic Russian magnate, Mikhail Prokhorov, who had brought the franchise to Brooklyn." (Wait, wasn't it Ratner who engineered the move, then sold the majority of the team to Prokhorov?)

And now, as he describes it, the Nets are rebuilding right, and he's feeling fandom.

Not everyone in Prospect Heights can be so sanguine about the Barclays Center, or the Nets. But it's not unlikely that more Brooklynites will follow a winning, well-constructed team to a transit-accessible (or walking-accessible) arena.

Update: on the radio


Comments