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Presence of stars, even if not playing, return Nets to top ten in merchandise sales; ESPN on The Block

The NBA is a star's league. As explained on Nets Daily, not only are stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant 10th and 12th in the league, respectively, in individual jersey sales--despite Durant being out for the year and Irving mjissing many games--the team is now tenth in the league in total merchandise sales.
The Nets as a team were last in the top ten in 2014, not long after their 2012 debut, when they had some stars and were a playoffs team.

That suggests that the 2020-21 Nets, assuming Durant's back and plays well, will do even better.

About The Block

In The fight for New York's next generation of fans starts in Barclays Center's lower bowl, ESPN today describes how Section 114 of Barclays Center has become home to "The Block: a section of 96 fans sponsored by the Brooklyn Nets to exude rowdiness and vibrancy throughout every game."

The Block, as described in November 2018, was the new home of The Brooklyn Brigade, a fan-organized cheering section finally organized by the team, with corporate sponsors, to add energy to the game (and, of course, counterbalance other teams' passionate fans). While other teams have sponsored fan sections, according to ESPN, the Nets are in the largest market to do so.

Capacity as of 2018 was 75; presumably that continues, with not everyone attending each game. The number of fans interested, thanks to the presence of new stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, has escalated.

The article ends with a quote from original organizer Bobby Edemeka: "The Knicks have had a 60-year head start in this city, so you've got generations of Knicks fans, and they're a loyal bunch. To me, the battle isn't to win over existing Knicks fans. The battle is to win the next generation of basketball fans in this city."

He's not wrong.

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