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Showing posts from April, 2021

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

Barclays Center reports slightly increased ticket sales in first quarter of 2021, but big drop in suite and sponsor installments; does that reflect credits or discounts?

That latest quarterly statement of cash receipts for the Barclays Center operating company shows an increase in ticket sales over the previous quarter--a sign events have resumed--but a distinct drop in the amount from suite and sponsor installments, to $1.2 million from $6.6 million. That's the first quarter of calendar year 2021, but the third quarter of the fiscal year, which ends in June. As I  wrote  in February, the arena logged nearly $6.6 million in suite and sponsor installments in the previous quarter. (See screenshot further below.) This may refer to discounts and/or the commitment, announced in the previous annual report (as I wrote last October), to provide "make goods"--credits for under-delivery--"totaling $11,043,996 to its partnering sponsors and suite license-holders."  That value was partly recorded in deferred revenue, reflecting the value received but not yet delivered, but another part was "not reflected in the financial statements.&q

If NYC reopens fully by July 1 (pending details & caveats), maybe arenas can sell all their tickets; Barclays Center aiming for July 20 Justin Bieber show

NYC Plans for Full Reopening on July 1, Mayor Says: ‘We Are Ready' , NBC reported this morning: "Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July 1," the mayor said on "Morning Joe. "We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength." De Blasio is expected to elaborate further on the plan later in the day. It's not clear if additional COVID requirements -- like proof of vaccinations -- would apply to his plan to bring restaurants, gyms, shops, hair salons and arenas back at full capacity. Nor is it clear whether and how this will harmonize with state rules that, for example, currently limit arena capacity to 10%, going up to 25% as of May 19.  But on the whole, it's good news for operators of the Barclays Center, which is seemingly selling most of the available seating for a Justin Bieber show July 20 . "It's a statewide management system," @NYGovCuomo says when asked about @NYCMayor callin

Yes, the NBA's looking at a big TV payday. That will raise the value of teams like the Brooklyn Nets.

NBA is next up for a big rights increase, and $75 billion is the price , CNBC's Jabari Young wrote 3/22/21: After the National Football League celebrated its history-making 11-year contract worth more than $100 billion , attention shifted to the NBA’s deal, which runs through the 2024-25 season. Early thinking within league circles suggests the NBA will seek a $75 billion rights package, up from its current $24 billion deal, which pays $2.6 billion per year. That's on top of "a $1.5 billion streaming deal with Chinese-based company  Tencent Holdings ." Note that "The NBA declined to comment due to privacy concerns about the financials of its media deals."  I'm not sure that's "privacy concerns" so much as "our policy of commenting publicly when it serves our interests." More money for the league means more valuable franchises and more revenue sharing. It's all going up. (Note to readers: don't worry, this is all adding up

How a new uniform patch brings the Brooklyn Nets (likely) $8M-plus per year, marketing Motorola's Razr

Let's not forget that sports teams as "sports entertainment corporations" (to quote subsidy watchdog Bettina Damiani) and the arenas they own/operate, however much they seem to offer public access (like that "accidental town square,"  with corporate sponsorship), are business propositions. Consider an angle I missed last year. One 10/14/20, CNBC published  Despite ratings decline, NBA still sees a bright future for its $150 million patch sponsorship program , explaining that sponsored patches on jerseys generated some $150 million in revenue leaguewide, with some individual deals as much as $20 million per year--the the figures were expected to rise. That's astounding, given that, for example, naming rights for Barclays Center are $10 million a year. The article quoted some experts as suggesting sponsorship figures might decline, while a league official  expected a 30% boost. The key is participation on national TV--and the star-laden Brooklyn Nets presente

On cars parked outside Barclays Center along Atlantic Avenue during Nets game, no placards. As with parking on sidewalk during events, an implicit city accommodation to arena operations.

I wrote recently about cars combat-parked along Atlantic Avenue during Nets games--despite "No Standing" signs and a fire hydrant--and one question raised was whether the cars somehow had placards allowing it. My response was that I hadn't checked but I'd never seen them in the past--in other words, this is related to Barclays Center events, rather than a routine flouting of rules thanks to placards, which is all too common around the city. So I went back Friday night, April 23. As shown in the video below, shot from the sidewalk, there were again numerous cars parked along Atlantic, including a hydrant. And while I didn't shoot a video of the dashboards--it was too dangerous to be walking close to traffic--I can confirm (as exemplified  in the photo at right) that the vehicles didn't have placards.     Along Dean Street As I've described, the public sidewalk along Dean Street, near the secondary entrance to the Barclays Center as well as the loading

On Fourth Avenue below Atlantic Avenue, Barclays Deli & Juice Bar

Well, we have a Stadium Convenience store at Vanderbilt Avenue and St. Marks Avenue, not so close to the Barclays Center arena (which isn't, actually, a stadium).  And there was a real estate firm on Bergen Street near Vanderbilt called Arena Properties, but it doesn't seem to have lasted at that location. Also, there's an "Arena Hotel" pretty far away. (Yes, A.R.E.A. Bagels on Fifth Avenue would've been Arena Bagels if not for some cross words by some Atlantic Yards opponents, but it hasn't lasted, either.) So there have been a few, but hardly a lot, of arena-associated names. More recently, since about October 2020 , Barclays Deli and Juice Bar opened on the west side of Fourth Avenue, between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue, just next to the new building, Five Six One Pacific , that replaced the venerable Church of the Redeemer, a valuable development site.  

Premium publicity: coming courtside Crown Club at Barclays Center aimed at just 250 high-rollers

It's nicely promotional news--in Eater  ("Major Food Group is opening a courtside club at Barclays Center") and the New York Times Food Section  ("Jewel Box Dining Comes to Barclays Center")--that high-rolling fans at the arena next year could go Crown Club , with bar, restaurant, and private dining room--plus pantry area. (As noted by NetsDaily, this is the former space of “The Vault,” and a nightclub, “Billboard Lounge," neither of which did that well. And apparently Billboard is no longer involved in co-branding.) From Eater: To create the lounge, MFG and BSE tapped Ken Fulk, the heavy-hitting designer behind New York restaurants Noda, Sadelle’s, and Legacy Records, along with the Miami outpost of Carbone. Based on early photos of the restaurant, the lounge appears to be outfitted with custom light fixtures, velvet furniture, and more than a half-dozen chandeliers. The 7,700-square-foot space can reportedly seat up to 250 people at full capacity but is

At next Quality of Life meeting, maybe we'll learn what happened with the promised Times Plaza open space

Empire State Development has announced the next Atlantic Yards Project Quality of Life Meeting, at 6 pm on Tuesday, May 11-- on Zoom , as per pandemic protocols. Dial In: 646-558-8656 || Passcode: 93061478837# Meeting ID: 930 6147 8837 Presumably we'll get carefully managed, sunny updates on project progress, building openings, and retail progress from representatives of the developer(s) and ESD, plus the Barclays Center, though they do answer--with varying candor--questions submitted beforehand or during the chat. Project-related questions and suggested agenda items may be sent to atlanticyards@esd.ny.gov. What about Times Plaza? My question: what happened to the announced revamp of Times Plaza open space, at the intersection of Flatbush, Fourth, and Atlantic avenues. As shown in the photos at right and above, the work hasn't happened--though there is a "ghost bike" memorial to a cyclist killed under the city's unforgiving street circumstances. To reprise what I

Happy Earth Day! Did you know the Barclays Center's green roof doesn't perform as proposed, was revived to muffle escaping bass, and that added steel undermines environmental benefit?

On Earth Day, we get a rather self-serving message from the Barclays Center, which says its 135,000 square-foot green roof is "the largest-ever green roof to cover a sporting venue."  But despite claims of sustainability--like eliminating single-use plastic straws at arena events--the green roof is closer to greenwashing . Did you know Barclays Center has a 135,000-sq-ft green roof; the largest-ever green roof to cover a sporting venue. 🌳 We are committed to finding sustainable ways to #RestoreOurEarth with programs such as eliminating single-use plastic straws at all events. Happy Earth Day! pic.twitter.com/LAp99gQ0UI — Barclays Center (@barclayscenter) April 22, 2021 The original green roof--once planned to be open to the public, then to those in adjacent towers, then to nobody--was supposed to help with sustainability, but original developer Forest City abandoned it, telling WNYC's Matthew Schuerman that its stormwater management role couldn’t work.  Later, t

The Nets/NBA and the crowd (plus mayoral candidates) at the Barclays Center plaza (now with John Lewis quote) react to the police murder verdict in Minneapolis

And nearly ten months after Black Lives Matter demonstrations grew frequent at the Barclays Center plaza, arena operators have gotten much better--after hesitating for more than a week,  as I wrote for Bklyner --at swapping out programmatic advertising for more meaningful, if gnomic, statements about justice. Before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a white man, was convicted yesterday of second-degree murder (and more) in the gruesome killing of arrestee George Floyd, a black man, demonstrations were planned for Barclays, with the Brooklyn Nets not inconveniently playing in New Orleans. Outside Barclays Center in Brooklyn where demonstration is planned at 7pm. “We will stand up for what is right, for what is fair, and what is just.” - John Lewis 1940-2020 pic.twitter.com/Dqp9AUDv66 — Bryan Llenas (@BryanLlenas) April 20, 2021 Given the conviction, the demonstrations were peaceful--but charged. As shown below, some protesters' sentiments--"Fuck 12" refer

For playoffs, as of May 19 arenas like Barclays Center can go to 25% capacity. But that won't save concert tours.

As of May 19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday, "Spectator capacity will increase to 25 percent at large-scale arenas and event venues, including professional and collegiate sports, and major performances." While that's good for sports teams at Barclays Center, Madison Square Garden, and Nassau Coliseum, all bound for the playoffs, gate admissions are only part of their revenue picture. The new regulation will not rescue tours of musical acts, which depend on admissions , so it's hardly clear that announced events will actually go forward. NEWS: The capacity restrictions on museums, indoor arenas and zoos are increasing in New York starting next week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) just announced. https://t.co/tElx0HGSL1 Details —> pic.twitter.com/8gFjMAFS3g — Jimmy Vielkind (@JimmyVielkind) April 19, 2021

Wrapping the former Triangle Sports building (still otherwise unused), James Harden mural in triplicate

I wrote 4/8/21 when signs of a James Harden mural, sponsored by Adidas, were reported on the former Triangle Sports building, bordered by Flatbush Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and Dean Street--a location that has changed hands for big money but which has never worked for a retail tenant. When I walked by last Friday, I saw that all three sides of the building--except for the roll-down gates, which seem to be waiting for something--were covered with versions of the mural. Along Flatbush Avenue Along Fifth Avenue Corner of Fifth Avenue and Dean Street Along Dean Street

Public space, private use: how Barclays Center relies on parking in Atlantic Avenue drop-off lane and Dean Street sidewalk

As I wrote last month, when asked if the Barclays Center had been granted permission for "combat parking" on Atlantic Avenue where there is a “No Standing Anytime” sign, the response from Empire State Development, the state authority that oversees/shepherds the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project  was: There has been no formal permission granted for parking along Atlantic Avenue. Parking signage is regulated by NYC Department of Transportation and enforced by the NYPD. But the informal permission continues, as shown in the photos I took last Thursday around the arena, on a Brooklyn Nets game night.  (Update: I didn't check for placards, but typically in the past I haven't seen placards , such as those granted for city officials, but rather some indication of Barclays ties.) While it's true that drivers can't continue in the drop-off lane, or even the next lane--to which the parked cars extend--because they're ultimately blocked by the construction of the

With more (and more complicated) options this election, fewer endorsements from the Times (and others?)

I'm curious: will NYC editorial boards offer multiple, RCV endorsements for Mayor? For other citywide races? For BPs and Council? (You'll need more space, but I hope so: it helps frame strengths/weaknesses) @MaraGay @nahmias @SquarePegDem — Norman Oder (@AYReport) April 13, 2021 No response. And then... "Well-read Manhattanites will have to decide for themselves." — @JCColtin , Campaign Confidential https://t.co/Cm0PUepvf6 pic.twitter.com/5UHaqr4qA1 — Rachel Holliday Smith (@rachelholliday) April 14, 2021 There are hundreds of candidates for NYC City Council and it’d be hard for the NY Times to interview even half of them. But we’re about to replace almost the entire city govt! The Times edit board could make a bigger impact in these races than on e.g. the presidential primary. — Seth Pollack (@sethmpk) April 15, 2021 I appreciated that they endorsed most IDC challengers in 2018. good things can happen when they deign to engage with local issues! — Seth Po

Ok, My Chemical Romance tour stopping at Barclays Center pushed back a second time, to 2022. Other postponements coming?

Earlier this week, I wrote that the Barclays Center was selling tickets to some scheduled musical performances, but also that a music booker  said that tours won't run until venues are at 100% of capacity. Indeed, My Chemical Romance, previously scheduled for a 9/11/21 performance at Barclays, will be pushed back exactly a year, with tickets to the original show honored.  Presumably they projected that their tour would not be able to perform at capacity, and recognized the enduring risks, stating , "We just want to be as sure as we can be that everyone is safe." This, actually, has been a double postponement , first from 2020 to 2021, then from 2021 to 2022. Stay tuned to see if the first listed Barclays show, Justin Bieber on 7/20/21 , actually goes forward.

From the latest Construction Update: more overnight/weekend work (but not noisy) at the Vanderbilt Yard, starting Monday. After-hours work 7 am today at B12/B13.

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning April 19 was circulated yesterday at 12:35 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.  From Monday April 19 though Friday April 30, according to the Update, the Long Island Rail Road has "has tentatively scheduled track alignment and geometry testing and verification of the recently completed Yard Storage Tracks."  This would presumably achieve Final Completion and make it easier for developer Greenland Forest City Partners to advance plans, presuming they're The wor--not expected to be noisy or disruptive--is expected to be done during nights and weekends when trains are not present in the Yard. But the specific dates aren't certain, because the work depends on availability of personnel and equipment. Ther was no mention of overnight track remediation work, scheduled to last through at least this weekend and

Nassau County Executive calls for 50% arena capacity. Concert booker says tours won't run until venues are at 100%. So stay tuned.

As I've recently written, there's a lot of uncertainty about venue capacity as vaccinations for COVID-19 ramp up, and there are no tickets yet for New York Liberty games at Barclays Center, and (seemingly) tight capacity for some other events . Well, it must be a moving target. As Patch reported yesterday, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran called for 50% capacity at the Nassau Coliseum for New York Islanders games, saying 46% of the population in the county had been vaccinated: "As you know, the Islanders are ingrained in the fabric of Long Island," Curran wrote in a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "With this being the last season at the Coliseum before the big move to Belmont, my hope is that by increasing capacity to 50 percent, we can give more Isles fans the opportunity to safely 'Rock the Barn' one last time." Her letter cited the requirements for masks, and the use of the Excelsior Pass to register vaccinations. Still, it's not about fan

Mobile sports betting in New York State is coming, maybe by next February. NBA owners and arena operators must be pleased.

A press release yesterday from Queens state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.,  Addabbo hopes mobile sports betting begins before next year's Super Bowl , hailed legislation he championed: With New York State facing a major economic deficit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and witnessing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and educational funding flowing to the New Jersey and illegal sports betting markets, by legalizing mobile sports betting, New York is expected to bring in around $99 million in Fiscal Year 2021-2022. That estimated figure then jumps to approximately $357 million in FY 2022-2023, eventually reaching over $500 million in FY 2025-2026, most of which will fund education in the state. Mobile sports betting will allow people to place wagers on sporting events through their mobile phones or other internet-connected devices. Thirteen other states and Washington D.C. also have legal mobile sports betting. That, of course, can create collateral damage for gambling addicts-

WNBA's New York Liberty to open season at Barclays May 14, but tickets not available yet (because guidelines are expected to change?)

Yesterday, the WNBA released its 2021 schedule, with the 12 teams playing a 32-game season starting May 14, which is when the New York Liberty make their full-season  Barclays Center debut . As ESPN reported , WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert was asked about attendance: "I think it's right now nine of our 12 markets, but we're negotiating on the 10th because you have to negotiate locally as well as with the local health officials," Engelbert said, although the league didn't identify which markets those were. "It'll be reduced, and we're hoping as we go into the Olympic break and come off of that, maybe we can have more full arenas." Right now New York State is allowing 10% attendance, as I wrote yesterday , which suggests 1,773 max capacity at Barclays for basketball. But the arena operator and team, owned by Joe Tsai, are surely hedging their bets, since tickets are not available just yet. Surely they hope protocols will change, if not by May

Yes, the Barclays Center is selling tickets for scheduled events. Total unclear. Capacity may increase--but some seats look pretty close already.

OK, now that people are allowed back in arenas, at least in limited numbers, the Barclays Center is listing new events , but--understandably--being cagy about the precise location and number of tickets available. As of February, venues were allowed to open at 10% capacity--that's  about 1,773 for Brooklyn Nets games and up to 1,900 for concerts, according to the arena web site --but surely the Barclays Center operators are expecting bigger growds. Besides Nets games, which do not include the inevitable playoffs, right now there are nine events listed, several of which have been rescheduled. Bieber comes first The first event is the Justin Bieber World Tour , scheduled for July 20, 2021, a concert that likely would have sold out before the pandemic and surely now would benefit from the tamped-up demand built over the past year.  (That, I suspect, would outweigh the number of potential ticket-buyers still wary of attending such an event, given the youthful demographic.) Click throug

A few Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park angles on the latest Atlantic Avenue development proposals

As I noted two days ago, I'd just published an article in Bklyner, Developers Propose Two 17-Story Towers in Prospect Heights/Crown Heights. CB 8 Says Whoa, Gets Backing From Cumbo , regarding towers on Atlantic Avenue east of the recently-proposed 840 Atlantic Ave., which would be just across from the not-yet-built B10 tower of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. The 870-888 Atlantic Ave. tower would be just a few parcels east of 840 Atlantic, proposed for a site today mainly occupied by a drive-through McDonald's. All three proposals need an upzoning from the city, while Council Member Laurie Cumbo indicated willingness to modify the scale of that upzoning. Shifting perspective In the rendering below, the 175-foot tall 870-888 Atlantic looks considerably smaller than 840 Atlantic, which would be 195 feet tall but was, at least according to another rendering in the slideshow, then assumed to be 250 feet tall.  In other words, this isn't precise. There would be a greater contrast

"The Nets Are Pushing Regular Season to Its Limits," as stars haven't played together. A (cynical) NBA trend?

The Nets Are Pushing Regular Season to Its Limits , Rohan Nadkarni wrote 4/9/21 for Sports Illustrated, noting that Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving "have appeared in only 186 minutes together across seven games in 2021," likely the most extreme example of a title-contending team to wait to gel. He writes: All of this is setup for one of the most intriguing title chases in recent history. Can a team, during a pandemic-affected season with nearly no practice time, finally roll out its stars for a sustained period of time only weeks before the playoffs and still be taken seriously as a contender? Right now it’s hard to argue against the Nets. They’re the No. 1 seed in the East entering Friday despite all the injuries. Their offensive rating is the best in the NBA and would be the best in league history if it stays at 117.5. And Durant, their best player, is back on the floor after appearing in only 19 games before Wednesday’s win against the Pelicans. The reasons fo

From Bklyner: Developers Propose Two 17-Story Towers in Prospect Heights/Crown Heights. CB 8 Says Whoa, Gets Backing From Cumbo

I have an article yesterday in Bklyner, Developers Propose Two 17-Story Towers in Prospect Heights/Crown Heights. CB 8 Says Whoa, Gets Backing From Cumbo , which begins: Auguring a striking remake of dowdy, underutilized Atlantic Avenue east of Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights and Crown Heights, developers have proposed two 17-story residential towers, one nearly adjacent to the previously proposed 18-story tower planned for a site occupied mainly by a drive-through McDonald’s. Such spot rezonings, unveiled at the Community Board 8 Land Use Committee meeting on April 1, have been encouraged by the Department of City Planning (DCP) to deliver significant housing, including affordable units, in an area currently constrained by antiquated manufacturing zoning, Savvy investors have anticipated—or as one board member put it, speculated—that rezonings would boost land value. But the configuration and scale of the proposed towers—one 21% bulkier than contemplated under the Community Boa

If "Shrinking Need for Office Space Could Crush Landlords," then (I speculate) new work-from-home plan--and platform--nudged by embattled governor?

For the nth time, another warning, on today's New York Times front page,  After Pandemic, Shrinking Need for Office Space Could Crush Landlords : Businesses have discovered during the pandemic that they can function with nearly all of their workers out of the office, an arrangement many intend to continue in some form. That could wallop the big property companies that build and own office buildings — and lead to a sharp pullback in construction, steep drops in office rents, fewer people frequenting restaurants and stores, and potentially perilous declines in the tax revenue of city governments and school districts. In only a year, the market value of office towers in Manhattan, home to the country’s two largest central business districts, has plummeted 25 percent, according to city projections released on Wednesday, contributing to an estimated $1 billion drop-off in property tax revenue. Notable, the city's largest private employer, JPMorgan Chase, expects office "seats&q

At former Triangle Sports building, no retail tenant--but a James Harden billboard

Yes, there's a James Harden mural, sponsored by Adidas, getting painted across from the Barclays Center, as NetsDaily tells us . Adidas is putting up the James Harden mural across from Barclays, I can confirm. The Nets star will be featured on multiple sides of the building. pic.twitter.com/S9Hrg9YMib — Alec Sturm (@Alec_Sturm) April 7, 2021 While it's a smart use of available space--once occupied by a Kyrie Irving mural from Nike--it's also a reminder that that seemingly valuable (and high-priced ) piece of real estate, once occupied by Triangle Sports, still hasn't worked for a retail tenant. For now, it's a well-situated billboard.

After Miami, won't more arenas devote sections limited to fully vaccinated fans? In New York, watch as state guidelines evolve.

The Brooklyn Nets already--albeit informally, since it's not on the arena web site --have announced that those who are fully vaccinated, two weeks after their second shot, need not take a COVID-19 test. Big deal! @barclayscenter will no longer require COVID-19 test if you’re “fully vaccinated.” This will encourage fans to get vaccinated. H/T to @dbearak pic.twitter.com/B6AT15ksMP — NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) March 26, 2021 But another trend was recently launched at American Airlines Arena in Miami, which, according to a 3/23/21 Associated Press article , announced two sections of the lower bowl dedicated to fully vaccinated fans. This allows people to sit closer together, and requires new protocols: The Heat are devoting two sections for the fully vaccinated fans, where pods of groups will be separated by just one seat. Those fans will be admitted through a separate gate and required to show their Centers for Disease Control vaccination card, or proof thereof, along with valid ident

Will sports-and-entertainment arenas get federal grants as "Shuttered Venue Operators"? Unlikely, but...

Live-event businesses will be able to apply for a relief grant program starting April 8 , the New York Times recently reported, which made me wonder: will operators of sports-and-entertainment arenas like Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program? I have no information either way--stay tuned--but the answer is.... unlikely but not impossible, at least for venues like Barclays which are not operated by publicly-traded corporations. According to the Small Business Administration : The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established through the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act to provide over $16 billion in economic relief to target industries. The SVOG application is slated to open April 8, 2021. For an eligible entity in operation on January 1, 2019, grants will be for an amount equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue or $10

The pre-backlash to the Nets' potential title, and the (limited) backlash to star Durant's nasty words

The Brooklyn Nets, assuming they return to full strength with Kevin Durant and James Harden back on the court--they lost yesterday with "only" Kyrie Irving--are a fearsome basketball team and clearly a title contender, perhaps a favorite. They also represent a smart, unsentimental sports entertainment corporation with global ambitions, and they have outperformed the "Manhattan Knicks" (Marty Markowitz's phrase ) not only in the league but via other metrics that measure attention. And now, even, there's a pre-backlash to their potential title. Newsday sports columnist Neil Best--who by affiliation has to feel a pull to the New York Islanders, Long Island's only team--on 4/2/21 wrote  Nets shouldn't be the team to break New York's pro title drought , arguing: But these Nets feel . . . off. Having them win it all would make for a clunky dramatic narrative. Would seeing Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden lift the trophy at Barclays Center —