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Bad timing! As Nets reap scorn ("superteam of toxicity"), plaza outside Barclays deployed for TV shoot, starring comedian Ronny Chieng as team's GM.

Ronny Chieng at the shoot. Photos: Norman Oder

So what exactly was going on yesterday around the Barclays Center, which a day earlier had not too helpfully signaled a private event, later explained as a film shoot, would take place on the plaza from 7 am to 9 pm?

Oh, it was a shoot for the URCP, as the crew's stickers (which echo the black-and-white Nets logo) said, or Untitled Ronny Chieng Project, a Hulu comedy series starring the comedian and Daily Show correspondent as the Brooklyn Nets General Manager, which, according to Variety is inspired by but not about real-life Nets' owner Joe Tsai.

Ah, Hollywood license. 

An owner is a rich businessperson, while a GM is a deal-maker and talent evaluator.

Bad timing

But it's a particularly bad time to be making anything inspired by the Nets, as the franchise--as I'll discuss in greater detail--has been unraveling in the last week, generating much scorn after:
  • star guard Kyrie Irving, noted freethinker, tweeted a link in implicit endorsement of an anti-Semitic film
  • Tsai publicly rebuked Irving before talking to him, after which some pointed to Tsai's less-than-savory associations
  • the Nets, a talented but underperforming team, continued to lose, with Coach Steve Nash baffled
  • the Nets fired Nash (but didn't sanction Irving), and (reportedly) hired former Celtics coach Ime Udoka, who'd been suspended by his team after a successful season for inappropriate workplace behavior
  • in an attempt to repair things, Irving and the team issued a (non-apology but "responsibility") joint statement, each committing $500,000 to the Anti-Defamation League to fight anti-Semitism.

Current General Manager Sean Marks does not come off well in this, having assembled the team, hired (and fired) Nash, and acknowledged to the press that "it’s understandable” some might not cheer for the team. 

As New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro wrote 11/1/22, Sean Marks will be next clown to get boot from Nets circus, and he earned it.

That, however, will further point out that the buck stops with Tsai. Not funny at all.

As basketball writer Tom Ziller put it yesterday, Bored with mere basketball, the Nets are now building a superteam of toxicity. Or to quote the Daily News's Kristian Winfield, Nets culture is in shambles

Or, to quote SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell, 

Kyrie Irving is being shielded by Nets, NBA after spreading antisemitic lies. Or, to quote ESPN's Jay Williams, the Nets "are the most unlikeable team maybe in the history of the NBA."

Can this comedy project be saved--or vastly rethought? Stay tuned. (It's filming near Columbia University today.)

Plaza unfinished

As shown in the photo below, workers are still replacing tiles on the plaza near the transit entrance.

That means, as shown below, that the escalators were not working. (They are periodically out of order, though, as far as I can tell, yesterday it was for the work above.)

The rest of the plaza

Meanwhile, as shown in the photo below, the plan to fix the part of the plaza behind the transit entrance seems far from completion., though it's been out since June and was supposed to be done by September and then October. We have not been given a new completion date. (I've asked.)

So much for public access to the benches, for now. Should the saying be "You (don't) belong here"?

Below is another view, looking toward the Williamsburgh Savings Bank building, showing tiles stacked up for storage.