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January 21, 2009

Could Shaq connect the Nets to the Rock? Well, there's hope but no plan

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder examines Shaquille O'Neal's opinion that the NJ Nets should move to Newark instead of Brooklyn.

The Newark Star-Ledger, which has been leading the coverage of the possibility that the New Jersey Nets might play pre-season games at the Prudential Center, now raises the question about whether native son Shaquille O'Neal, who's become a big investor in Newark, might be the man to bring the Nets to the Rock permanently.
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That's not exactly a full-fledged plan, but, on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, the pessimism about the Brooklyn move has grown. "[F]ew outside the organization believe they're getting to Brooklyn any more," Politi writes.

Meanwhile, leaders in NJ are keeping a close eye on the situation:

"The best thing to do is wait and let it take care of itself," Sen. Richard Codey the state senate president, told the newspaper. "With Brooklyn looking like Dorothy from Kansas, they'll have to make a financial decision soon."

The general sense from political leaders and the media is that Bruce Ratner can't wait forever to seal the deal:

Forest City Enterprises stock, seesawing for weeks, was down a mere 21.42% yesterday. The Nets' losses continue. Earlier this month, Crain's New York Business Editorial Director Greg David observed, "If those [legal] challenges are not dismissed before March, the project will be in trouble."

He didn't give a rationale, and it's certainly possible that the project could survive even if legal cases linger. However, the clock is ticking.

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Posted by lumi at January 21, 2009 5:10 AM