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April 5, 2011

Turning Hipsters Into Hoopsters

The Wall Street Journal
by Jason Gay

The New Jersey Nets—currently rattling around the trunk of the NBA's Eastern Conference—are coming soon to the magnificent birthplace of Lena Horne and Woody Allen and the adopted home of a lot of dudes who can't stop yapping about the final LCD Soundsystem show. (To take every lazy Brooklyn stereotype to the extreme, please read this story while chomping an artisanal pickle. And growing a mustache. And converting your Satan bike to a single speed.)

This wasn't a Nets game, just a showcase with some steel and mud to excite the media. After years of community controversy—and some bad feeling still simmering—it actually is happening: NBA basketball is coming to Brooklyn, to the busy intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues. Monday it was announced that the Barclays Center is set to open for business on September 28, 2012.

On hand was Nets forward Kris Humphries, who was fitted for a white hardhat and asked to pose for photographs of the growing coliseum. He wore a navy blue Brooklyn sweatshirt, and after he walked down a muddy ramp to the court level, someone pointed out to him where the center of the court was going to be.
...

He said he wasn't sure if he would live in Brooklyn, though he'd heard "there are some real great places to stay." He said he didn't mind if parents wanted to bring their babies into Park Slope bars.

OK, just kidding about that last part.

article

Related coverage...

The Brooklyn Paper, Save the date! Barclays Center to open on Sept. 28, 2012

After years of false starts, economic malaise, local protests, lawsuits and atrocious basketball, New Jersey Nets officials finally unveiled some positive team news on Monday: The Barclays Center will be open on Sept. 28, 2012.

The grand opening of the $1-billion arena now under construction at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues will launch three weeks of concerts and events, according to Brett Yormark, the Nets chief executive officer, who led nattily attired team executives, the media, and Nets power forward Kris Humphries through the mud for a tour of the work site.

“It’s all coming together,” he said.

The grand opening will be preceded by public events and tours to introduce Brooklyn to the arena before the Nets 2012-13 season begins.

“The community will sample it first,” Yormark said.

CBS New York, Opening Date Set For Barclays Center In Brooklyn

For the past five years, the team has been trying to make inroads in Brooklyn, or, as Yormark says, they’ve been seeding the brand.

“It’s very important for our players to be very visible here, to be engaged, to give back,” he told WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell.

NoLandGrab: Brett Yormark is incapable of uttering a single sentence that's free of marketing-speak platitudes. Seriously, the guy sounds like a first-year MBA student.

Atlantic Yards Report, At arena site media event, Nets forward Humphries mouths bromides, Yormark claims Barclays Center "is about the community"

It was just two years ago that Nets guard Devin Harris stepped up as the face of the team's move to Brooklyn, replacing the departed Richard Jefferson, who outlasted the original faces, Jason Kidd and Vince Carter.

Harris is gone now, replaced by Deron Williams, and yesterday, at a Nets media event held at the Barclays Center construction site to highlight the September 28, 2012 opening date, the player mouthing Brooklyn bromides was forward Kris Humphries.

Read on for Norman Oder's breakdown of the stories above.

Posted by eric at April 5, 2011 10:58 AM