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September 30, 2011

Malcolm Gladwell, in Grantland, gets the Atlantic Yards big picture: "a man buys a basketball team as insurance on a real estate project"

Atlantic Yards Report

Well, New York Daily News sports columnist Mike Lupica was right all along, writing 11/13/05:

If Caring Bruce Ratner is still the owner of the Nets in five years, I'll eat my hat.

...He doesn't want the team.

He never really did.

He wants the land.

After the March 2010 groundbreaking, Lupica commented, "It was a hustle in broad daylight by Caring Bruce Ratner from the start."

Enter Gladwell

That same sentiment comes from New Yorker writer and Grantland contributing editor Malcolm Gladwell, in a 9/26/11 essay in the latter headlined The Nets and NBA Economics: David Stern would have you believe the Brooklyn-bound franchise embodies everything wrong with the league's finances. It's not true.

His conclusion:

The rich have gone from being grateful for what they have to pushing for everything they can get. They have mastered the arts of whining and predation, without regard to logic or shame. In the end, this is the lesson of the NBA lockout. A man buys a basketball team as insurance on a real estate project, flips the franchise to a Russian billionaire when he wins the deal, and then — as both parties happily count their winnings — what lesson are we asked to draw? The players are greedy.

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Related coverage...

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, It's A Tipping Point: Malcolm Gladwell Nails Bruce Ratner on His Trojan Horse Nets

Malcolm Gladwell is about eight years late to the party nonetheless he has penned a must-read column revealing the bogusness of Bruce Ratner the Basketball Man, and how his toying with the Nets exemplifies the absurd notion that NBA owners are suffering financially.

The main point, which has been one of our mantras since DDDB's inception, is that Atlantic Yards has never been about basketball.

Rainman Suite, Even Malcolm Gladwell Thinks Bruce Ratner Is A Scumbag

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a piece on Grantland about the scam Bruce Ratner pulled on New York to get his massive development built in Brooklyn under the guise of moving the Nets and helping the community. It’s been under-the-radar for a long time but I think this is the most informative article I’ve read about the subject.

NoLandGrab: Under-the-what?! You must have missed our 18,000 or so posts on the subject.

Posted by eric at September 30, 2011 12:27 PM