September 28, 2012

The Brooklyn Nets’ Cheerleader Uniforms: Confronting the Nightmare

Gawker
by Caity Weaver

Gawker's Caity Weaver goes all Norman Oder on the just-revealed Brooklyn Nets' cheerleaders', er, uniforms.

The new Brooklyn Nets' Brooklynettes cheerleader uniforms were revealed this week, and they are bad. They are bad in ways you would expect, like a cropped warm up jacket. They are bad in surprising new ways, like "painted sequin leggings." Because they are complicated, multi-piece ensembles, they are bad in many ways. Because they mostly consist of pieces of fabric bearing the word BROOKLYN in capital letters, they are bad in ways that seem Brooklyn-specific, but are, in fact, universal.

The above image, posted on the official Brooklynettes Facebook page, is of a now-defunct Croatian pop group called Saves9 who opened for M2M on three dates of their European tour in the spring of 2000. Just kidding! Those are the Brooklynettes. The four outfits represent only a taste of the squad's horrific ensemble (not pictured: "a neoprene scuba blazer with sequin leggings, a little cropped warm-up jacket, and painted sequin leggings"). However, because the only way to get over a nightmare is to confront it head on, let's steel ourselves for a quick analysis.
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In case you were wondering what kind of person would do such a thing to Brooklyn, the answer, reports the Post, is David Dalrymple. Dalrymple designed the nude-sequined bodysuit Britney Spears wore to the 2000 VMAs and travels back to that decade via time machine frequently for design inspiration.

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Posted by eric at 12:08 AM

September 27, 2012

All Black Everything: A Brooklyn Nets Style Guide

The Barclays Center opens tomorrow as the home of the Brooklyn Nets. The team may not lead their conference, but their merchandise is a top seller at the N.B.A. store online. Below, a guide to the Nets’ change of clothes.

The New York Times
by Alicia DeSantis

Not enough synergy for you yet? Here's more.

1. COLOR

Jay-Z, a minority owner of the Nets, had a hand in the design of the team’s logo. The look reflects his oft-stated preference for black — the signature color of the Jay-Z brand.

On the cover of “The Black Album,” Jay-Z wears a baseball cap that seems to have no logo, but he is a well-known Yankees fan. In a Budweiser ad that ran during the Olympics this summer, he traded his signature “fitted” for a Nets cap. (Anheuser-Busch is a partner of the Barclays Center.)

2. BROOKLYN-IZATION

“We Brooklyn-ized who we are, which I think is critical,” said Brett Yormark, chief executive of the Nets and Barclays Center, and a former Nascar executive. “The goal is to become a lifestyle brand. We want to transcend sports. We want people to consume us as often as possible.”

Yes, they run through all five.

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NoLandGrab: Is there a section of The Times that hasn't gotten in on the action?

Posted by eric at 10:54 AM

Playing Ball in Brooklyn Arts

The Wall Street Journal

The Journal, which is not a development partner of Forest City Ratner, is still willing to do its part for the New York media's "Barclays Center Week."

Mikhail Prokhorov is making a name for himself in Brooklyn.

The owner of the Brooklyn Nets and his sister, Irina Prokhorova, have made a $1 million grant to the Brooklyn Academy of Music through the Mikhail Prokhorov Fund. The grant will be announced Thursday at a cocktail reception before the BAM 30 Next Wave Gala, as will the new artistic partnership the grant will support, the TransCultural Express: American and Russian Arts Today.
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"BAM is our next door neighbor in Brooklyn. Barclays Center arena is a five-minute walk," he wrote in an email. "They are strategic advisors on the cultural programming for the arena. What do good neighbors do? They hold a block party, they borrow sugar from one another and they collaborate on projects for the neighborhood, which is what we are doing."

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NoLandGrab: Gotta hand it to Bruce. He chairs BAM's board to burnish his image, gets BAM to come out and shill for his boondoggle, and then gets Proky to pay them off. Well played, sir!

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, WSJ: Prokhorov. "successful businessman in his home country," gives $1 million to BAM

Well, there are various definitions of "good neighbors," and the construction of the Barclays Center has not been so neighborly. As for "successful businessman," in post-Soviet Russia, that covers a lot of ground, including common corrupt if not illegal dealings.

Charitable contributions, especially when accompanied by pleasant press coverage, help people forget that.

NLG: Yeah, if they're "good" neighbors, we'd hate to see bad ones.

Posted by eric at 10:02 AM

September 25, 2012

Culture of Cheating: the highly promoted but very elusive $15 Brooklyn Nets tickets; all gone, some ticket reps have claimed misleadingly

Atlantic Yards Report

Want a cheap seat to see the all-new Brooklyn Nets, the team that completed an astonishing makeover this past July? It won't be easy.

Though single-game tickets went on sale yesterday (after a pre-sale), none of the promised 2,000 $15 seats--a prime talking point for team boosters and a real contrast with the NBA rival Knicks--were available.

The best price was $22, plus an $8 service charge. For a family of four, that would be $120, plus any additional service charge.

Still, the promise sounds good. The Daily News recently reported that "Two-thousand seats costing $15 have been set aside for sale on game day."

Actually, the amount set aside is far more fuzzy, since some seats have been sold as season tickets. Also, during the push to sell season tickets--now topping 10,000, a real jump for the team--some fans were told by ticket reps that the cheap seats were sold out.

Those tickets were seemingly off the table even before majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov opened his wallet by trading for Joe Johnson and re-signing Deron Williams (now dubbed "Brooklyn's Backcourt"), and otherwise shaking off the curse of New Jersey.

Such misleading tactics represent another example of the Culture of Cheating behind Atlantic Yards and the Barclays Center.

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Posted by eric at 1:21 PM

JAY-Z BARELY OWNS THE NETS AND THAT BARELY MATTERS

Vice.com
by Drew Millard

Every team has a mascot. In high school, our mascot was a wolverine, and every Friday one unlucky cheerleader would hop in a costume that resembled a giant furry wolf and sweat for four hours. I remember my friend Abby ended up wearing it a fair bit. Abby has more in common with Jay-Z than she ever thought she would. Jay-Z is also a mascot, in a way, but his team is basically one really scary Russian dude, and instead of wearing an uncomfortable furry outfit he has to go in front of the New York sports media, which is much, much worse.

In August, The New York Times reported that Jay-Z owned approximately one 50th of 1 percent [NLG: actually one 15th of one percent, but what's the difference?] of the newly-relocated Brooklyn Nets. That’s more of an NBA team than you or I own, but it just barely qualifies him as an "owner." To put it into perspective, Jay invested a million dollars in the team in 2003, which is a little more than what the Nets will be paying CJ Watson—who is good at Twitter but not that great at basketball—to sit on their bench this season. Owning a sports franchise puts you firmly in the oligarch club, but Jay’s gotten a seat at the club with only a token investment.

Despite his ownership of the most hilariously small sliver of the Nets’ pizza pie, Jay-Z basically facilitated the Nets’ migration across from Jersey to Brooklyn. The idea to have a sports team in downtown Brooklyn was generated by this Romneyesque business nerd named Bruce Ratner, who (basically) wanted to clear a bunch of poor people out of the neighborhood and replace them with people with more money.

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Posted by eric at 12:12 PM

For The NBA's Nets, No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn

MediaPost Marketing: Sports
by Barry Janoff

The song that appeared on the Beastie Boys' 1986 debut album, “Licensed to Ill,” predated by some 26 years the feeling that Bruce Ratner, Mikhail Prokhorov, Jay-Z, Brett Yormark and a bevy of others have this week as they finally see the light that is the Barclays Center at the end of a long and arduous tunnel.

No sleep, but plenty of b.s.

"My toughest challenge [has been finding] an opportunity to sleep," said Yormark, CEO of Nets Basketball and president and CEO of Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment. "I don’t sleep that much to begin with, but now there will be even less time. I say that kiddingly. But, obviously, there [has been] so much to do."

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NoLandGrab: And while that headline doesn't violate the terms of the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch's will, we're guessing he wasn't a fan of Bruce Ratner's crooked land grab.

Posted by eric at 11:46 AM

September 24, 2012

Nets Store Opens at Barclays Center

Enthusiastic fans line up for opening of team's new retail location.

Park Slope Patch
by Paul Leonard

The Nets Shop by Adidas opened early Monday to lines of eager basketball fans looking to get the first peek at jerseys, basketballs, sneakers and other apparel emblazoned with the team's black and white logo.

Outside the store, Bed-Stuy resident Winston Gladstone proudly displayed his haul: A $30 basketball signed by Brooklyn Nets player Brook Lopez and a $32 tank top for his 18-year-old daughter.

"I think I made out pretty well," Gladstone said.

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NoLandGrab: No, chief, no you didn't. But Bruce Ratner, the Russian Oligarch and the owner of the Chinese factory who manufactured your swag did just fine.

Posted by eric at 7:56 PM

NetsDaily Off-Season Report #22

NetsDaily

NetsDaily's Bob Windrem, aka "NetIncome," loves the team's new home so much, and has such a crush on Mikhail Prokhorov, that he's forgiven Bruce Ratner for destroying what had been a title-contender before he took over.

And besides, it was the opponents' fault...

Bruce Ratner was not a good NBA owner, although one could forgive if not forget some of what he did because of the extenuating, and unique, circumstances of his ownership: the litigation that prevented him from moving the team earlier...the original plan was for the Frank Gehry-designed arena to open up in 2006; the mounting debt which was three times what the Hornet ownership walked away from; then the Great Recession.

But sitting in the audience at Friday's ribbon-cutting, we thought if this is the result --the team playing in what is arguably the most modern, most expensive arena in the NBA; with Mikhail Prokhorov as its principal owner and a roster that on paper is the franchise's best 1-through-15 maybe ever--maybe he wasn't so far after all.

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Posted by eric at 12:44 PM

September 21, 2012

Brooklyn Nets, 2003-2012: What a long, strange trip it’s been

Meadowlands Matters [NorthJersey.com]
by John Brennan

The $1 billion Barclays Center has its grand opening today – a mere nine years after New York real estate developer Bruce Ratner invited us media types to Junior’s in Brooklyn for some cheesecake and chatter about his desire to move the Nets to Brooklyn. Ratner mischievously donned the fedora of Brooklyn basketball legend World B. Free that day, and he seemed convinced he would pull off the plan without too many headaches.

He was right about pulling off the plan – but oh, were there headaches. Here are some highs and lows I’ve taken from my coverage of this idea from Day One....

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Posted by eric at 2:23 PM

September 20, 2012

Why the Nets Not Living in Brooklyn Could Hurt Their Credibility

NBA Grapevine

Just how “Brooklyn” is the Brooklyn Nets is an acrimonious and hotly debated subject for borough residents, particularly those who live near the Barclays Center.

However, whether the Nets’ players represent the Brooklyn lifestyle is not up for argument. That’s because none of them will be living in Brooklyn this season (via The New York Times).
...

With an arena that purports to give fans year-round gladiatorial-scale entertainment, the resulting noise pollution and traffic will inevitably transform parts of the idyllic neighborhood into a burgeoning metropolis in its early and most uncomfortable stages.

The inconsistent blend between the rust-colored homuncular national bank arena and the surrounding neighborhood’s aged brownstones and small stores is a testament that Brooklyn’s ethos is being changed, perhaps forcibly, by outside property owners.

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Posted by eric at 11:10 AM

September 19, 2012

8 Bold Predictions for the Brooklyn Nets in Their Inaugural NBA Season

Bleacher Report
by Josh Martin

Bold predictions? More like absurd predictions.

The eyes of the basketball world will be watching as the Nets make their triumphant return to the Empire State on November 1 for their first regular season game as New York residents since 1977.

That was also the Nets' inaugural season in the NBA, immediately following the merger with the ABA, and, coincidentally (or not), marked the beginning of the franchise's long-standing futility. The Nets sold Julius Erving (a.k.a. Doctor J) to the Philadelphia 76ers just prior to the 1976-77 campaign as a means of covering the cost of entering The Association and have hardly been heard from since.

Until this year, anyway. The Nets' arrival in Brooklyn brings with it a revamped roster and new hope for success, perhaps even more so than the halcyon days of the Jason Kidd era.

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Posted by eric at 11:38 AM

September 17, 2012

Klores' Brooklyn basketball essay in Times has glaring omission: Oder

NY Daily News Sports ITeam Blog
by Michael O'Keeffe

Sounds like Atlantic Yards Report blogger Norman Oder really liked Dan Klores' sweeping essay on Brooklyn and basketball in Sunday’s New York Times. But Oder also points out a glaring omission in the piece.

Klores, identified as a “Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and playwright,” is also the founder and chairman of the public relations firm that has represented Forest City Ratner, the company behind the Nets’ Barclays Center, since the Atlantic Yards project was first announced.

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Posted by eric at 9:44 PM

Brooklyn/L magazines: "50 Things You Should Know about the Brooklyn Nets" (and the magic of ad support)

Atlantic Yards Report

The Fall 2012 issue of Brooklyn Magazine contains three pages of "50 Things You Should Know about the Brooklyn Nets," including tidbits conveyed in Nets advertising (Brook Lopez is "Batman's Biggest Fan") and that Brooklyn businesses Nathan's and Junior's will sell food at the Barclays Center arena.

One online commenter adds, "51. Barclays Center, is the web re-launch sponsor of Brooklyn magazine, hence the puff piece."

Also note the advertisement (right) on the facing page of the article, as it appears in print.

The list also appears in The L Magazine.

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Related content...

Brooklyn Magazine, 50 Things You Should Know about the Brooklyn Nets

Here are some of the choice tidbits:

NO. 9 Not all Brooklyn Nets marry Kardashians. Forward Shelden Williams (#33) is married to WNBA star (and Olympian!) Candace Parker, who was also the first woman ever to win a slam dunk contest.

NO. 10 Williams was also a member of the National Honors Society. [UPDATE: Shelden Williams signed a professional contract in France, on August 28th, after the print issue in which this story first appeared went to press]

Doh!

Posted by eric at 8:44 PM

The Net Effect on Sports, Economy and Community

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]
by Michael Randazzo

The Brooklyn Public Library, which infamously wouldn't display a painted portrait of Daniel Goldstein it termed "hagiographic," had no problem hosting a one-sided panel discussion entitled "Sports and the Economy: A Win-Win for Brooklyn."

With the Barclays Center set to open Sept. 28, the Brooklyn Public Library hosted a panel discussion Wednesday called, “Sports and the Economy: A Win-Win for Brooklyn,” focusing on the overlap of sports, business and community.

In the event’s lead-off spot was Borough President Marty Markowitz, who trumpeted what he considers his signature accomplishment: returning the Nets to New York.
...

The panel examined how the business of professional sports meshes with the complex demographics of the city’s largest and most economically diverse borough. Mr. Mierswa touted the Barclays Center as the culmination of the Nets’ carefully orchestrated efforts to build community. He mentioned numerous examples of local connections, from donating money to neighborhood playgrounds to supporting such institutions as the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

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NoLandGrab: One slanted panel's win-win is another Independent Budget Office's net loss for taxpayers.

Posted by eric at 11:05 AM

September 13, 2012

Meet the new Nets fans

With 10,000 season tickets already sold, Brooklyn’s new basketball team has won over the borough — and convinced Knicks supporters to abandon the Garden

NY Post
by Kirsten Fleming

Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo grew up following the Celtics during the Larry Bird era, had her first date with her husband Chris Ivery at an LA Clippers game and frequently goes to see the Lakers.

Ah, that's who Ellen Pompeo is.

“Basketball is my only sport,” an enthusiastic Pompeo, 42, tells The Post. “I’m such a fan of the game.”

But now she’s supporting the newly minted Brooklyn Nets. When season tickets at the team’s soon-to-open Barclays Center went on sale this year, Pompeo and her husband snapped up courtside seats.
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Pompeo isn’t the only basketball fan cozying up to the new-and-improved team. More than 10,000 season tickets have been sold to date, says Brett Yormark, CEO of the Nets and Barclays Center — and of those 10,000 season ticket holders, only 10 percent owned seats when the Nets were based in New Jersey.
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“When you look at our season ticket base, you’re talking about roughly 45 percent from Brooklyn, 25 percent from Manhattan, 12 percent from New Jersey, and the rest is from the outer boroughs and Long Island,” explains Yormark.

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NoLandGrab: Wait! Didn't Bruce Ratner and his "sports economist" Andrew Zimbalist tell us that 30% of Brooklyn Nets' ticket buyers would be coming from New Jersey?

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Have the Brooklyn Nets "won over the borough," as the New York Post asserts? Well, they've sold 4,500 season tickets to Brooklynites

OK, so the Nets are drawing new fans in a new market. But 4500 season tickets from a borough with more than 2.5 million people does not mean that the Nets have "won over the borough."

Posted by eric at 11:51 AM

Brooklyn Nets’ new Barclays Center home features unique herringbone-patterned court

The $1 billion Barclays Center will open Sept. 28 with a Jay Z concert. The first basketball game is an Oct. 15 preseason contest between the Nets and Wizards.

NY Daily News
by Stefan Bondy

The Celtics have their fabled parquet floor, and the Nets hope their unique design will bring just as much success to Brooklyn.

Yes, we're fully expecting the Nets to win eight straight NBA championships, and 11 in 13 years.

A court surface highlighted by dark shading and herringbone pattern was unveiled at the Barclays Center this week, giving us another reminder of how the Nets want to be hip, different and, perhaps most consistently, dark.

They're like Batman trying to save New York basketball.

Wha?

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Photo: Bloomberg

Posted by eric at 11:35 AM

Inside the New Home of the Brooklyn Nets

19,000 seat arena and a re-branded team, minority owner Jay-Z has big plans to take on the dominant Madison Square Garden.

The Hollywood Reporter
by Jordan Zakarin

Getting celebrities to sit courtside is a high-value target for any NBA franchise, and while Jay-Z and Beyonce will go a long way, the Nets will have to do better than just Ellen Pompeo and MTV's Sway (who have bought season tickets) if they're going to compete with Madison Square Garden -- which, for decades, has been the city's only viable spot for massive concerts and events. MSG also has the advantage of being the home of the Knicks and the WNBA's Liberty as well as the NHL's Rangers -- and those franchises drove the Garden's profits to $322 million last quarter.

"Personally, I don't think the Garden has any reason to consider Barclays as a serious competitor mainly because of the No. 1 rule in New York City real estate: location, location, location," Alan Hahn, who covered the NBA for Newsday and now is an on-air analyst for MSG's TV network, told The Hollywood Reporter. "The Garden is in mid-town Manhattan, at the heart of New York City. It's also the Garden, an icon, a place with rich history and tradition."

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NoLandGrab: Yeah, but does the Garden have a herringbone floor? Huh? Huh?

Posted by eric at 11:29 AM

September 12, 2012

Fact-checking eight claims in Brett Yormark's Billboard Q&A

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder injects a little sodium pentathol into yesterday's ridiculous Billboard.biz interview with Brett Yormark.

A Billboard Q&A, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark on the Brooklyn Brand, Jay-Z, $1 Billion Building, is worth some quick fact-checking.

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Posted by eric at 4:17 PM

Brooklyn Nets – Lets be serious for a minute

Believe the Hype

For the last few months there has been a lot of hype surrounding the Brooklyn Nets. It seems like NBA Fans & even basketball analysts have jumped on the back of the teams glitzy move from New Jersey as if it’s a whole new era where the team will become one of the most successful teams in the NBA. Yeah, sure, it could happen… But straight away? Not likely.
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The Nets may have a new home in Brooklyn, a new arena in the Barclays Center & new black & white jerseys. But if you have a look at the most important part of an NBA team, the roster, it isn’t as shiny, new & chic as the franchises other major changes.
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Whilst it should be expected that the Nets will improve this season & I expect them to potentially challenge for the 8th seed in the East, lets just try & not get caught up in the marketing hype surrounding the team at the moment & remember what they really are right now… An NBA Cellar Dweller that has added an overpaid all-star & has replaced bit-players with similar bit-players & not an elite team.

New City… New Uniforms… New Arena… Pretty much the same Nets.

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Posted by eric at 11:33 AM

September 11, 2012

Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark on the Brooklyn Brand, Jay-Z, $1 Billion Building

Billboard.biz
by Ray Waddell

Like a modern-day P.T. Barnum without the charm, Brett Yormark keeps on burnishing the legend of Brett Yormark.

Brett Yormark, CEO, Brooklyn Nets/Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which owns and operates the Barclays Center, is a self-proclaimed "brand guy," and as such he knows a great brand when he says one. That would be Brooklyn.

Since joining the Nets organization in January of 2005, Yormark has reinvented the culture of the organization. Yormark's mission has been to make the Nets the most accessible, inventive, fan-friendly, and community-active team in sports. And that mission will come to bear physically in the form of the Barclays Center, the Nets' new home beginning for the start of the 2012-13 NBA season.
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Billboard: How did the New Jersey Nets to end up in Brooklyn at the new Barclays Center?

Brett Yormark: Bruce Ratner had the vision of bringing sports and entertainment back to Brooklyn and building a mixed-use development at Flatbush and Atlantic for the arena and the team, which really would be the anchor of this renaissance of downtown Brooklyn. It took a little longer than expected. There was a little opposition. But I give all the credit to Bruce for persevering, having the vision, and sticking with that vision.

Anchor the renaissance? The renaissance has been happening for more than a decade. The arena is more likely Brooklyn's jump-the-shark moment.

I'd agree, the arena feels very "Brooklyn." I've rarely seen a venue built to integrate so completely into its neighborhood, and reflect the vibe of that neighborhood.

Oh, God. Mike Wallace this guy is not.

You're absolutely right. SHoP Architects and Ellerbe Beckett, they've done an incredible job of truly speaking to the borough and integrating the architectural flavor of the building in a way that really fits the borough. The grittiness of the weathered steel exterior really speaks to the strength of Brooklyn, and the boldness of it. The terrazzo flooring across the concourse, the black ceilings, exposed loft-type environment, I really think they've captured it all.

It gets better.

A big part of this project is the 20-year naming rights deal with Barclays. How much did it mean to you to get that deal done?
...

For me, what I'm most proud of is the cultural fit for Barclays.

Come again?

Tell me about that, it just seems so unlikely.

You can either do it for the money or you can do it for the partnerships, and thankfully, in our case we did it for both reasons. Financially, they made a very appealing offer to us, but more important than the financials is, we just believed in Barclays and Barclays believed in us, and that goes to the highest levels.

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Posted by eric at 11:01 PM

New Nets court shines in Brooklyn

NY Post
by Rich Calder

Ooh, the Barclays Center has the only herringbone pattern and black key areas in the NBA! Jobs Herringbone, Housing Black Keys & Hoops!

Nets officials yesterday gave The Post an exclusive first look at the team’s new basketball court at Barclays Center, boasting it includes a “one-of-a-kind” herringbone pattern of wood panels that stands out above anything hoop fans have ever seen.

“We wanted a court that was identifiable and different, so that when fans turn on the TV at home they’ll realize they are in Brooklyn,” crowed Nets/Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark. “This court does exactly that.”

Yormark also said there’s a “bold, dark, gritty feeling” to the court that “blends nicely with the entire motif” of the 18,200-seat arena.
...

The design, fashioned by Yormark and the club’s marketing team, had to pass strict NBA testing to ensure it doesn’t look blurry on television.

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NoLandGrab: We're pretty sure "strict NBA testing" is an oxymoron.

Related coverage...

New York Magazine, Lookin’ Sharp, Barclays Center!

With the seats in place, the Jumbotron danglin', the baskets up, and the court laid down, the place almost looks ready for a basketball game. Via Nets Daily, we've also got images of the arena dressed up for hockey (the Islanders and Devils, remember, will play a preseason game at Barclays in October, and there'll be KHL action there early next year). Shiny!

Posted by eric at 11:22 AM

September 10, 2012

Training Facility Search Broadens

NetsDaily

The Nets are looking at a number of sites for their new training facility. According to a Brooklyn website, in addition to visiting site near Brooklyn Ikea in Red Hook, team representatives visited a school bus depot, also in Red Hook, recently. The site, at 62-64 Ferris Street, is next door to the Brooklyn Cruise Ship Terminal in a former industrial area.

The Nets are looking primarily in Brooklyn, but are not close to making a decision, which will be based on cost, access to Barclays Center, team offices and area airports.

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NoLandGrab: Why is Bruce wasting his time? He should just pick the location he wants, have the ESDC condemn the property, and toss in a generous subsidy package to sweeten the deal.

Related coverage...

DNAinfo.com, Brooklyn Nets Size Up Potential Practice Sites in Red Hook

The NBA's Brooklyn Nets are eyeing two waterfront sites in Red Hook for new practice facilities and offices closer to the team's new Barclay's Center in Boerum Hill, a realty source and Crain's said.

NLG: Last we checked, the Barclays Center — no apostrophe — was in Prospect Heights.

Posted by eric at 11:07 AM

September 9, 2012

Coming Sept. 28 along North Flatbush Ave.: merchants will be wearing Nets t-shirts, balloons in team colors outside shops

Atlantic Yards Report

From Sharon Davidson, executive director, North Flatbush Business Improvement District:

Saturday, September 28th, will be a big day in our neighborhood. The grand opening of the Barclays Center Arena.! That is why I am working with Forest City Ratner to provide Brooklyn Nets t-shirts to all of the merchants along North Flatbush Avenue to wear on opening day! Black and white balloons will be distributed to our merchants to tie up outside their shop! We expect news and media coverage in our area and the BID will also be taking out a full page ad in the Brooklyn Paper Barclays Center commerative issue to promote some of our participating restaurants! I am also working with Brooklyn Paper to promote some of our retail and service businesses in a full page spread in a special DIRECTORY, with a 35K run, which will be provided to all Brooklyn Hotels and hotels in lower Manhattan.

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Posted by steve at 10:20 PM

September 7, 2012

"September is Just the Beginning" banners that mysteriously appeared on Prospect Heights streets mysteriously removed

Atlantic Yards Report

Now you see them, now you don't. Apparently September is not the beginning.

Last night, some 24 hours after a few dozen "September is Just the Beginning" banners appeared on light poles on Prospect Height streets near the Barclays Center arena, most were removed.

Why? I'm hoping to find out.
...

Friday morning on Sixth Ave.

Thursday morning on Sixth Ave. (same spot)

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NoLandGrab: Good riddance.

Posted by eric at 11:59 AM

Brooklyn Nets have the sizzle, but will the steak follow?

NewJerseyNewsroom.com
by Joe Favorito

Last week the Brooklyn Nets started their countdown clock to the long-discussed opening of Americas newest showplace, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Not a day goes by without another announcement of a concert, high school hoops extravaganza, new billboard going up, community visit, concert or “innovation” as the organization continues to scream “Look at Me” to anyone who will listen or not.
...

There is probably no organization on the planet which has tried as hard to find ways to place itself in the media than the Nets and the Barclays Center in the past 18 months. From the added exposure coming from Kris Humphries’ ill-fated and short lived Kardashian experience, to the constant push of brand partners and the man who is pulling the pieces together from a sales side (Brett Yormark), everyone has at least a casual knowledge of where the Nets will be. Every day there is a reason to at least be intrigued by the goings-on in Brooklyn, whether you like NBA basketball or not.
...

Some questions, however, remain unanswered. Will the team play well enough to have fans show up night in and night out for games against subpar opponents? Will the arena be a technological innovation along the lines of Kansas City’s Livestrong Park, which has emerged as the most tech-savvy of all new facilities to date? Will die-hard Knicks fans who have to traverse Penn Station on their daily commutes be drawn consistently to an aggressive vibe in Brooklyn? What happens when the sizzle comes off the new arena in a years time?

Old habits are tough to break, and that’s when the real selling will come in, on the rainy days when there are few “firsts” left in the Nets bag of tricks.

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Posted by eric at 11:09 AM

September 6, 2012

Looking at "The House That Hova Hyped," the Times T Magazine supplement feature on Jay-Z

Atlantic Yards Report

There's almost nothing about the Barclays Center in The House That Hova Built, novelist Zadie Smith's fawning interview/essay about Jay-Z in the New York Times's Sunday T Magazine ad-jammed supplement, but all the photos--the fashion spread, with their high-priced accoutrements--are set there.

And Jay-Z is declared Brooklyn's "once and future king."

Call it "The House That Hova Hyped" and consider it a win-win for arena promoters and Jay-Z, and another example of the Times's less-than-exacting coverage of Atlantic Yards. (There's no disclosure, of course, of developer Forest City Ratner's relationship with the Times.)
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Looking at AY

Smith writes:

Jay-Z likes clarity: “I think all those things need to really declare themselves a bit more clearly. Because when you just say that ‘the 1 percent is that,’ that’s not true. Yeah, the 1 percent that’s robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their home away from them, that’s criminal, that’s bad. Not being an entrepreneur. This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on.”

Except that house that he "built," the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards is far from free enterprises: a sports team in a cartel of a league, with a "done deal" announced from the start.

She writes:

Heavy responsibility lands on the shoulders of these unacknowledged legislators whose poetry is only, after all, four decades young. Jay-Z’s ready for it. He has his admirable Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, putting disadvantaged kids through college. He’s spoken in support of gay rights. He’s curating music festivals and investing in environmental technologies. This October, his beloved Nets take up residence in their new home — the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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Posted by eric at 10:56 PM

The House That Hova Built

The New York Times
by Zadie Smith

Synergy! You build us a new office tower, we'll run a big, softball, pseudo-literary fashion piece on your frontman and your arena three weeks before he opens it with a series of concerts.

With Tupac, you can hear the effort, the artistry. And Biggie’s words first had to struggle free of the sheer bulk of the man himself. When Jay raps, it pours right into your ear like water from a tap.

Or subsidies from the ESDC.

The fish sandwich arrives. Conversation turns to the schoolboy who was shot to death, Trayvon Martin — “It’s really heartbreaking, that that still can happen in this day and age” — and, soon after, to Obama: “I’ve said the election of Obama has made the hustler less relevant.” When he first made this point, “People took it in a way that I was almost dismissing what I am. And I was like: no, it’s a good thing!” He didn’t have Obama growing up, only the local hustler. “No one came to our neighborhoods, with stand-up jobs, and showed us there’s a different way. Maybe had I seen different role models, maybe I’d’ve turned on to that.”

Um, no. When local hustler Bruce Ratner came to his (former) neighborhood, he was all in.

article

Posted by eric at 10:42 PM

Stern: Brooklyn move means revenue jump to Nets

Atlantic Yards Report

So why again did we taxpayers have to give Bruce Ratner a billion dollars in subsidies and tax breaks?

From Bloomberg News, Stern Sees Nets’ Revenue In NBA’s Top Five With Move To Brooklyn:

The National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern said the Brooklyn Nets may jump into the league’s five highest revenue teams in the franchise’s first season in the Barclays Center.

Speaking at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit hosted by Bloomberg Link in New York, Stern also stressed the league’s desire to increase its brand in India, the world’s second most- populous country. Those inroads include a Hindi-English website, television agreements, tournaments and possibly a league that bears the NBA name.

The Nets’ revenue should improve from “pretty bad” during their last season in Newark, New Jersey, to one of the league’s top five or six, according to Stern.

“The Nets have these wonderful tent-pole sponsorships, they’re doing spectacularly in their season-ticket sales and they have retained a team that, in reading about it, looks like they’re going to compete,” he said.

So, did anyone quantify the value of selling "Brooklyn" to arena and team operators? No.

link

Related content...

Bloomberg, Stern Sees Nets’ Revenue in NBA’s Top Five With Move to Brooklyn

“I’m not looking at a lot of movement, but I am looking at a lot of price increases simply because when someone offers you a very high price for your asset, you have to decide whether you’re in it to pass it to your family or if it’s an asset that you may love but may not love enough to turn down a very high offer,” [NBA Commissioner David Stern] said.

Posted by eric at 10:01 PM

Better Know a District - New York's 9th - Yvette Clarke

Representative Yvette Clarke believes that rich people like Stephen could still create jobs without their Bush tax cuts.

The Colbert Report

And she also believes that the Dutch were enslaving Brooklynites in 1898.

Professional basketball has now come to the district, with the rechristened Brooklyn Nets, who are partly owned by rapper Jay-Z. Yes, they got 99 problems, all of which involve winning at basketball.

link

Posted by eric at 12:28 PM

Kids Chosen for Brooklyn Nets Dance Team After Open-Call Auditions

DNAinfo.com
by Janet Upadhye

There's something really disturbing about a kids'-size Brooklyn Nets halter top.

Hundreds of kids accompanied by their siblings and parents arrived at Long Island University’s recreation center for an open call to audition for the Brooklyn Nets Kids dance team.

Parents arrived on Navy Street outside of the university as early as 9:30 a.m. with camping chairs in tow, hoping their children would be the first to audition at 4 p.m.

“Over 400 talented dancers attended the open call,” said Kimberlee Garris, Director of Entertainment Marketing for the Nets. “This was the biggest kids audition the Nets have ever held.”

Some kids were dressed to put on a show, with ribbons and glitter in their hair, sparkly leg warmers, bedazzled sneakers, and styled Brooklyn Nets T-shirts.
...

Less than a week later the calls were made. Ultimately, the judges chose 17 kids to represent the Nets during weekend home games in Brooklyn.

article

Posted by eric at 11:28 AM

"September is Just the Beginning" banners suddenly appear on Prospect Heights streets

Atlantic Yards Report

Bruce Ratner rolls out a threat to residents of Prospect Heights.

Residents of Prospect Heights, notably Dean and Pacific streets near the Barclays Center arena, woke up this morning to see banners advertising the arena attached to light poles, making the residential streets just a bit more commercial.

There were approximately six on Dean between Carlton and Vanderbilt and seven on Pacific a block away. Such banners are also on Sixth Avenue and, I'm sure, be spotted on several other streets.

People went to bed last night, woke up, and saw "banners all over our neighborhood," asked Pacific Street resident Wayne Bailey at a community meeting tonight on the proposed Neighborhood Protection Plan, echoing widespread dismay.

"We just noticed," replied Forest City Ratner External Affairs VP Ashley Cotton, who explained that "that is the Barclays Center marketing program, sold via NYC and Company," the city tourism agency. Perhaps any residential street is subject to such banners--at least if they're on a path to a facility like the arena.

link

Photo: Tracy Collins

Related coverage...

mcbrooklyn, Black, Vaguely Menacing Banners Blanket Prospect Heights

Creepy black banners with an X-ray-style image of a seemingly radioactive cityscape under the chilling words, "September Is Just the Beginning" have suddenly appeared all over Prospect Heights.
...

Terrorist threat?

Forest City Ratner says no, it's just "the Barclays Center marketing program, sold via NYC and Company," the city tourism agency.

Great imagery, guys.

Posted by eric at 11:11 AM

House Hunting on a Brooklyn Nets’ Budget

Ditmas Park Corner

...wants to set the record straight on the Nets' Deron Williams's mistaken belief that one can't find a place with four bedrooms in Brooklyn.

As neighbor Gordon Rothman, who pointed us to this story, says, “Someone needs to give him a tour.”

In July, Williams signed a five-year contract with the Nets worth almost $100 million. For less than 2% of that, his family could be sitting very comfortably in a completely renovated standalone house in the Ditmas Park area. We’re only about four miles from the stadium, and the traffic will probably be better than coming in from Manhattan (though it’ll still be quicker to take the subway–Atlantic is just seven stops from Cortelyou on the Q).

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Posted by eric at 10:55 AM

September 5, 2012

THE TRUTH BEHIND NBA FANHOOD

Dime Magazine
by Dylan Murphy

Of course native Brooklyn-ers might jump ship and leave the Knicks hanging, but I envision these Nets as a pseudo-Cowboys – representative of something larger, a certain style, if not particularly worldwide or “America.”

But the simple idea that a franchise could steal fans previously attached to another team hints at a larger sports-centric enigma: why do we root for these teams, anyway? There was nothing particularly alarming about Beck’s piece. I always knew, somewhere, that NBA players generally don’t live where they play. But to be confronted with that reality strikes a peculiar absurdity in the realm of NBA fandom, because there’s nothing particularly personal about our connection to franchises and players. Really, they’re all just a bunch of hired mercenaries jumping from team to team (How many players stay on one team their entire career? Almost none.) building their own resumes and legacies, which seemingly contrasts the team-first mentality of basketball. And, even if winning is their truest priority, it’s only in the me-first sense.

article

Posted by eric at 10:41 AM

Nets Won't Live In Brooklyn: Report

Players choose New Jersey, Manhattan over borough digs.

Park Slope Patch
by Paul Leonard

Where's Marty Markowitz's outrage?

When the final buzzer hits at Barclays Center, it'll be more "Goodbye" than "Hello, Brooklyn" for the starting lineup of the Nets.

According to the New York Times, Brooklyn Nets players are passing on making the borough of Kings home—instead opting for living arrangements in New Jersey and Manhattan.

“Brooklyn has some great places,” Nets point guard Deron Williams said. “But four bedrooms, they don’t have it.”

article

Posted by eric at 10:27 AM

Nets Won't Live In Brooklyn: Report

Players choose New Jersey, Manhattan over borough digs.

Park Slope Patch
by Paul Leonard

Where's Marty Markowitz's outrage?

When the final buzzer hits at Barclays Center, it'll be more "Goodbye" than "Hello, Brooklyn" for the starting lineup of the Nets.

According to the New York Times, Brooklyn Nets players are passing on making the borough of Kings home—instead opting for living arrangements in New Jersey and Manhattan.

“Brooklyn has some great places,” Nets point guard Deron Williams said. “But four bedrooms, they don’t have it.”

article

Posted by eric at 10:27 AM

September 4, 2012

OMG, where will the Nets players live? Times devotes two articles, six reporters, to investigation, promotion

Atlantic Yards Report

In a Sports section front-page story (B7) headlined Nets Will Play in Brooklyn but Will Practice and Live Outside Borough, the New York Times relies on five reporters to explore the vital conundrum, as expressed in the article's closing paragraph:

Brooklyn seems ready to adopt the Nets. It may be a while before the Nets adopt Brooklyn.

Of course the "ready to adopt" is evidenced, in the main, by the team's extensive advertising campaign--and the Times's promotion, in two articles covering at least 1.6 pages today (and nearly 3 pages a few weeks back).

Because the Nets will practice in New Jersey for two years--they're looking for a site in Red Hook--the players are mainly living in New Jersey or Manhattan. Howard Beck writes:

The team is making plans to ease the commuting strain. The Nets will provide hotel rooms in Brooklyn on game days, allowing them to hold a morning shootaround at the arena’s practice court without forcing players to crisscross Manhattan multiple times before tipoff.

And guess what, Alabama native Gerald Wallace says "I’m afraid of the city... Hopefully, I can find a driver to take me back and forth.”

So much for arena slogan of "Eleven Trains. One Destination."

article

Related content...

The Times loves nothing more than its development partner's basketball arena, hollow Brooklyn-themed "trend" pieces, and a chance to mention the Park Slope Food Coop. And wrapping them all in one package? Better than winning a Pulitzer!

The New York Times, Nets Will Play in Brooklyn but Will Practice and Live Outside Borough

The Nets will call Brooklyn home this fall, but you won’t find them bagging organic tomatoes at the Park Slope Food Co-op, antique hunting at the Brooklyn Flea or enjoying a pleasant fall evening on the nearest brownstone stoop. For reasons both practical and personal, the Brooklyn Nets will not be living in Brooklyn, at least for their inaugural season.

The New York Times, Nets Players May Find Brooklyn a Tempting Place to Live

For now, Nets players may be Brooklyn in name only, since they will practice and live elsewhere.

But given the chance to spend a little more time in the borough, and on the blocks beyond the Barclays Center, they might reach the same conclusion that waves of ex-Manhattanites, fresh college grads and longtime locals already have — that Brooklyn is a fairly trendy, sort of chic and all in all pretty nice place to live.

Posted by eric at 11:16 AM

Politics may trump Nets players’ wishes

Crain's Insider

Team officials for the Brooklyn Nets apparently hesitated to commit to building a new practice facility in Brooklyn last year despite weighing three sites in the borough, a real estate insider told Crain’s. The decision not to pursue those opportunities came as key players who reside in New Jersey lobbied to practice closer to their homes, the insider said. The Nets, who will play at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn this season, have a lease on an East Rutherford, N.J., practice facility through 2015.

Those players’ wishes, however, might be no match for the political sway of Marty Markowitz. Sources said the Brooklyn borough president has been pushing the team to relocate the remainder of its New Jersey operation to Brooklyn, a move that could ultimately prove to be a financial windfall for the city.

“A Brooklyn training complex would provide a great assist to the arena,” said Markowitz. “The team that plays together should practice together—in their home city of Brooklyn.”

Well, that settles it, then.

With the Barclays Center and a practice facility in Brooklyn, Nets players would have a stronger incentive to move to the city, which would be able to tax more of their income.

Regardless of where players live, however, income they earn from playing games in the city will be subject to city taxes and taken as a credit against taxes imposed by their home states.

article

Related content...

Crain's Insider, At A Glance: Moving On

Crain's also announced that reporter Daniel Massey, who a month ago authored a rah-rah, puffball piece on the Brooklyn Nets, is joining political consulting firm BerlinRosen, which works for — wait for it — the Brooklyn Nets.

Posted by eric at 10:37 AM

September 3, 2012

Brooklyn Nets scout Red Hook for training site

The basketball team's officials pay a visit to a Red Hook, Brooklyn, site owned by Joseph Sitt in search of a place for a training center and office. The Nets' owner has said he'll spare no expense.

Crain's NY Business
by Daniel Massey, Amanda Fung and Shane Dixon Kavanaugh

Bruce Ratner & Co. have already defiled Prospect Heights. Is Red Hook next?

Brooklyn Nets officials were scheduled to walk through a site in Red Hook owned by real estate developer Joseph Sitt on Wednesday as they press their search for a site for a new practice facility, a real estate source said.

Despite its ballyhooed move to Brooklyn, where its first regular-season game will be played Nov. 1, the team will continue to practice at the Nets Center in East Rutherford, N.J., during the upcoming season.

The search for a Brooklyn location has been going on for over a year now. Last year, the Nets weighed three sites in Brooklyn, according to another real estate source. But team officials decided not to pursue those opportunities because a number of key players reside in New Jersey and wanted to practice closer to home, the source said.

Wait! Weren't they all going to move to Brooklyn so New York could reap the tax revenue?

Mr. Sitt's site is a 660,000-square-foot parcel at 280 Richards St., between the huge Ikea store and the Fairway market in a fast-developing section of Red Hook. Just last week, Mr. Sitt told Crain's New York Business that in recent months he has been approached by developers and retailers to turn the site into an outlet mall.

article

NoLandGrab: Bruce Ratner and Joe Sitt — now there's a match made in Hell.

Related coverage...

Curbed, Nets Eye Joe Sitt-Owned Red Hook Site for Practice Facility

Crain's notes that the site is large enough to accomodate much more than a practice facility—Madison Square Garden has a 105,000-square-foot facility for three different teams. A spokesperson for the Nets wouldn't confirm they visited the site, only saying that the team is currently looking around.

NetsDaily, A Visit to 280 Richards St., Brooklyn

It's inaccessible. There's a reason why there's a ferry serving IKEA Brooklyn. It's not easy to get to, particularly for visitors. There's no subway service nearby and most of any trip from outside the borough is over surface streets. Moreover, getting to and from any of the region's airports won't be that easy. Remember, on road trips, teams leave from and return to their training facility.

Posted by eric at 1:40 PM

August 30, 2012

NYC’s Oldest Sports Retailer & Newest Team Play Off Each Other

Metro Focus [Thirteen.org]
by Christina Knight

Brooklyn’s new team, the Brooklyn Nets, unveiled their Jay-Z designed logo and merchandise not at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, but at a true New York retailer on an avenue better known as a traffic artery than a shopping strip. The roots of Modell’s Sporting Goods store at 140 Flatbush Avenue go back to 1889, when the family-owned sporting goods retailer was founded on Cortlandt Street in Lower Manhattan. The profile of this particular location has skyrocketed with the building of the Nets’ new home — the Barclays Center — directly across Flatbush Avenue.
...

Since that day, business has boomed for the Park Slope retailer. According to store manager Nick Chang, the store sold out of 80 percent of its Brooklyn Nets stock that day and scrambled to receive more merchandise from its other Brooklyn and Manhattan locations.

Sales have been good ever since.

article

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, "Blighted" Modell's store is doing just fine, thanks to arena proximity

Would you believe that a "blighted" property is now doing well, as the Modell's across from the Barclays Center is getting renovated rather than razed?
...

According to the July Atlantic Yards 2006 Blight Study conducted for the Empire State Development Corporation, both the Modell's store and its neighbor, P.C. Richard, are blighted because they're too small and occupy a block long designated for redevelopment as part of the Atlantic Terminal Urban Renewal Area (ATURA).
...

Now that the market is different, presumably a rezoning could have done the trick, as well. Instead, the state overrode zoning so Forest City Ratner can build a tower--once 40 stories, now 25 stories--at the site. There's no plan yet to build it.

Metro Focus [Thirteen.org], Wearing Brooklyn Pride: A New Look in Town: Brooklyn Nets

Justin, 13, Manhattan resident [right]

Q:Why are you wearing that shirt?
A: ‘Cause it’s cool and I like the colors.
Q: Do you like the team?
A: (Shrugs). I’m a Knicks fan.
Q: How would you rate Brooklyn on a scale of 1 to 10?
A: (Another shrug). I don’t go there a lot.

Photo: MetroFocus/Christina Knight

Posted by eric at 10:20 AM

Jay-Z: the “million” problem

Meadowlands Matters [NorthJersey.com]
by John Brennan

The interest by Jay-Z in the Nets dates back at least to November 2003, according to my story archives, and likely goes back up to six months before that.

And for most of that time, the rap mogul has been described as a “part-owner” of the [now Brooklyn] Nets.

I’d already known that the Nets actually have more than 100 owners, and that most of them own just a tiny sliver. I suspected the same was true of Jay-Z, perhaps 1 percent or so.
...

Yet for me, a core question remains – if Jay-Z really did pay $1 million for a share that now amounts to one-15th of one percent, why did he?
...

Perhaps Jay-Z wasn’t as shrewd back in 2003, although he was a huge star by the late 1990s.

But I’d still love to see a copy of that million-dollar check. Just saying.

article

Posted by eric at 9:44 AM

August 29, 2012

Jay-Z Didn’t Want People Knowing Just How Little Of The Nets He Actually Owns

Deadspin
by Barry Petchesky

The Times had a fascinating little story a couple of weeks ago, about Jay-Z's outsized involvement with the Nets, considering his scant ownership stake.

Among the nuggets revealed: his $1 million investment amounts to just one-fifteenth of one percent of the franchise, someone at the NBA didn't think the Nets' black jerseys would look good on black people, and the sheer amount of synergy Jay-Z is getting out of this deal—the Barclays Center will have a Rocawear store, a 40/40 Club, and a champagne bar that sells his uber-expensive Armand de Brignac line. But here's the most fascinating thing: Jay-Z gave zero cooperation to the Times story. This was "Shawn Carter Has a Cold."
...

The story, then, is a classic write-around of the sort that's probably stronger for having kept its subject at arm's length. Halbfinger didn't have to dance around the issues that might have soured access. Instead, he spoke with Brett Yormark, Bruce Ratner, Billy King, and others from the ranks of the NBA offices, sports agents, and the music industry. As a consequence, he was able to raise thorny questions like whether Jay-Z's various businesses got sweetheart deals to be associated with the Nets, and if Jay-Z stopped attending Nets games during losing seasons specifically to protect his own brand. (Halbfinger makes clear he believes the answer to both questions is yes, even if he couldn't come out and say it in the Times.)

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Posted by eric at 1:00 PM

August 27, 2012

Jay-Z: The Aura of Ownership

The Launch Magazine

The Launch speaks with New York Times reporter David Halbfinger about his recent article on Jay-Z's role with the Brooklyn Nets.

It seemed to be a no-brainer that Jay-Z would participate in Halbfinger’s story since they had great chemistry during their first interaction where Jay-Z actually rapped over the phone as he was finalizing the project in the recording studio. However, Jay-Z’s representatives declined an interview request and according to Halbfinger even tried to prevent the story from being published.
...

That’s interesting. Maybe they were concerned you would reveal how much of the team he didn’t really own. Many people were under the impression that it was 10 percent or maybe even 5 percent.

It’s very simple. He invested $1 million and that was out of a $300 million purchase price. That’s one-third of one percent, period. End of story.

Then that percentage went even lower?

When Mikhail D. Prokhorov (the billionaire owner of the Brooklyn Nets) bought 80 percent of the team what that does is squeezes down the 100 percent of all the other people into 20 percent. Everybody who had a piece up to that point had their stake divided by five.
...

You state in the piece that you gathered some information on Jay-Z from the “Empire State of Mind” book by Zack O’Malley Greenburg. What else did you use?

Yeah, I did use that book because he had a chapter in there all about that champagne. He has a pretty decent account of the major moments in Jay’s business career. But that was the only thing I directly took out of that book. I read a lot of clips and blogs. There’s a lot of stuff published by opponents and critics of the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, online in particular.

You're welcome.

article

Posted by eric at 11:00 AM

The Day: Nets Fandom and Local Fundraising

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]
by Mitchell Trinka

One story that has raised local anxiety is uncertainty of what Brooklyn Nets games and other events at the soon-to-open Barclays Center will do to the neighborhood. We noticed that Brooklyn resident John Coghlan is accepting the changes with open arms – he’s even writing a weekly blog on Park Slope Patch to cover Nets news from a fan’s perspective. Now that the arena is almost completed, will you be rooting for the Garden State transplants as Mr. Coghlan suggests?

link

NoLandGrab: Ummmmmmmmmmmm... maybe we should consult the Magic 8 Ball.

Posted by eric at 10:45 AM

August 24, 2012

Why I Am (and You Should Be) Rooting for the Nets

Park Slope Patch
by John Coghlan (Newly minted Nets fan)

This guy who just moved to Brooklyn last year wants you to be a Nets fan.

While my decision to convert to the Nets was sealed when I moved to Brooklyn in 2011 knowing they were joining me here a year later, I would have jumped on the black-and-white bandwagon had I stayed in “the city.” It isn't just my proximity to the arena that drove me to choose the Nets; there are a ton of reasons why I switched my allegiance.

#1. He wasn't much of a Knicks fan in the first place?

On top of the great ownership, talented team, beautiful new arena and underdog status, there are even more reasons to love the Nets. They have the coolest owner in sports history in Jay Z, their black-and-white gear is on point and they play in the city's biggest, best borough (it's true) and arguably the coolest place on the planet, Brooklyn. Come to think of it, I can't think of a good reason why you shouldn't root for the Nets this season.

article

NoLandGrab: We can think of a few.

Posted by eric at 11:03 AM

August 23, 2012

Fuhgeddaboudit! Nets’ value soars in Brooklyn

NY Post
by Josh Kosman

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov is getting a nice bump in his “Net” worth.

The 6-foot-8-inch Nets owner has seen the value of his investment more than double since he bought the team two years ago, thanks to the move into the more financially friendly Barclays Center.

As the Nets gear up for the first season in the soon-to-be-completed Barclays Center, the team is now worth roughly $575 million, according to one sports investment banker. That’s 60 percent more than they were valued just last season by Forbes.

In addition, the team may post its first profit in a decade, The Post has learned.

article

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Prokhorov math: value of investment in Nets has jumped upon move to Brooklyn, but how much

Yes, the move of the Nets to Brooklyn has caused the team value to soar--another outcome not factored in as city and state agencies negotiated subsidies with the developer Forest City Ratner.
...

Also not factored in is this: the amount Prokhorov has promised to invest in the team as part of the deal.

The Nets have the league's third-highest payroll, as noted by NetsDaily's Bob Windrem: $81.8 million, prompting a luxury tax of at least $11.5 million this year, and perhaps double next year.

Still, Prokhorov now has most of the team and 45% of the arena. What enabled it? Government help.

Brooklyn Trolley Blogger, Brooklyn Nets: Mikhail Prokhorov Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is

BTB appears to be the only person fooled by Mikhail Prokhorov's staged foray into "electoral" politics.

And you can just ask Pussy Riot; the all-girl punk-rock band arrested and jailed as dissenters in Moscow; how lucky Prokhorov really is to be safely back in the States. The Nets owner decided to take on Vladimir Putin, and run for President of Russia. Joking aside, there was a real possibility his ownership of the Nets would be placed in a Trust, if in fact he become the elected leader of modern day Russia.

To the relief of Nets fans, Prokhorov lost the elections, and is finally back in town to antagonize the Knicks, which is right where he should be.

NoLandGrab: Phew, that was a close one.

NetsDaily, Nets To Make Big Profit in Brooklyn

Posted by eric at 10:49 AM

August 21, 2012

Nets–Barclays Center Story: The DVD Extras

New York Magazine
by Will Leitch

The author of yesterday's Nerf-ball story on the Barclays Center analyzes his own reporting.

Our big feature on the Nets and Barclays Center, after months of fits and stops, finally ran in the magazine this week. We hope you enjoy it. Even at 4,000 words, there were lots of observations and narrative potpourri we couldn't fit in there, so we thought we'd throw it in this here post.
...

• We talked to a ton of people for this story, but without question, the most pleasant and affable person we talked to was ... Bruce Ratner. The controversial — to say the least — real estate magnate is not known for this warmth and cuddliness, but in all honesty, his aw-shucks demeanor was disarming, to say the least. (This is not entirely because he thought our son was cute, though he did and that never hurts.) We don't know if he'll be happy with everything that's in the story, but for a guy who had a whole theatrical documentary made about how awful he is, we were surprised by how likable we found him in person.

Practically like "an angel sent from God."

• Note that the story consistently refers to the new building as "Barclays Center" not "the Barclays Center." The Nets insist on this nomenclature, so we stuck with it, but we're not sure we buy it.

We're still calling it THE Barclays Center.

• Oh, about hockey: The Nets insist that even though the arena is almost cartoonishly incompatible for hockey, they will be making a big push for the New York Islanders when their lease is up. And they won't have to change anything about the building either. “We think we can get a hockey team without any major adjustments,” CEO Brett Yormark told me.

article

Related coverage...

Curbed, Building a Super-Premium Arena for a Booming Boro's Brand

There's a strong possibility that, even with Jay Z cheering from the super-premium Vault Lounge membership seats, the Brooklyn Nets will still suck at basketball, despite the geographic move from Jersey.

Brooklyn Heights Blog, Barclays Center: What Does It Mean For 21st-Century Brooklyn?

Posted by eric at 12:04 PM

August 20, 2012

NY Mag on Barclays Center: battle is over, Ratner won (um, what about "Jobs, Housing, and Hoops"?)

Atlantic Yards Report

The headline on the major New York magazine feature on the new Brooklyn arena is this: Game Time: The fighting is over; Bruce Ratner’s Barclays Center is here. Now that he’s built it, will they come?

Oh.

Now it's surely legitimate to ask how well the arena might sell tickets, which is the ultimate question in the subheading--though, curiously enough, one big variable is missing: the (cramped) potential for pro hockey.

But to mostly dismiss the history, the ongoing controversy, and the current challenge of operating the arena is just a little myopic. (Hint: even arena-goers might care that the Barclays Center lost its general manager and that operators will have mere weeks, rather than months, to test the building. Or that the parking doesn't quite work.)

Author Will Leitch writes:

This is no longer a public debate, or a public outrage, or a theoretical construct, or an example of private might overcoming public interest. That battle is over, and Bruce Ratner won it. It is now part of the new Brooklyn reality. It is the centerpiece of how the borough, and the city, will be seen for generations to come. It is undeniably here.

The lingering controversy

Well, yeah, it's here. As one commenter tried to remind the author, Atlantic Yards was supposed to be about "Jobs, Housing, and Hoops," not merely an arena. What about the people who bought into that?

And another pointed out, there's still public outrage, but the author didn't bother to talk to anyone outside arena backers and sports folks.

article

Posted by eric at 12:09 PM

Game Time

The fighting is over; Bruce Ratner’s Barclays Center is here. Now that he’s built it, will they come?

New York Magazine
by Will Leitch

The fighting is over? Was someone going to let us know?

On a sweltering, oppressively humid August afternoon in Brooklyn, as some poor lady across the street yells at her shirtless son to getbackoverhereyou while pushing a stroller through the front doors of the Applebee’s across from the Atlantic Center, as a construction worker blankly looks on while gnawing on a bagel sandwich and smoking a cigarette, as a half-clothed homeless man pours a bottle of some indeterminate liquid on his head to stay cool … it’s impossible to believe that Jay-Z is going to be here in about a month and a half. This place is about as glamorous as stepping in chewing gum on the subway platform.

The construction on Barclays Center has been going 24/7 for about a month now to prepare for the big opening night, September 28, the first of eight Jay-Z concerts to open up the Brooklyn building, but all told, it’s pretty quiet this Sunday. It’s so hot that most of the laborers are sitting around dumping water on each other, the massive crane above the structure’s oval roof is idle, and the Modell’s across the street, with all the Brooklyn Nets gear, is mostly empty and sad. (Though not nearly as sad as the lonely shelf of Linsanity jerseys.) There are people bustling around, through Buffalo Wild Wings and Men’s Wearhouse and that terrifying Target, in a fashion more Times Square than Downtown Brooklyn. There have been complaints about Barclays Center construction, but the much larger issue is the narrowing of streets, turning that gnarled Fourth Avenue–Flatbush Avenue–Atlantic Avenue intersection into a sweaty game of urban Twister.

article

Related coverage...

Brownstoner, NY Mag: Is Barclays Center a Success?

Posted by eric at 12:01 PM

Brooklyn Nets to Hold Auditions for Kids Dance Team

August 24 auditions open to children ages 6-13 with at least two years of dance training.

Brooklyn Nets Press Release via Ditmas Park Patch
by Amy Sara Clark

Can your kid dance? Do you mind if he or she is exploited to sell a phony sense of "community?" Then do we have the opportunity for you!

From the Brooklyn Nets:

The Brooklyn Nets are searching for the next generation of gifted young dancers to join the Brooklyn Nets Kids dance team. Open auditions for the dance team will be held on Friday, August 24 at 4 p.m. at the Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center at 161 Ashland Place on the LIU Brooklyn campus. Registration begins at 3 p.m. and dancers must arrive by 4 p.m. to participate.

Celebrity choreographer Tanisha Scott will be the Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets Kids. Scott has worked with JAY Z, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Sean Paul, and many others. The dance team will be showcased in front of thousands of fans at Brooklyn Nets home games at Barclays Center and represent the Brooklyn Nets at events throughout the New York metropolitan area.

link

Posted by eric at 11:34 AM

The Times, Channeling The Brooklyn Standard, Runs Free Ad Insert for Bruce Ratner

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

Apparently it wasn't enough for the NY Times to devote a fluffy front page article to Jay-Z's 0.0666% ownership of the Brooklyn Nets. Three days later the paper of record became Ad Week, running a 3-page photo spread in the 8-page Saturday sports section promoting the Nets' marketing campaign.

Reminds us quite a lot of Forest City Ratner's fake tabloid The Brooklyn Standard.

link

Related content...

The New York Times, link

In case you missed The Times's latest photo essay, in which they forgot to disclose their business relationship with the Nets' arena builder/operator and minority owner.

Posted by eric at 11:23 AM

August 17, 2012

What's Jay-Z's Real Worth With the Brooklyn Nets?

The Source
by Shaina Auxilly

The face of the franchise, the rapper that “brought a basketball team to Brooklyn”, the #1 lyricist turned businessman but what is Jay-Z’s real worth with the Brooklyn Nets? Today the official numbers were released via Darren Rovell, an ESPN Sports Business Reporter and after the release of an interesting NY Times article.

According to Rovell, Jay-Z born Shawn Carter owns .06% of the Nets a total of $214,000 a minuscule amount of the team that’s worth a reported $312 million according to Forbes. This number might take you aback and make you feel a bit bamboozled when you look around and almost every association with the Brooklyn Nets features the legendary rap star. That was indeed the intended purpose.

article

Posted by eric at 10:13 AM

Jay-Z Only Owns 0.0666% Of The Brooklyn Nets

AverageBro.com

I know a damn Grand Hu$tle when I see one, and when Jay-Z just so happened to be named an "owner" of the New Jersey Nets a few years back, my Negro Antennae went up. Not because I doubted the JiggaMan's business acumen, but because the timing of the announcement and the team's plans to seize the property of poor folks to build an arena in Brooklyn just seemed waaay to coincidental.

We've all seen the blueprint (no pun intended) before. Put a smiley, familiar face on the front of a ruthless corporation to make a not-so-popular decision a bit more palatable. Jay-Z was this face, a Brooklyn Boy done good. People would maybe feel a bit better about being homeless if one of their own was somehow profiting as a result. The Atlantic Yards project faced years of legal wrangling, but the arena is finally complete and the Nets will play their first games there in a few weeks. I'll certainly strategically plan a customer visit to NYC sometime this Winter to check the place out myself.

Good times. Unless, of course, you were displaced. Not so good times.

Anyways, given how much he brags about "owning the team" in nearly every one of his raps, I've always wondered just how much "ownership" Hov actually has. Turns out, he owns about as much of the Nets as I own Sirius XM radio.

Which is to say, not very much.

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Posted by eric at 10:04 AM

August 16, 2012

Don’t Believe Jay Z’s Brooklyn Nets Bamboozle Hype!

Diary of a Hollywood Street King
by Jacky Jasper

Not everyone is buying the spin.

Empire State of Mascot?

Jay Z seems to have paid top dollar just to land himself some basketball juice. That’s because the real real drop behind the Roc-A-Fella Records’ founder’s $1M investment into the Brooklyn Nets is surfacing.

Insiders reveal the cool mill Hova put into his home ball-team is worth just 1/15th of one-percent of the NBA franchise. That means, despite what Jay Z may want you to believe, the real man who owns the Brooklyn Nets is Russian billionaire – Mikhail D. Prokhorov, who owns 80% of the team.

Now, sources say Jigga forked out big bucks to white massa just to play mascot. Don’t believe me.. Ask Dame Dash.

link

Related content...

Can't Stop The Bleeding, Bruce Ratner – The Slickest Gangster Of ‘Em All

David Halfbinger’s study of Jay-Z’s far more than cosmetic involvement with the Brooklyn Nets (“With Arena, Rapper Rewrites Celebrity Investors’ Playbook“, New York Times) is that rare combination of quality reportage and something that might well be fodder for Phil Mushnick’s next column. While Halbinger describes Jay-Z’s keen attention to details, his meeting of the minds with the sickening Brett Yormark and dedication to cross-promotion and branding, it’s the following paragraphs that suggest the savvy, cynical operator isn’t Sean Carter, but rather, developer Bruce Ratner.

NoLandGrab: Brett Yormark sickening? Check. Bruce Ratner cynical? Check check.

Hip-Hop Wired, Exclusive: Spike Lee Says Barclays Center Is “Not Better” Than Madison Square Garden

The Barclays Center has been the talk of basketball, Hip-Hop and Brooklyn, but one person unfazed by the hype is Spike Lee. The acclaimed director, and Brooklyn native is a devout New York Knick's fan and when asked if he will start supporting the Nets who have since moved to his borough, he refused to switch sides. “I'm not going with the Brooklyn Nets,” Lee tells Hip-Hop Wired.
...

Regardless of the attention that the center has received, Lee is not impressed. However, he will visit the arena— if need be. “I'll go, but I'm not a Brooklyn Nets fan,” he added. “It's not better than Madison Square Garden."

Posted by eric at 5:25 PM

August 15, 2012

With Arena, Rapper Rewrites Celebrity Investors’ Playbook

The New York Times
by David M. Halbfinger

It's a broadsheet war! Not to be outdone by today's puffball Wall Street Journal interview with Bruce Ratner, The Times counters by tickling Jay-Z with feathers.

Mr. Ratner may have thought he was getting little more than a limited partner with a boldface name and a youthful following that could prove useful someday. But Jay-Z’s contributions have dwarfed the $1 million he invested nine years ago. His influence on the project has been wildly disproportionate to his ownership stake — a scant one-fifteenth of one percent of the team. And so is the money he stands to make from it.

Now, with the long-delayed Barclays Center arena nearing opening night in September and the relocated Nets bidding in earnest for Brooklyn’s loyalties, Jay-Z will perform eight sold-out shows to kick things off. But away from center stage he has put his mark on almost every facet of the enterprise, his partners say.

He helped design the team logos and choose the team’s stark black-and-white color scheme, and personally appealed to National Basketball Association officials to drop their objections to it (The N.B.A., insiders said, thought that African-American athletes did not look good on TV in black, an assertion that a league spokesman adamantly denied). He counseled arena executives on what kind of music to play during games. (“Less Jersey,” he urged, pushing niche artists like Santigold over old favorites like Bon Jovi.)

He even coached them on how to screen patrons for weapons without appearing too heavy-handed. (“Be mindful,” he advised oracularly, “and be sensitive.”)

article

NoLandGrab: Silly us! Here we were concerned about the arena's security plan, when Hova had it under control all along.

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, NYT: Jay-Z & Nets have "written a new playbook for... strategic celebrity investor" (and generating unskeptical publicity)

"Jay-Z’s contributions have dwarfed the $1 million he invested nine years ago," the New York Times observes in a none-too-tough profile just posted, adding that "he and the Nets have effectively written a new playbook for how to deploy a strategic celebrity investor."
...

The Times reports:

Mr. Carter’s involvement frustrated opponents of Mr. Ratner’s development plans in Brooklyn who saw the arena and proposed residential and office towers as a subsidized land grab that could ruin the neighborhood....

“Bringing in someone who grew up in public housing, with a rags-to-riches story, who could identify with Brooklyn and African-Americans, that was slick,” said City Councilwoman Letitia James, a critic of the project. Mr. Ratner played down Mr. Carter’s importance in overcoming opposition. “Had Jay-Z not come along,” he said, “we’d still have an arena.”

Ratner's right. Jay-Z wasn't important in overcoming opposition; actual full-time Brooklynites like the leaders of BUILD and ACORN, signatories of the not-so-credible Community Benefits Agreement, were far more important, given that they brought people to rallies and public hearings.

Jay-Z was important in generating publicity, and in getting journalists/tv hosts like Rosanna Scotto to turn into simpering fans. And he's still generating publicity, as with this article.
...

That missing disclosure

I don't know what the Times's policy is any more: do they no longer feel obligated to disclose the parent company's business relationship with Mr. Ratner? Wouldn't that prompt readers to be a wee bit skeptical?

Posted by eric at 9:57 PM

Honda named as official vehicle of the Brooklyn Nets

Sports Business Digest

The choice of NoLandGrab's next company car just got a little easier.

American Honda Motor Company has signed a multi-faceted marketing agreement with the Barclays Center and the NBA’s newest relocated team; the Brooklyn Nets. The move marks Honda’s first-ever major sponsorship with a sports and entertainment venue on the east coast. Under the marketing agreement, Honda will now be known as the official vehicle of both the Nets and the Barclays Center.

article

Posted by eric at 9:54 AM

August 14, 2012

As Honda signs on, Barclays Center provides "value and exposure opportunities" for "top brands"

Atlantic Yards Report

As Nets CEO Brett Yormark (now also CEO of the Barclays Center) said three years ago, "We’ve got a young man who runs our business communications department and his responsibility is every day to get a press release out."

Here's today's free placement in the go-to Daily News, Barclays Center installs 70,000 pound Daktronics scoreboard inside 18,200 arena opening Sept. 28: Hi-def $7.5-million scoreboard loaded with gadgets, including a Kiss Cam. It measures three stories high and was delivered to Brooklyn from South Dakota in pieces:

“It will be the centerpiece of the arena,” said Chip Foley, director of building technology for the project.

Honda signs on

Here's yesterday's press release, picked up in a few specialized outlets...

article

Related content...

NY Daily News, Barclays Center installs 70,000 pound Daktronics scoreboard inside 18,200 arena opening Sept. 28

Breaking news: basketball arena has scoreboard!

Posted by eric at 10:52 AM

August 13, 2012

The 'Dwightmare' is over

ESPN New York
by Mike Mazzeo

As we'd been predicting for months (years?), Dwight Howard will not be playing for the Brooklyn Nets. Not this year. Not next year. Not ever.

Well, Nets fans, the "Dwightmare" is over.

Multiple sources told ESPN.com that Dwight Howard will become a Laker -- and, just like that, a new NBA superpower is born.

Here's how the four-team blockbuster trade breaks down:

Lakers get: D-12

Nuggets get: Andre Iguodala

76ers get: Andrew Bynum, Jason Richardson

Magic get: Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, a protected first-rounder from each of the teams

The Nets had been trying to get Howard, dating back to last offseason. They tried, tried and tried again.

article

Related coverage...

NY Daily News, Brooklyn Nets' Deron Williams lost interest in Dwight Howard sweepstakes well before Thursday's trade to the Lakers

Yeah, right.

For the first time in over a year, Deron Williams and the Nets operated without the haloed hope that somehow, some way, Dwight Howard would land in Brooklyn.

But for Williams, the ideal of the Howard shortcut had already become tiresome and disappointing, long before the best center in the NBA was shipped to the Lakers in a four-team, 12-player blockbuster.
...

“Mentally I wasn’t in the Dwight sweepstakes anymore. It got kinda old. I’m happy for him. I know he wanted to get out of Orlando. He did that and he’s going to a great franchise so I wish him the best of luck.”
...

A league source told the Daily News that a stumbling block in negotiations was lingering animosity stemming from the Magic’s belief the Nets illegally contacted Howard in December without Orlando’s permission.

Posted by eric at 10:59 AM

Claiming Brooklyn: Nets/arena CEO Yormark issues congratulations to gold medalist Williams on behalf of "Brooklyn"

Atlantic Yards Report

A tweet from Nets/Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark:

Well, the Nets' Deron Williams, like any gold medalist, deserves congratulations, but Jersey-to-BK guy Yormark is pushing it when claiming to speak for "Brooklyn."

link

NoLandGrab: Brooklyn is a place, not a brand.

Posted by eric at 10:10 AM

August 12, 2012

Nets GM Billy King answers NYT Magazine's softball questions; here are a few that didn't get asked

Atlantic Yards Report

The typically chatty "Questions for" column in the New York Times Magazine today addresses Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King, in The New Net Worth. The conversation ranges to King's political ambitions, his soap opera habit, his thoughts on the Kris Humphries-Kim Kardashian nuptials, and turmoil at the Philadelphia 76ers, where he was president.

Only three questions, opening up, focus on the current job:

The principal owner of the Brooklyn Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov, is something of a mysterious character. What’s it like being interviewed by a 6-foot-8 Russian oligarch?
I asked him at the end, If I get this job, do you want me to call you with reports or send you e-mails? And Mikhail goes, You can, but I don’t have a cellphone and I don’t have a laptop.
Do you ever hear from Jay-Z, who is a minority owner?
A lot of times he’ll shoot me an e-mail with questions. The first time I got an e-mail from him was pretty cool. Jay-Z sent you an e-mail.
What does he typically want to know?
How he can help. When Deron Williams was making his decision, he was struggling for a place to live. Jay-Z goes, “Tell him I’ll call him tomorrow and I’ll help.” It’s a lot about being able to relate to being wealthy, being young, being African-American. He can relate to them where maybe I can’t or Mikhail can’t.

Here are a couple of more provocative questions that didn't apparently didn't come up:

  • Have you ever asked Prokhorov how he got rich in an atmosphere of pervasive corruption?
  • How'd you feel about having to promote Jay-Z as the face of the team instead of the rather mediocre collection of players on the court?
  • Once Prokhorov decided to rather painlessly open his wallet to overpay for a better team now that the Nets are in Brooklyn, do you feel any guilt about providing New Jersey fans with such a mediocre team?
  • How does basketball as a business work? You go from steadily dangling center Brook Lopez in trade talks, then, when that trade falls through, celebrate him as a Brooklyn Net.

link

Posted by steve at 4:09 PM

August 6, 2012

Nuts for the Nets

How a freewheeling Russian businessman turned the NBA's doormat into its hottest property.

Crain's NY Business
by Daniel Massey

Team Hype takes it to the next level.

In February, the owner of the Brooklyn Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov, appeared on a Russian television comedy show called Spotlight Paris Hilton, and offered a musical tribute to his co-owner, hip-hop star Jay-Z.

"Mr. Jay-Z, this rap is for you," went the English portion of the lyrics. "Mr. Jay-Z, this is the first presentation/of real rap music from Russian Federation. Mr. Jay-Z, you are not alone/Mikhail Prokhorov on the microphone."

According to Mr. Prokhorov, a reprise is in the works, but this time in downtown Brooklyn, where Jay-Z will open the $1 billion Barclays Center with a series of sold-out concerts this fall. "Yes, I will rap at his concert," Mr. Prokhorov informed Crain's via email. "I am in rehearsals now 10 hours a day and plan to demand joint billing."
...

Of late, Jay-Z has done everything short of taking tickets. He tried to recruit superstars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to the team; he became a director of the company that owns the Barclays Center; his 40/40 Club will have a location at the arena; he created the team's new logo and helped design high-end arena suites; an ad firm he co-owns devised the inaugural Brooklyn Nets campaign, which features the phrase "Hello Brooklyn," the title of a Jay-Z song; his choreographer is working with the Nets dance team; and the bodyguard for his wife, Beyoncé, was named the Nets' director of security.

The hometown star's mega-presence belies the fact that his stake in the team was likely diluted to less than a third of 1% with Mr. Prokhorov's arrival, NetsDaily said.
...

All of Jay-Z's pizzazz and Mr. Prokhorov's money won't mean much if the team doesn't improve markedly on its 22-44 record last year.

article

NoLandGrab: As Norman Oder pointed out yesterday, the taxpayers are largely responsible for creating the Nets' upside.

Posted by eric at 9:44 AM

July 27, 2012

Nets CEO happy his team opening its season in a big way

NYPost.com
by Tim Bontemps

Nets CEO Brett Yormark has been saying since before the Nets finished playing New Jersey that the days of seeing Knicks fans turn Nets “home” games into MSG West were going to end once the Nets began play in Brooklyn this fall.

Yormark won’t have to wait to prove he’s right, as the NBA officially unveiled the schedule Thursday night, and the Nets will open the brand new Barclays Center against the Knicks at 8 p.m.
...

“It’s no surprise that I’m a big advocate for a Nets-Knicks game opening night,” Yormark said Thursday in a phone interview. “I personally encouraged the league to go in that direction."
...

“Trust me, those are Brooklyn Nets fans buying those seats,” Yormark said. “What happened in New Jersey, for how long it happened, for however long it happened, it’s in the past. That will not happen in Brooklyn.

article

NoLandGrab: If history shows one thing, it's that trusting Brett Yormark is not a profitable path.

Related coverage...

NYDailyNews.com, Brooklyn President on season opener: "Brooklyn swagger will drown out the desperate Knicks fans"

Between Markowitz and team CEO Brett Yormark – who said Thursday that he requested the Knicks as the opening opponent – there’s a lot of confidence that Knicks fans won’t overrun the arena and boo the Brooklyn’s first pre-game introduction. Even a smattering of boos against the Knicks, historically a major victory for the Nets, would now be a disappointment.

Either they know something we don’t, or they’re signing up for embarrassment on opening night.

We shall see.

Posted by eric at 11:21 AM

Nets Ready to Pay Luxury Tax For First Time Since Ratner Bought In

NetsDaily

Just in case you had even a shred of doubt remaining about Bruce Ratner's love for basketball...

Mark Deeks of ShamSports, who regularly gets the best data on NBA salaries, has taken a long and comprehensive look at the history of the luxury tax - who's paid it and who hasn't; who's paid the most and what is the trend line. The analysis is relevant now because the Nets will be paying about $12 million in taxes this season, after not paying a dime since Bruce Ratner bought the team.

Deeks points out that the Nets paid taxes $5.7 million in 2003, their last visit to the NBA Finals, and $9.7 million in 2003-04, just before Ratner bought the team and began dismantling it. Since then, as losses mounted and the team prepared for Brooklyn, the Nets appeared to have a dictate from ownership: No luxury taxes. (There was a double benefit for non-tax payers: A team that didn't pay taxes would get as much as $3 million from those that did.)

link

Posted by eric at 11:06 AM

July 26, 2012

Brooklyn Nets will open season against NY Knicks at Barclays Center

During one of the Nets' final games of last season played in Newark — when Knicks fans again overran the Prudential Center — team CEO Brett Yormark declared that atmosphere will never happen in Brooklyn. We'll find out on Nov. 1

NY Daily News
by Stefan Bondy

If the Nets found a true home in Brooklyn — and not just an extension of Madison Square Garden — they’ll find out in the first game of the season.

A source confirmed the Brooklyn Nets will open their inaugural campaign at the Barclays Center against the Knicks on Nov. 1 in a nationally televised game. It’s a surprising move from the league, and perhaps a dangerous one for the Nets, who are trying to establish themselves as Brooklyn’s team in Knicks territory.

“If that’s the case, bring it on,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said earlier this month about opening against the Knicks.
...

The Nets have sold close to 10,000 season tickets for an arena fitting just over 18,000, prioritizing Brooklyn residents in sales phases. It’s a sign the Nets will have support on Nov. 1, and they haven’t backed down from the challenge.

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NoLandGrab: Or at least Brett Yormark claims they've sold them.

Related coverage...

Bleacher Report, Why Opening Barclays Center vs New York Knicks Is Terrible for Brooklyn Nets

New York fans embarrassed New Jersey fans the last time these teams met on the Nets’ turf at Prudential Center, and plenty of Knicks fans will find their way into Barclays Center November 1. Knicks fans will be loud and focused, while Nets fans are figuring out who they are.

The league doesn’t need to cultivate a rivalry between New York’s teams—there’s already one growing. What needs growth is the Nets fan base. Who are they? Are they quasi-basketball fans, who never took a liking to the Orange & Blue? Are they non-sports fans, looking to be part of the electric Brooklyn scene? Are they miffed Knicks fans, trying to stick it to James Dolan?

mcbrooklyn, Some People Are Excited About Knicks /Nets Season Opener in Brooklyn

A number of people are working themselves up into a state at the thought of the Nets opening the season in Brooklyn against the Knicks.

According to Newsday, the Knicks will be the Brooklyn Nets' first regular-season opponent in their new home, the Barclays Center, on Nov. 1.

It's all part of a calculated program to build the hysteria.

Posted by eric at 10:51 AM

Brooklyn's Barclays Center offering box seats with unlimited food and access to 40/40 club for $165 per Nets game or $29,000 for four season tickets

Promotions is steep contrast to Madison Square Garden prices where similar premium seats go for more than half a million

NY Daily News
by Lore Croghan, Mark Morales and Reuven Blau

Three reporters to rewrite a press release?

The Barclays Center is offering luxury — at a discount.

The new Brooklyn arena has created an entire loge section featuring box seats with unlimited grub, access to the exclusive 40/40 Club and a separate arena entrance for $165 per game.

That comes to $29,040 for four season tickets.

That’s a steep contrast to the Manhattan prices at Madison Square Garden, where similarly situated premium seats — without waiter service or special VIP entrance — go for up to $580,000 for the season.

And spots in top luxury boxes sell for an estimated $1 million for the Knicks season.
...

“This is a way for fans to get in at a lower price point and for them to move seats that they haven’t been able to sell,” Flaherty said.
...

Still, not everyone can afford the discounted rate.

article

NoLandGrab: No sh*t, Sherlock. $29,000 for four seats is close to Brooklyn's median annual household income. "Discounted?"

Posted by eric at 10:33 AM

July 23, 2012

Brooklyn Nets ad blitz fans fever

Team cranking up support in new home borough

NY Daily News
by Phyllis Furman

Hello, Brooklyn Nets!

Starting tomorrow, they’ll be plastered everywhere from billboards to phone kiosks as Brooklyn’s new team looks to drum up fan fever ahead of its Barclays Center fall debut.

“We want to get them excited,” said Nets Chief Marketing Officer Fred Mangione. “We want them to know we are here in Brooklyn and they have a great team to support.”

article

Photo: NY Daily News

Posted by eric at 10:01 AM

Nets, Barclays Center sign AmEx

Sports Business Journal
by Don Muret

American Express has planted a velvet rope at Barclays Center after the curtain closed on its extended run at Madison Square Garden. The financial services company has become a founding partner of the Brooklyn Nets and their new arena after signing a five-year deal.

link [Free trial registration required for full article]

Posted by eric at 9:50 AM

July 20, 2012

The Yormark-ization of the NBA: ads on uniforms likely coming in a year (Barclays, anyone?)

Atlantic Yards Report

We haven't read the article yet, but we have this creeping feeling that "Yormark-ization" is not a good thing.

Paul Lukas reports on UniWatch the the NBA likely will permit jersey ads beginning in 2013-14, measuring at least two inches square, though there must be an e-mail vote in September.

While uniform ads would not be required, deputy commissioner Adam Silver says, “My sense is that every team would do this in some form.” (Would Barclays, after buying arena naming rights, want a piece of the uniform--(and further criticism?)
...

What's wrong with it? Lukas writes:

I’ve never once said I’m opposed to advertising; I’m just opposed to advertising where it doesn’t belong. This content you’re reading here is available for free. To help offset my costs, I sell advertising, which is what media enterprises have been doing to offset their costs for centuries. But NBA teams already have lots of revenue streams — ticket sales, TV rights, merchandising, concessions, arena naming rights, and so on. Do they really need the revenue from uniform ads, or are they just greedy? (Yes, that question is rhetorical.)

Does Mikhail Prokhorov need the money?

Yormark in the lead

When this issue emerged earlier this year, Sporting News reported 3/5/12:

“Obviously, it’s a league decision, but as someone who spent seven years at NASCAR, I know the value of putting a brand on the playing field and the uniform, so it is certainly something I would support,” said New Jersey Nets CEO Brett Yormark. “You can monetize this in ways you can’t monetize any other kind of marketing inventory. And, of course, we’re in the No. 1 market in the country, so ...”

link

Related coverage...

Uni Watch, Hopefully I Won't Be Writing About Uniforms Anymore by Then Anyway, but Still...

This is a genuine red-alert crisis, people — even if you don’t care about the NBA (I don’t much care about it myself), this move would open the door for uniform advertising in the other Big Four leagues. The threat is real, and the time to respond to it is now: Tweet to @nba with the hashtag #NoUniAds, send an e-mail to the league, call the league office (they’re in the book: 212-407-8000). Do all of those things, and tell them in no uncertain terms, “NO UNIFORM ADS!” And if the ads will make you less likely to buy a retail jersey, be sure to tell them that too.

Remember, folks, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Your uni-verse needs you. You know what to do.

Posted by eric at 11:25 AM

July 19, 2012

Time for a Fan to Switch Jerseys? Really?

City Room
by Michael Powell

Gotham columnist Powell lays out why he's not going to throw over the messed-up, infuriating Knicks, DodoDolan notwithstanding.

As for the Nets?

Let’s do the happily nasty recap. Bruce Ratner, a master builder as long as he’s working with government dimes, purchased this suburban nomad of a team and built a tax-subsidized arena in Brooklyn. He promised loads of affordable housing; alas, he hasn’t had the time to build that yet.

Mr. Ratner flipped the team to a Russian oligarch, Mikhail Prokhorov, who made billions in whatever fashion young Russian oligarchs make money. As for the team? I concede the point guard Deron Williams can play a lot better than Raymond Felton or the 39-year-old Jason Kidd, who is previewed as a level-headed wily vet* (* except when he dances on tables, hangs from chandeliers, and, so the police say, drives stone drunk through the Hamptons at night).

As for the rest? Joe Johnson, star shooter, will shoot a lot. Center Brook Lopez is Gandhian about rebounding. Kris Humphries used to date Kim Kardashian and seems to get booed a lot.

Whatever. May suburban refugee hipsters find comfort in a suburban team washed ashore on Flatbush Avenue.

I’m sticking with my ancestral loyalties, even if they edge perilously close to prima facie evidence of mental illness. Sound the bagpipes, wave the flags.

I’m a Knicks dead-Ender.

article

Posted by eric at 10:50 PM

Hello Brooklyn! Goodbye Knicks. (Is it Okay to Switch?)

Culture VI Experience

Listen, I’ve been a Knicks fan for a long time. I had hair past my shoulders and had to shave it off on a bet when Reggie dropped 11 in 8 on us. Believe me, I’ve bled with this team. I’ve emulated Mason’s hairstyles. I’ve drafted or traded for Starks in every basketball fantasy league I was ever in. I watched the NBA change their hand-checking rules because they were tired of watching Knick playoff games finish with football-type scores.

This isn’t just Jay-Z or Bruce Ratner’s fault. It’s true, I’d pretty much let Jay-Z have babies with my wife if he asked me to. I’m as big a fan of him as I am of my son. I’m such a fan, that I ever listen to Kingdom Come on a semi-regular basis. But if Jay would’ve bought the Mets or Jets or anyone else and moved them to Brooklyn? I wouldn’t have changed. See, I like being proud of the teams that I support. I have a Yankees tattoo, a NY Giants (football) tattoo. I’ve bled for this Knicks team. And how have they repaid me? By letting Isiah Thomas run the blue and orange into ground. By giving Marbury a 400 year contract. By firing any coach or GM who ever had any success and by extending the contracts of whoever could embarrass us most. If they would’ve given me a product to be proud of over the past decade? I’d stay true. But I really believe that James Dolan is a Brooklyn Nets fan.

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Posted by eric at 7:12 AM

July 18, 2012

As Knicks let Lin leave for Houston, the defections to the Nets mount; does anybody care about the taint behind Atlantic Yards and the Nets' new arena?

Atlantic Yards Report

Now if Jim Dolan will just put Isiah Thomas back in charge, the total retrogression of the Knicks will be complete.

In June 2010, new (New Jersey) Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov made a hubristic boast: "We're going to turn Knicks fans into Nets fans."

As of last April, when Knicks fans invaded the Prudential Center in Newark, the Daily News reported,

Mikhail Prokhorov once said he’d turn Knicks fans into Nets fans. It’s safe to say none of the thousands were swayed Wednesday night in Newark.

Now the struggling Nets — 22-41 after the 104-95 defeat — are clearly facing an uphill battle for New York fan support ahead of their move to Brooklyn.

Now, thanks to Prokorov's (over)spending to assemble a strong if not championship-ready roster, and the New York Knicks' drawn-out and debatable decision to let potential star point guard Jeremy Lin (costly, but with huge upside, and not out of line with previous overspending) go to the (over)spending Houston Rockets, Knick fans are defecting.

Credit the moves by Prokhorov and his team, coupled with Knicks owner James Dolan's continued ability to confound fans (not that the Knicks won't sell out).

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NoLandGrab: While some Knick fans are understandably angry (heck, even we got caught up in the Linsanity last spring), the kneejerk "defections" are unlikely to last — especially if the prodigal Raymond Felton plays well and especially especially if this sets the table for the Knicks' acquisition of highly coveted PG Chris Paul.

Posted by eric at 11:14 AM

Kris Humphries Stays With Nets, Glad Jay-Z Didn’t “Drop Him From The Team”

The Urban Daily
by Jerry L. Barrow

NBA player Kris Humphries finally got some good news. The forward has been embroiled in a bitter divorce from socialite Kim Kardashian that has included on-record jabs from her new boyfriend Kanye West.

On the track “Way Too Cold” Mr. West confessed his love for Kim K and threw a dig at her ex, “he’s lucky I didn’t’ have Jay drop him from the team.” Kanye’s partner in The Throne is part owner of the team Humphries plays for, The Brooklyn Nets.

Well Humphries may have the last laugh as he has re-signed with The Nets for a cool $24 Million dollars over the next two years, according to ESPN.

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Posted by eric at 10:20 AM

July 17, 2012

The Inbounds: The new Brooklyn Empire and the Crown of Relevance

ProBasketballTalk [NBCSports.com]
by Matt Moore

There are questions about how the Nets went about clearing out the populace for the Barclays Center, questions about Dolan’s price gouging, questions about Billy King’s decision making, about how CAA runs the Knicks, are the Nets a real superstar team, is Carmelo Anthony a player you can win with. It’s a whole Baz Luhrmann flick on hardwood.
...

The Nets, more so than even during their stretch of Finals contention, are relevant. They matter. They aren’t dominant enough for us to just accept, they aren’t mediocre enough for us to ignore. They’re just a really good basketball team looking to rewrite history.

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NoLandGrab: Yeah, they're a great story so long as you don't dwell to much on "questions about how the Nets went about clearing out the populace."

Posted by eric at 11:41 AM

July 16, 2012

Joe Johnson says Nets ‘definitely’ the best team in New York as Brooklyn declares all-out hoops war on Manhattan

Standing in front of about 1,000 fans who’d come to cheer on recently re-signed guard Deron Williams ($98 million over five years) and new acquisition Joe Johnson (four years, $89 million), Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz got down to business - and insults.

NY Daily News
by Stefan Bondy

More coverage of Friday's silliness.

The Brooklyn Nets rolled out their first basketball stars Friday — a duo that GM Billy King dubbed “the best backcourt in the NBA” — and it didn’t take long for an all-out hoops war to be declared on the Knicks.

Standing in front of about 1,000 fans who showed up to celebrate Deron Williams and Joe Johnson at a pep rally outside of Borough Hall, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz got down to business — and insults.

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Related coverage...

The New York Times, Tough Talk From Nets at Brooklyn Rally

On a stage of marble, between Roman columns that stretched toward the sky, the Nets declared an identity and made an audacious claim: New York is officially a two-team town.

The Post gets a little carried away with its crowd estimate.

NY Post, 2,000 screaming fans pack plaza outside B'klyn Borough Hall for Nets

“This is sick, and it’s all about Brooklyn pride,” Max Kiss said. “Many of our friends are slowly switching from Knicks fans to Nets fans. “ But Robert Hall, a 31-year-old teacher from Park Slope, said he'd never turn his back on the Knicks.

NoLandGrab: Sick indeed, but not the way Mr. Kiss meant it.

Bed-Stuy Patch, A Brooklyn Nets Pep Rally

NY1, Brooklyn Nets Introduce Players At Pep Rally

Photo: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Posted by eric at 10:22 AM

July 15, 2012

Bellowing Markowitz welcomes "Brooklyn's Backcourt" at pep rally, hypes rivalry with "Manhattan Knicks", goes out on weird anti-temperance limb

Atlantic Yards Report

Funny how these things go. When the arena developer gets an extra $105 million in subsidies, loses a major lawsuit, and squeezes the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for a sweeter deal, the news is presented parenthetically, at best.

But when Borough President Marty Markowitz holds a pep rally at Borough Hall for "Brooklyn's Backcourt"--one of whom (Deron Williams) was halfway out the door less than two weeks ago, and the other (Joe Johnson) with an albatross contract in Atlanta--he and the team pull out all the stops, with cheerleaders and posters, and the Nets' Experience van, and the cameras and scribes come out in force.

...

Actually, the video doesn't quite capture all of Markowitz's frenzy or exactly how far he went out on an anti-temperance limb, not the wisest choice, given the scads of schoolkids.

Starting at about 2:00, he made a strained 1986ish effort to "tell you the difference between Brooklyn and Manhattan," the latter "prim, proper, classy," drinking a string of high-end wines and liquors, such as Dom Perignon.

"But lemme tell ya about Brooklyn," the Borough President bellowed, rousing the crowd with that identifier. "We love our Brooklyn liquor," he said listing several more presumably down-to-earth libations, including Hennessy Black and Courvoisier.

"We're scrappy. We're in your face," Markowitz continued. "We wear our hearts on our sleeves and we're not afraid to speak our minds. If we love you, you'll know it. And if we don't, you'll know it even more."

No wonder Nets beat writer Tim Bontemps of the Post tweeted:

Marty Markowitz is about to explode as he's rattling off reasons to like Brooklyn and the Nets. Joe Johnson seems baffled by him.

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Posted by steve at 6:43 PM

July 13, 2012

Quote of the day, from Nets CEO Yormark: "at the end of the day, you need to have a product"

Atlantic Yards Report

From the Wall Street Journal, Finally, the Nets Have Reason to Smile: Williams's Nets Lack Howard But Look Legit:

"In my seven years here, I've never seen a surge like this," [Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett] Yormark said. "Obviously, I've been very bullish on Brooklyn and have never wavered—new building, having a team that Brooklynites can root for. And that's all great. But at the end of the day, you need to have a product."

Which is why Borough President Marty Markowitz is turning over Borough Hall today to a press conference and rally. Brooklyn finally has "a product," a "sports entertainment corporation" to call its own.

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Related content...

The Wall Street Journal, Finally, the Nets Have Reason to Smile

The Nets had been in the mix to acquire All-Star center Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic before trade talks broke down Wednesday. Williams had been asked about Howard more than anything else this week, and he said a good team without Howard would be great with him. But now the Dwight-free Nets must press on.

Posted by eric at 10:21 AM

July 12, 2012

Nets moving on with Brook Lopez, not Dwight Howard

The Star-Ledger
by Colin Stephenson

Here's some completely unsurprising basketball news.

When the first ball is thrown up at center court in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in November, the man jumping center for the Nets will be Brook Lopez, not Dwight Howard.

Talks between the Nets and Orlando Magic to find a way to trade Howard to the Nets ended today and the Nets moved quickly to lock up Lopez, signing him to a four-year, $60.8 million contract that kills any chance the Nets have of trading for Howard until at least January. That’s when Lopez, a Bird Rights free agent re-signing with his old team, would first be eligible to be traded, according to the CBA.
...

In order to match Howard’s $19.5 million salary, the Nets needed to trade Lopez and also free-agent power forward Kris Humphries, both in sign-and-trade arrangements. Humphries was ticketed to go to a third team, and on Monday, reports emerged that a four-team deal, involving 13 players, plus four first-round picks and cash, was close.

But that deal fell apart on Tuesday, in part because Humphries balked at signing a one-year deal that would have deposited him in Cleveland, or perhaps Charlotte. With the deal for Howard off, Humphries could end up back with the Nets, who do need a power forward.

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NoLandGrab: Such a deal, however, would not include Kim Kardashian.

Posted by eric at 1:12 PM

On Friday, Nets/Markowitz host "Brooklyn's Backcourt" celebration at Borough Hall Plaza

Atlantic Yards Report

Meanwhile, a few blocks away, Brett Yormark, Marty Markowitz and friends will be testing the tolerance of Brooklynites for nonsensical blather.

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson may be new, but they are, according to a press release, "Brooklyn's Backcourt," and Borough President Marty Markowitz is wasting no time in welcoming them at 1 pm Friday.

For the record, he never held a celebration for the community plaintiffs who won an uphill battle in a lawsuit against developer Forest City Ratner and the Empire State Development Corporation.

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Posted by eric at 11:53 AM

July 11, 2012

People of metropolis wait for Superman

New York Post
by Steve Serby

Remember that Dwight "Superman" Howard has won as many NBA titles as Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, the New York Nets, the New Jersey Nets and the Brooklyn Nets combined: ZERO.

Maybe the fates are about to stop being so cruel. Maybe this time, along Flatbush Avenue, it will feel as if Ralph Branca has rifled a fastball past Bobby Thomson more than half a century later.

They wait now for Dwight Howard, even as construction workers remain busy bees making the Barclays Center whole for the 2012 Brooklyn Nets. They can’t wait, those who are not wearing Linsanity T-shirts, but they will wait, because when you have waited 55 years for a professional team to call your own, another 24 hours is bearable.

Mikhail Prokhorov doesn’t need a billboard staring right at James Dolan’s Garden anymore. If he succeeds at this bold game of Russian Woo-lette, then the Nets owner’s Blueprint for Greatness will be the Knicks’ worst Dwightmare.

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NoLandGrab: The whole "Superman" thing kinda breaks down with the knowledge that a real Super Villain version of Lex Luthor is building the arena.

Related coverage...

BrooklynFans.com, DWIGHT DAY: HOWARD TO BE DEALT WEDNESDAY … TO BROOKLYN?

The Orlando Magic will give in Wednesday. They’ll trade Dwight Howard.

Will anyone step up and offer a better package than the one put together by the ever-efforting Brooklyn Nets?
...

If [NLG: when] the trade falls through and Lopez is the Nets center when Barclays Center opens, that contract is gonna be the only love the team has shown Brook. Not only did they openly talk about trading him before, during, and after last season … they then asked him to show up April 30th to launch Jay Z’s new Nets colors in Brooklyn and represent the team — and Brook did it. Humble.

Posted by eric at 1:09 PM

July 10, 2012

While Prokhorov opens wallet for stars, community facing the Barclays Center arena won't see money for more cops, new railyard, increased subway service, worker training

Atlantic Yards Report

Brooklyn Nets fans, led by the pseudonymous Net Income (aka Bob Windrem) are thrilled by the emergence of the team's big-spending owner, who's on the cusp of landing Dwight Howard, as I wrote today.
...

But Prokhorov and especially his partner Bruce Ratner are pretty chintzy on the other end. Prokhorov saves from all the deals that Ratner, his partner on the arena, has made. And Ratner, rather than dig deeper into his corporate pocket or trade a greater share of ownership for Prokhorov's cash, has tried to save on many aspects that might make the project more "civic."

Here are a few things Ratner hasn't paid for or won't pay for:

  • an Independent Compliance Monitor for the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA)
  • wages for trainees in a much-promoted training program that was mandated in the CBA, now subject of a lawsuit
  • a replacement railyard the size initially promised
  • increases in police coverage generated by the arena
  • increases in subway service generated by the arena
  • a residential permit parking program, as in a model CBA
  • the removal of street trees (though Ratner eventually coughed it up)
  • increased garbage pickup on blocks near the arena (this is unresolved)

This saves Ratner well over $100 million, just on the railyard. The rest are, relatively speaking, modest expenditures, though the police and subway costs should be among the more substantial.

And that's not even mentioning the significant direct subsidies ($271.5+ million), the giveaway of naming rights ($200+ million), tax breaks, low-cost land, and other benefits for the project. The New York City Independent Budget Office called the arena a money-loser for the city.

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Posted by eric at 11:38 AM

Searching For Spike Lee (episode 1)

Dallas Penn via Vimeo

Internets Celebrities' Dallas Penn goes in search of Spike Lee.

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Posted by eric at 11:12 AM

Key to the brewing Dwight Howard trade is Brook Lopez, the first Brooklyn Nets spokesmodel

Atlantic Yards Report

So the Brooklyn Nets, in a frenzy of deal making and wallet-opening (thanks to the fabulously wealthy Mikhail Prokhorov), have already pulled off a hat trick: re-signing Gerald Wallace, trading for star Joe Johnson, and re-signing point guard Deron Williams.

Now, thanks to the adroit manipulation of the salary cap, the juggling of contracts, the willingness to spend, and the magic of multi-team trades, the Nets remain in the lead, seemingly miraculously, for Orlando star Dwight Howard. And that would would further transform the Nets from having a great backcourt and a solid core to a contender.

To do so, however, they have to move center Brook Lopez.

And as Brooklynites are coaxed, by the relentless media drumbeat and promotional advertising, to welcome their "new hometown team," let's flash back to little more than two months ago, at the 4/30/12 "brand identity launch" of the Brooklyn Nets.

That's when none other than Lopez was presented as the face of the franchise. (Remember, Williams hadn't been signed yet.)

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Photo: AP

Posted by eric at 11:03 AM

July 6, 2012

Dwight Howard deal would cost Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov $107.5M over next four years

From brand new Barclays Center to trading for Joe Johnson, Mikhail Prokhorov is doing whatever it takes to build Nets franchise.

NY Daily News
by Stefan Bondy

Mikhail Prokhorov has more than 100 million reasons to halt the Dwight Howard chase. But it helps to be the richest owner in all of American sports.

Prokhorov, unlike the vast number of NBA owners, has pooh-poohed the idea of a revamped luxury tax, bankrolling the Nets’ uninhibited spending and star chasing this offseason. If the Nets pull off a trade with Orlando for Howard and, assuming they re-sign Howard to a max deal and keep the contracts of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, Prokhorov will pay a luxury tax of approximately $107.5 million over the next four years, according to a league source.

None of this would be possible without Prokhorov: not the $1 billion arena nearly complete in Brooklyn, not the trading for Johnson’s supposedly untradeable contract, and not the continued chase for Howard while approaching cap hell.

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NoLandGrab: And let's never mind worrying how Prokhorov, ahem, "earned" those billions. To paraphrase Mike Bloomberg, no one will remember how the former Soviet Union was plundered by ex-KGB agents and their Oligarch cronies, they'll just know that the Nets could acquire Joe Johnson's absurdly expensive contract.

Related coverage...

NetsDaily, Prokhorov Willing to Spend...A LOT

Mikhail Prokhorov had a good day Thursday. According to the Forbes Real Time Billionaire Tracker, he made $26.37 million or almost enough to pay for Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace's salaries next season...in a day! Its that kind of wealth and the willingness to spend it that separates Prokhorov from most NBA owners ... and those who previously controlled the Nets.
...

All of this has concerned salary cap weenies and Mark Cuban, but not Avery Johnson. "When he first bought the team, he said he would do whatever it took to build a championship team."

NLG: Though "salary cap weenies" know that the Nets are subject to a hard cap, so it's likely they will have to pull a couple hotdog vendors from the stands to fill out their roster.

Keegan's Kickoff, Make it Nashty

Keegan may have taken one too many kickoffs to the noggin.

This Nets team is going to be awesome. D-Will, top 3 point guard. Joe Johnson, all star. Gerald Wallace can guard anyone. Kris Humphries-Kardashian isn't bad but that's why they got Mr. Energy Reggie Evans to push Kristopher Kardashian. New sign at the top of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn....NO KARDASHIANS ALLOWED.

NLG: A "No Kardashians" sign would be less offensive than the Barclays logo, certainly.

Posted by eric at 10:01 AM

July 5, 2012

Will the Brooklyn Nets become New York’s hometown basketball team?

Crain's NY Business

Crain's offers up another inane poll...

The Nets are gathering momentum as they head into their debut season in Brooklyn. They have a new arena, a billionaire owner, a celebrity co-owner in Jay-Z and even new dancers. They persuaded their star point guard, Deron Williams, to re-sign and traded for another All-Star, shooting guard Joe Johnson. The Knicks, meanwhile, failed in their quest to acquire future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash, who is heading to the Lakers.

Will the Brooklyn Nets become New York’s hometown basketball team?

Yes. They’re new and hip. New Yorkers will migrate to them and away from the overpriced Knicks.
No. The Knicks will remain top dog in the city.

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Posted by eric at 4:28 PM

Front-page news in the Times: "Nets Move to Brooklyn with [a narrow notion of] Legitimacy in Sight"

Atlantic Yards Report

The Times apparently needed a little "USA, USA" fluff for Independence Day.

It's front-page news in the New York Times, coincidentally seven years to the day after another front-page story.

The headline in print today is Nets, After a String of Homes, Hope to Settle Into Brooklyn, but an alternate headline, as indicated by the URL is "Nets Move to Brooklyn with Legitimacy in Sight."

That's a narrow notion of legitimacy, limited to the universe of sporting competitiveness, not to the overall move, one tainted in numerous ways, not least by the recently-emerged scandal regarding naming rights sponsor Barclays.

On the front page, it's glaring: if the only questions reporters ask a handful of fans and basketball professionals are about whether the boldly revamped team can compete, that's all the discussion will concern.

Here's sports columnist/reporter Harvey Araton's conclusion:

The arena is all but built. The star point guard is staying. And the Nets — the first major professional sports team to call Brooklyn home since the Dodgers, and the first to hit the city in 50 years — might actually be capable of taking the borough, if not yet the city, by storm.

Looking for confirmation

So who confirms that?

  • James Robinson, 25, who works in a sneaker store not far from the arena
  • Brooklyn-born-and-bred hoops star Chris Mullin (who's an NBA analyst for ESPN and was already on board, saying last December, "I love the fact that they’re going to Brooklyn. I think it’s going to work.")
  • Robert Liff, a longtime Nets season-ticket holder, who's renewed his season tickets, a Brooklyn native
  • Herb Turetzky, the Nets official scorer, since 1967, a former Brooklynite who lives in Queens

That's one civilian--and if he works a sneaker store he's likely a basketball fan to begin with--and three already on the "team."

The article includes one voice of caution, a Brooklynite who "remains a stalwart Knicks fan" but "seemed open to persuasion."

Read on for Norman Oder's interesting Twitter exchange with Araton.

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Related content...

The New York Times, Nets, After a String of Homes, Hope to Settle Into Brooklyn

They have wandered the greater metropolitan area like dribbling migrants for 45 seasons, playing in seven different arenas, none of them in what could be called a choice professional basketball location.

Since 2004, the Nets have been lame ducks and losers in largely indifferent New Jersey, waiting through lawsuits, construction delays and the worst real estate crash in decades for the opportunity to finally unpack in New York City — their intended home at birth in 1967.

Few took them seriously, and many had good reason to believe that their characteristic bad karma would follow them to Brooklyn, if they ever made it. Lo and behold, their dream of laying roots in the mass-transit-rich Atlantic Yards is happening, and the odds that the Nets will finally find requited love have improved.

Posted by eric at 11:06 AM

July 4, 2012

The Analysis - "Now, It's Our Turn!"

NetsDaily

Yes, the Nets have re-signed the "superstar" who has led them to a 29-72 record in the 101 games he's been with the franchise. Pop the champagne!

Sometime in the next week or so, the pale blue lettering that spells out "Barclays Center" will be affixed to the weathered-steel facade of the arena that will be the first place the Nets can truly call home in their 45-year history. Inside, the scoreboard will be hoisted up at center court.

At the same time, Billy King and Bobby Marks will be filling out the roster of the team that will play the first game in Brooklyn, scouting the Summer League for low-cost gems, tweaking basketball operations and no doubt catching up on the latest episode of The Dwightmare. They and the business side will start thinking about where to site the franchise's next signature element, a new training facility.

But most of all, there will be time spent celebrating the Nets signing, re-signing or trading for real basketball talent to play at Barclays, practice at that facility. Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace have ten visits to the NBA All-Star Game between them. Brook Lopez has not yet been chosen for the classic but his point guard thinks he will soon. There may be complaints about size and shape of the Wallace and Johnson's contracts, but there shouldn't be about their play.

Bottom line, D-Will's signing is about getting noticed, showing off. The Nets arrival in Brooklyn --and return to New York-- is no longer a distant dream. What the team and building are saying is, "Now, it's our turn!"

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Related coverage...

ProBasketballTalk [NBCSports.com], Williams, bold moves make Nets a fun team… for now

Realists are a bit more sanguine, however...

The Brooklyn Nets are a much better team right now than they were 72 hours ago.

They will walk onto the court at the Barclays Center with an entertaining lineup, a team with offensive firepower, something you couldn’t really say about the squad last seen in New Jersey (they move to Brooklyn this fall). They should be a team on the second tier in the East along with Indy, Boston and the Knicks. They won the battle to keep the face of the franchise in point guard Deron Williams. They should be popping champagne at the Nets headquarters tonight.

But they are not title contenders, not unless guys who have never been good at it suddenly learn to defend and board. And the way this team is built — with massive contracts for some players seeming past their prime — the moves of the last 72 hours will come back to haunt them in a couple years.
...

As you read this, the Nets have $54 million committed to six players (via Zach Lowe at Sports Illustrated who did the math). The salary cap is $58 million, and what is more by using the full $5 million mid-level exception on Teletović the Nets have locked themselves in with essentially a hard cap of $74 million they cannot exceed.

Atlantic Yards Report, Huge day for Brooklyn Nets: Williams re-signed after trade for Johnson; Howard remains a possibility; season ticket sales jump

Yesterday was a very big day for the Brooklyn Nets, as they re-signed star guard Deron Williams, a free agent, who would have had to sign for less money with the Dallas Mavericks, but was also inspired to stay by the Nets' bold trade for (overpaid) Atlanta shooting guard Joe Johnson and the re-signing of (overpaid) forward Gerald Wallace, as well as moves for some role players.
...

The Daily News reported:

Barclays Center sold roughly 500 new season tickets on Tuesday, turning in a one-day, seven-figure haul, according to Brett Yormark, the CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment.

NoLandGrab: Now there's a reliable source.

Posted by eric at 10:40 AM

July 3, 2012

Billy King’s Rather Amazing Overnight Nets Makeover

New York Magazine
by Will Leitch

Yesterday morning, the Nets essentially had four players on their roster. Today, it's a legitimate possibility that they have a Big Three that surpasses the Knicks' and challenges the Heat's. It's been a good 24 hours.

To be clear: King is only one third of the way there. Last night, he traded Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Jordan Williams, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson, and Houston's 2013 first-round pick — essentially, nothing — to the Atlanta Hawks for Joe Johnson. Now, Johnson is dramatically overpaid, and the Hawks were desperate to get rid of him. But King used roster flotsam to bring in a potential superstar No. 3, or even a No. 2. This move makes less sense if Deron Williams — who met with the team last night — doesn't end up signing, but Williams is known to be a fan of Johnson's game, and the two players are an ideal backcourt team, particularly with Gerald Wallace also in the fold.
...

The general consensus after the Johnson trade was that any hope — or "hope" — of Dwight Howard ever playing for the Nets (the only team he claimed he'd sign an extension with) was now over. And then, this morning. ESPN's Chris Broussard broke the news: The Nets and Magic were back in talks for Howard.

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NoLandGrab: We still contend that Deron Williams is being measured for his Mavericks jersey, and that the Nets are more likely to sign Moe Howard than Dwight Howard.

Related coverage...

Sports Debaters, Broookylnnnnnnnnnnn!

The Nets are reportedly offering Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and their first round picks for 2013, 2015 and 2017. If the trade goes through, the Nets would have traded away their entire roster in a matter of two days, leaving only Gerald Wallace, Joe Johnson, Dwight Howard and hopefully Deron Williams to build their team around. However, if you look at the blue print the Miami Heat laid out for the NBA world to see, it is clear that this would have a great chance of working. No matter who the Nets filled the roster in with, they would certainly be a playoff team and an automatic contender for the next few years.

Why would this scenario work great for Brooklyn? First of all, there would be energy and life in the Barclays Center each and every night to welcome the Nets to Brooklyn.

The Hoop Doctors, NBA Trade Rumors: In Defense of Joe Johnson and the Nets

Johnson—who is owed close to $90 million over the four years—is wildly overpriced. And he’s not Dwight Howard, nor is Gerald Wallace, whom the Nets recently re-signed to a four-year, $40 million deal. But this deal isn’t shortsighted, unwarranted or even illogical. It makes perfect sense.

Though Johnson’s salary all but eclipses any hopes the Nets had of obtaining Howard, it gives them yet another star-caliber player to bring into Barclays Center as their own.

NetsDaily, Joe Johnson Trade Analysis 101

In the last 48 hours, Billy King has committed $129.3 million of Mikhail Prokhorov's fortune to two contracts. At the rate Forbes reports he's going, it will take the Russian billionaire till the end of the week to make it up.

SBNation, Deron Williams Free Agency Rumors: Mavericks Resigned To Losing Williams?

Deron Williams met with both the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks on Monday, and from the reports coming out of those meetings it seems like the Mavericks are resigned to Williams choosing to stay in Brooklyn as the Nets open the Barclays Center.

NetsAreScorching, Joe Johnson and exorcising demons

It’s been hard being a Nets fan for these past few years.

We wouldn't know.

Ever since Jason Kidd forced his way out of New Jersey via trade in 2008 — and really, earlier — the Nets have been, to put it bluntly, a league-wide joke. Each year, they’ve forced their way into conversations for superstars on the promise of tomorrow, that Brooklyn would come and the Barclays Center will be packed and everyone will think you’re just the swellest thing that ever came over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Except for four years, that pitch didn’t work.

Posted by eric at 12:57 PM

July 2, 2012

Brooklyn Netskis...

@powellnyt via Twitter

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Posted by eric at 1:10 PM

As Deron Williams meeting looms, Nets look to strike on multiple fronts

CBSSports.com
by Ken Berger

Sunday was Canada Day, and Steve Nash recognized the occasion by meeting with the Raptors and Knicks in New York to discuss possible free-agent deals.

Monday could be Brooklyn Day, with the Nets celebrating by courting their own free-agent point guard, Deron Williams, as well as Nash -- not to mention going deep into discussions with the Atlanta Hawks about a trade that would pair Joe Johnson with Williams in an All-Star Brooklyn backcourt.

Actually, Brooklyn Day was three weeks ago, and the Nets didn't accomplish anything then either, save blowing hot air.

Williams will meet with the Nets and Dallas Mavericks Monday, and D-Will's resulting decision will be the domino that sends NBA free agency tumbling. The Brooklyn franchise has numerous other balls in the air, none bigger than a possible deal that would bring Johnson and the $90 million left on his contract over the next four years to help christen the Barclays Center next season.
...

As far as the Nets are concerned, the question isn't so much where are they getting all this money; it's where are they getting all this cap space to court two Hall of Fame point guards (three, if you buy into Williams' future Hall of Fame credentials), pay the soon-to-be 30-year-old Wallace $40 million, retain Lopez and fill out the roster with other free agents -- not to mention absorb the 31-year-old Johnson's contract, the richest in the sport.

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Related coverage...

New York Magazine, The Nets Now Have Seven Players on Their Team (Sorta)

One of the more amusing aspects of the Brooklyn Nets' public relations push leading up to the opening of the Barclays Center in late September is the fact that they are essentially selling nothing right now. Before last night's NBA Draft, the Nets had exactly four players under contract for the 2012-13 season. When you see that black-and-white shield with the "B" on it, when you see the television advertisements, when you walk past the Atlantic Yards and see how close they are to getting that thing finished, know that it all is essentially, at this point, for Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, Marshon Brooks and Jordan Williams. Get excited!

SBNation, Dwight Howard, Mikhail Prokhorov's Nets And The End Of All Logic

Howard could be receiving the adulation that comes with being New York's newest star right now. Instead, the Nets are apparently moving on to ensure they can keep Williams and field a team in October; suffice it to say that if Brooklyn retains Williams and picks up Joe Johnson in a trade, there's no fitting Howard in there. At this rate, by the time Howard does actually become a free agent, the Nets won't have any cap space or tradeable assets with which to acquire him. The window was 2012 free agency. Howard blew it.

This is all surely very infuriating to the Magic, but imagine how the Nets must feel. They're hearing again that Howard wants to join -- but knowing full well that they have nothing to offer in a trade and knowing they can't reserve cap space by tanking out their debut season in Brooklyn.

BrooklynFans.com, BROOKLYN NETS’ BIGGEST WEEK EVER … WHAT TO EXPECT, AND WHEN

Weeks ago it felt like doomsday in Brooklyn when the Nets lost out in the lottery. The feeling was D-Will might leave, and the rest of the roster would then jump ship … leaving the Nets to scramble and overpay for a ragtag group of castoffs for their inaugural season. Blech. Now things are looking up for the new Brooklyn Nets fan base.

Could everything fall apart? Absolutely.

Meadowlands Matters [NorthJersey.com], Devils avert the unthinkable; Nets’ fate still a high-wire act

While the Nets say sales of tickets and suites for the teams’ inaugural season at Barclays Center starting this fall have been brisk, there’s little doubt that a pent-up demand remains on the sidelines awaiting word on the potential return of All-Star Deron Williams and possible arrival of All-Star Dwight Howard.

The Devils, coming off such a stirring playoff result, can market their franchise just fine now that [Martin] Brodeur is back. But the Nets have no such goodwill as they move out of Jersey.

Also, basketball is far more defined by just a couple of players. A Nets team with Williams and Howard can be a title contender. A Nets team without either seems doomed – maybe for several years.

Posted by eric at 11:20 AM

June 29, 2012

BKN Nets ~ Billy King's Deals Left Brooklyn Quiet in the Night

BrooklynTrolleyBlogger

The poor BrooklynTrolleyBlogger was so distraught with the Nets' draft that he missed their first two picks.

It doesn't really hit home, until it hits home. And I'm not talking about the Barclays Center either. Lack of a number one pick in Thursday's NBA Draft left a major void in the Brooklyn night. It's a predicament I wasn't at all pleased the team created for themselves upon consummating that foolish deal for Gerald Wallace which eventually came back to kick Billy King in the ass. I guess you can tell I'm no fan of that deal. Nor am I big fan of GM Billy King. I think I made that clear on day one. I rue the day Rod Thorne ceased being this organization's overseer.

It's Thorn, actually, with no "e," but why quibble. The man's clearly at wit's end.

The Nets didn't pick until the second round, and number fifty-seven overall, because Billy King traded away what would have been the sixth overall pick to Portland. Their number thirty-five overall pick was surrendered in 2010 to Golden State in the Troy Murphy deal. Don't even talk to me about picking at number forty one either, or whatever. And just for effect, don't forget the pick involved in the Derrick Favors deal. Finally, with Brooklyn's first ever NBA draft opportunity, at 11:48pm they selected a Turkish forward named Ilkan Karaman. There ya go. Pop open the champagne and insert cheers here.

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NoLandGrab: BTB was so worked up that he missed the Nets first two picks — they paid cash for Portland's #41 pick and took a KU kid with an attitude problem, and then bought Philadelphia's #54 pick and took a guy from Georgia — the Republic, not the state. They must be looking to appeal to Brooklyn's large Georgian and Turkish communities.

Posted by eric at 10:00 AM

June 28, 2012

Deron will be in Brooklyn for opener, especially if Dwight can be lured there as well

NY Post
by Peter Vecsey

That headline makes no sense. If Deron Williams will be in Brooklyn for the opener, what does it matter if Dwight Howard joins the Nets or not? Besides, the only way Deron Williams will be in Brooklyn for the opener is if the Nets host Dallas.

Soon after Bruce Ratner bought the Nets and revealed intentions to relocate from New Jersey to Brooklyn, he asked whether I’d attend more or fewer home games.

It’d be impossible to show up less than zero. Not that it mattered anyway, I told Ratner. “I’ll be retired by the time your dream becomes reality.”

As it turns out, I’ll be correct by just a few months.

Still, the chances I’ll show up in November for opening night are a tinge greater if Dwight Howard is the Nets’ centerfold vs. Brook Lopez, and Deron Williams is their lifeguard.

Then again, I promise to get there early and leave late if I know Sandy Koufax, Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine, Ralph Branca, Tom LaSorda, Don Zimmer, Roger Craig, Vin Scully, Rachel Robinson and Joan Hodges — or just the wives of Jackie and Gil — are going to bless the occasion with their revered presence.

OK, so what are the odds Dwight and Deron become made members of the Nets?

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NoLandGrab: Uh, that'd be zero, Pete.

Posted by eric at 10:20 AM

June 27, 2012

Nets Raise Their Offer To Deron Williams To A Birthday Party, Two Human Children

Deadspin
by Barry Petchesky

The Nets are getting stupid-desperate in their quest to resign guard Deron Williams, even tying up a Soho street with one of those obnoxious billboards-on-wheels.

Deron Wiliams's wish list reportedly consists of just two teams: the Dallas Mavericks and the Brooklyn Nets. For a little extra-contractual love, the Nets drove a big old truck up to Williams's Soho home today, in honor of his 28th birthday. They also left a pair of children, but considering Williams's wife Amy is the one who tweeted out the photo, we're willing to consider the possibility that they're his.

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Photo: Amy Williams via Instagram

Posted by eric at 12:40 PM

June 25, 2012

Brooklyn decides on Mascot

Game Time Nation

Get ready to meet the Brooklyn Knight, defender and supporter of all things Nets.

Captain Brooklyn or the Brooklyn Decker or Brooky the Bridge apparently didn’t cut it for the Brooklyn Nets’ new mascot, which has been developed through the help of the folks at Marvel Comics, industry and team sources said. The new mascot is said to have a knight’s theme and will replace Sly Fox — who, like many in the team’s New Jersey fan base, will not be making the trek across two rivers to the Barclays Center.

It is not known exactly when the Nets will showcase their new mascot.

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NoLandGrab: 'Cause nothing says authentic Brooklyn like... the Peerage?

Posted by eric at 11:05 AM

June 22, 2012

Hello, Brooklyn! A Conversation with Nets CEO Brett Yormark

The Sportsfan Journal
by J. Clinkscales

There are few more entertaining works of fiction than a softball interview with Nets CEO Brett Yormark.

TSFJ: Could you speak a bit on the community initiatives the Nets have taken on since arriving in Brooklyn in April?

Yormark: From my perspective, our move to Brooklyn is really all about the community. When we went through our brand transformation about a month and a half ago, that first week was all about the Brooklyn Nets and the community. Supporting wellness, supporting education, community development.
...

TSFJ: Now on that note, you’re coming into an already established NBA market, even though Brooklynites have known about the Nets for years. Outside of the insiders and media, how have the actual fans received the Nets, in terms of community service, rebranding and the like?

Yormark: I think it’s truly exceeded our expectations. Our fans have had a chance to vote, and they voted “yes” for the Nets, and the rebranding efforts. We sold a lot of season seats, much more than we ever anticipated this far out from the beginning of the (2012-13) season. People are wearing our merchandise; they’re wearing our caps, wearing out t-shirts, and they voted “yes” for the Brooklyn Nets.

Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to "vote" on the billion-plus dollars in subsidies and tax breaks being lavished on the Atlantic Yards project, or the abuse of eminent domain on which it relies.

Ooh, better grab your hankies...

TSFJ: In terms of community service, what has been the effort you have personally been most proud of, whether it’s been in the first few weeks in Brooklyn or this whole five-year process?

Yormark: During our “Brooklyn Nets in the Community,” we were at a YMCA in Prospect Park. It was a wonderful day for me personally. There were 600 kids there; they were all wearing black and white. It was two days after we launched our brand, and for me, it was a very proud moment. I knew that kids would ultimately vote “yes” for the Brooklyn Nets, and I knew they would take the moment to embrace their own home team. Until you get there and experience it firsthand, you never know, but to have 600 kids cheer on the Nets, work with our executive team that was out there hosting clinics for the day; to me, it was a big-time moment.

Last year, my kids and I fed the hungry in Brooklyn, and we will continue to do that as a family this year. Even on Sept. 28 when we plan to open our building, I’ll be doing outreach.

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NoLandGrab: Sniffle. We can't help, however, being reminded of this classic scene from the 1987 film Broadcast News.

Posted by eric at 12:10 PM

Kidd: Nets To Be "Very Competitive"

NetsDaily

We're pretty sure they accidentally lifted a headline from 2002.

What does he know that we don't...yet? In an interview with Michael Kay on ESPN New York, Jason Kidd seemed "intrigued" about playing for the Nets in Brooklyn, writes Rod Boone, Newsday's new Nets beat reporter. The reason: he thinks the team can win.

"I think Brooklyn, since the Dodgers left, they have been waiting for a team to come back," Kidd said. "So I think there will be a lot of excitement and I think that team, they are going to put a team out that is going to be very competitive next year." He again said he'd happily back up Deron Williams.

Or Jeremy Lin.

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NoLandGrab: If Kidd wants to back up Deron Williams, he really shouldn't sell his place in Dallas.

Posted by eric at 12:04 PM

June 21, 2012

D-Will Visits Barclays Again

NetsDaily

Wednesday night, Amy Williams, Mrs. Deron, posted an image taken of her husband at Barclays Center ... presumably taken earlier Wednesday ... 10 days before he becomes a free agent.

The image showing Williams standing in front of the entrance to Sections 8 and 108 is accompanied by an intriguing caption from Amy: "Funny how this is the ONLY section with numbers up...@dwill8 @deronwilliams coincidence?!? #barclayscenter."

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NoLandGrab: Just stopping by to say goodbye.

Photo: Amy Williams via Instagram

Posted by eric at 10:55 AM

Nets 2012: What Does the Barclays Center Have to Do with Brooklyn Basketball?

Bleacher Report
by Argun Ulgen

The Barclays Center represents many things, perhaps the least of which is Brooklyn basketball.

The Center is comprised of eight million square feet of office, commercial, and residential property that stretches well beyond the pale of a new sports stadium.

He means Atlantic Yards project, apparently.

The array of political, economic, and environmental issues surrounding the Center is dizzying.
...

Somewhere in the mix, perhaps a terrific basketball squad playing in a trend-setting basketball arena will make up for the sacrifices involved in the Barclays Center's construction. The strengthening of Brooklyn basketball culture, on its own stead, has a dreamlike quality to it.

But then again, so was a Brooklyn (and America) where small businesses and historic residential property once constituted the culture's epicenter.

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Posted by eric at 10:51 AM

June 19, 2012

Diary of an Angry (ex)Nets Fan: My Final Words

Tales from the Dokes Side

I've seen great Net's teams, horrible ones, Hall of Famers, has beens, and never was's. But what continues to frustrate me is the outright lie the that predicated the move. It was obvious to just about everyone that it was a land grab from then majority owner Bruce Ratner to get his Atlantic Yards project built. For 7 years I've watched his dream ruin my hopes as fan as he dismantled what to took 25 years and 3 owners to build.

Proponents say that move is great for the franchise, that they'll make make more money, have a bigger market, and a wider audience, blah, blah, blah, but that's just lip service. The the grim reality is that the Nets are one of the most mismanaged teams in all of the NBA.

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Posted by eric at 12:26 PM

June 15, 2012

Nets new 'Brooklynettes' dance team tapped

The Brooklyn Blog [NYPost.com]
by Rich Calder

From the Forest City Ratner playbook: if you're not coming close to delivering on your ridiculously empty promises of jobs and affordable housing, distract the people with Jay-Z, more Jay-Z — and cheerleader tryouts!

The Brooklyn Nets last night selected a new 20-member dance team that will perform during game days beginning next season at the new Barclays Center.

Formerly known as the Nets Dancers during the club's days in New Jersey, the dance group during an event at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg also revealed its new black-and-white logo -- and hot off-season uniforms.

“Brooklynettes exemplifies a strong feminine name with a creative connection to the borough,” said Petra Pope, senior vice president of Event Marketing and Community Relations for the Brooklyn Nets, in a statement. “The 20 talented dancers selected last night are diverse in their interests, global in their backgrounds, and cutting-edge in their style, just like Brooklyn. We are looking forward to weaving the innovative and unique expressions of the borough into everything we do.”

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NoLandGrab: Kind of like 1-800-MATTRESS, they leave off the last "O" — for cleavage.

Posted by eric at 10:45 AM

June 14, 2012

HOTTEST DANCE TEAM IN THE NBA? MEET … “THE BROOKLYNETTES”

BrooklynFans.com

Brett Yormark must've had the boys in marketing working round the clock to come up with that name.

As far as first impressions go, the Brooklyn Nets did this one right.

The team held their final round at Brooklyn Bowl Wednesday, trimming the team to 20 girls … then immediately introducing them in new uniforms.

They’re called: The Brooklynettes.

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Posted by eric at 11:41 AM

June 11, 2012

Those "First Home Game since 1957" signs? The Nets pay $25 for putting them up in store windows

Atlantic Yards Report

You couldn't pay us to root for the Brooklyn Nets, but that sentiment is apparently not universal.

On his I Love Franklin Avenue blog, Nick Juravich writes:

Those "First Home Game since 1957" signs that have popped up all over? The Nets pay $25 a pop for businesses to put them in the window (as a local business owner informed me). A lot of money and legwork, but still probably cheaper than a 30-second TV spot.

I suspect that street team has made certain streets a priority. I've seen a few of the signs on Smith Street, but Coney Island Avenue--not so much.

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Posted by eric at 12:00 PM

June 7, 2012

The Day: The Last-Place Nets Choose an ‘Official’ Hospital

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]

In medical news, the Brooklyn Nets put out a statement yesterday saying that the team had chosen cash-strapped Brooklyn Hospital to be its “official hometown hospital.” The statement didn’t explain what the arrangement means, quoting hospital CEO Richard Becker saying, “Our partnership with Barclays Center will aim to keep Brooklyn healthy by providing a very visible and important platform to accomplish our goals.”

Presumably, their plans for "keep[ing] Brooklyn healthy" don't include letting people booze it up until 2 a.m. Or do they?

So we naturally wondered if the financially impoverished hospital will get some big money from the Barclays folks. Keep wondering: “We are unable to disclose the terms of the agreement,” a hospital spokeswoman said.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Two official hospital partners: Maimonides for the Brooklyn Nets, Brooklyn Hospital for the arena

Just in case you were wondering, the Maimonides Medical Center is the official partner of the Brooklyn Nets (and offers team physicians), while the Brooklyn Hospital Center is the official hospital of the Barclays Center arena.

Posted by eric at 11:42 AM

June 4, 2012

Yes, They Thought They Could Dance (And Some Could

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]

More than 350 women with a bounce in their step tried out on Saturday to be cheerleaders for the Brooklyn Nets — but the vast number went home unhappy.

Most of the former New Jersey team’s current dancers will return when the team begins its first season at the Barclays Center this fall, leaving only a handful of slots for the newcomers.

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NoLandGrab: Is it any surprise that there are only a half-dozen or so jobs available?

Related (un)coverage...

NY Daily News, Newser's no match among dance pros

Photo: Kathryn Friedman/The Local

Posted by eric at 10:20 AM

June 1, 2012

Where do the Nets go from here?

ESPN New York
by Mike Mazzeo

One would think that a team that's been as bad as the Nets the past few years would have no place to go but up. Think again.

The Hornets were the big winners in the NBA draft lottery, landing the No. 1 pick, which is expected to be Kentucky big man Anthony Davis.

The Nets, on the other hand, were the biggest losers. They only had a 25 percent chance of keeping their top-3 protected first rounder. The ping-pong balls didn’t bounce their way.

Many question marks still remain as the franchise heads to Brooklyn and the $1 billion Barclays Center.

So now what?
...

The Nets have the No. 57 pick in the second round of the draft and four players guaranteed to be under contract for 2012-13: Anthony Morrow, MarShon Brooks, Jordan Williams and Johan Petro.

It looks like the makings of an expansion team, doesn’t it?

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Posted by eric at 9:53 AM

May 31, 2012

NBA Draft Lottery Fail: Dominoes Tumbling for Brooklyn Nets?

Many Brooklyn fans complain about Jay-Z's underwhelming logo and color scheme ... wait till they see the Nets' opening-night roster

bleacher report
by Pete Tenney

Couldn't have happened to a nicer, neighborhood-bulldozing team.

NBA Draft Lottery conspiracy theorists were sure the league would slip a little luck Brooklyn's way. How can the NBA afford to risk a bust at Barclays Center?

We'll admit it — we fully expected the draft lottery to be rigged for the Nets. Guess even the Atlantic Yards project holds the occasional nice surprise.

No Elvis sightings, no alien coverups, no frozen ping-pong balls for the Nets… And because they didn't move up in the lottery to a top-3 spot, their 6th overall pick goes to Portland as part of the Gerald Wallace trade.

Are we about to see a gut-wrenching chain reaction ruin the team's welcome party in Brooklyn?

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Related content...

Yahoo! Sports, Sources: Getting Anthony Davis won't be enough for the Nets to hold onto Deron Williams

Well, guess this one's moot, anyway...

All-Star point guard Deron Williams has made one decision about his free agency: If the Brooklyn Nets win the No. 1 pick in the NBA's draft lottery on Wednesday night – and the chance to secure Kentucky center Anthony Davis – it won't be enough for Williams to sign a contract extension, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

"It's Dwight Howard or bust," said a league source who has spoken to Williams.

NoLandGrab: Then bust it is.

Posted by eric at 12:53 PM

As Nets don't get lucky in lottery, warnings about a gloomy season (though much maneuvering to come)

Atlantic Yards Report

More proof that karma is for real. Tough break, Nets!

"Could be a big night for brooklyn nets," tweeted Nets/Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark yesterday before the NBA Draft Lottery. But it wasn't--the Nets wound up sixth, just about where the percentages would have put them, and thus lost the pick to Portland.

"Disasterous for Nets," tweeted CNBC's Darren Rovell. "Lose pick. No hype into offseason." (He had previously suggested that, among all the teams, the Nets needed the top pick the most for business reasons.)

Well, they don't gain the hype from the number one pick. And the inability to draft Kentucky's Anthony Davis sets them back. But the Nets didn't so much "lose" the pick as not be lucky enough to get it.

No was there any intervention, as (admitted conspiracy theorist) Charles Barkley predicted--unless you count Rovell's tweet, "Conspiracy theorists have a new one tonight: The NBA sold Tom Benson the [New Orleans] Hornets w/the promise of the #1 pick."

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Related coverage...

SportsIllustrated.com, Hornets strike it rich, plus more lottery observations

That other sound you heard was Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov cursing the basketball gods when he should have been yelling at himself. When Nets general manager Billy King proposed a deal to acquire small forward Gerald Wallace in March in exchange for a package that included the team's first-round pick (top 3 protected), someone should have asked the question of whether or not the 29-year-old -- whose nickname ("Crash") likely means he has 35 years of mileage on his legs -- was truly the sort of player who could inspire point guard/free-agent-to-be Deron Williams to stick around.

NY Post, Stern wants 'sparks' in Knicks-Nets rivalry

“I am hoping, for more sparks, a few verbal, some build up,” Stern said before the NBA lottery in Midtown Wednesday night. “We are going to have two spectacular new buildings in New York City and we are going to have two very aggressively managed teams.”

Maybe, the league now will have two crowds that actually cheer for their home teams. Whenever the Knicks came into a Nets building, whether the Meadowlands or the Prudential Center, the crowd was typically pro-Knicks. The Nets hope all that will change when they go into the Barclays Center. Of course, a winning team sort of helps.

Posted by eric at 7:34 AM

May 30, 2012

NBA Official Calls Ratner & Prokhorov's Arena "Essentially a Community Center." Uh...No.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

A NY Post article about the NBA praying the Nets win the NBA draft lottery on Wednesday night, in hopes of generating more revenue for the league by turning the fortunes of the forlorn franchise, included this quote:

"For financial reasons, [Brooklyn's] hugely important," [deputy NBA commissioner Adam ] Silver said. "In fact, the team is projected to become a revenue sharing payer, instead of a recipient, which makes a big difference. Enormous credit goes to Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov, who are investing roughly a billion dollars in this new, state-of-the-art arena in Brooklyn, which not only will be a fantastic venue for the NBA but will essentially be a community center, as well."

Actually, no, it isn't a essentially a community center, it's essentially a boondoggle and a community headache.

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Posted by eric at 11:35 AM

As NBA lottery approaches, a "big night" for the Brooklyn Nets would be a statistical anomaly--and very good luck (or a conspiracy)

Atlantic Yards Report

"Could be a big night for brooklyn nets," tweeted the ever-optimistic Brett Yormark, CEO of the Nets and the Barclays Center.

He's referring to the chance to land the first pick in the NBA draft, where the clear choice is 6'10" Kentucky star Anthony Davis. It's a longshot even for the team to get a pick, as the New York Post's Fred Kerber explains:

The Nets, who after losing a tie-breaker with the Kings would slot in sixth if form holds — and immediately surrender the pick — have a 7.5 percent chance to land Davis. They will keep their own pick only if the gods of fate decide to place them at one, two (8.33 percent chance) or three (9.36 percent chance). Anywhere else, and the pick goes to Portland through the Gerald Wallace trade.

So the Nets roughly have a 25 percent chance to get a top-three pick, which would be the sixth in their history. Their only pick at present is No. 57 in the second round.

League hopes and conspiracy theories

Then again, stranger things have happened. As the Post's Tim Bontemps wrote:

The NBA will be watching, as well, and maybe secretly hoping it works out that way, too. With the Nets making a highly publicized move to a new city and new arena, it would be far from a bad thing for the league to see a talent like Davis land in Brooklyn.

“With all things being equal, we’d love this team to get off to a good start,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said at last month’s unveiling of the Nets’ new color scheme and logos on the day they officially became the Brooklyn Nets. “We recognize that it’s a zero-sum game in terms of wins and losses in this league, so I don’t root for one team to have a win over another team.

I've heard a couple of people repeat what former star and TV commentator (and admitted conpsiracy theorist) Charles Barkley said last month: the league might be rigging the lottery to ensure that the Nets land Davis:

"I'm going to be very leery if Anthony Davis ends up in Brooklyn. You know, I'm going to be very leery because I know the NBA has a lot riding on that new arena, especially if Deron Williams leaves New Jersey. They didn't get Dwight Howard. I'm going to be very leery if New Jersey gets that number one pick."

There's no proof this has happened before, as Harvey Araton points out.

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NoLandGrab: Harvey Araton can tweet what he wants, but is there anyone who really believes that the 1985 NBA draft lottery wasn't rigged? Sure, it's harder to fix the ping pong balls than the envelopes, but David Stern's a smart guy, right?

Posted by eric at 11:21 AM

May 29, 2012

A Dance and a Dream: Local Women Prepare For Brooklyn Nets Audition

Crunch Fitness provides weekly training sessions for young dancers.

Park Slope Patch
by Paul Leonard

Claire Zcerniuk is ready to show the Nets that she has the all right moves to cheer on Brooklyn's first home team in more than 50 years.

Almost ready, that is.

Zcerniuk, 22, was one of about 40 women taking advantage of a special training class last week at Crunch Fitness in Fort Greene to prepare for the Brooklyn Nets' Open Audition for its all-new dance team at LIU Brooklyn on June 2.

"I'm so happy to have a chance to get a feel for the audition process," Zcerniuk said before beginning to practice the choreography she and an expected 700 other women will be judged on.
...

"It's a big commitment," said [Nets entertainment marketing director Kimberlee] Garris, who as a former Knicks City Dancer should know exactly what it takes to represent a pro-basketball team in front of millions on TV and for thousands of cheering fans.

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NoLandGrab: Fortunately, no Nets Dancer will have to know the pressure of performing in front of "millions on TV."

Posted by eric at 10:18 PM

May 27, 2012

The new Nets look to Brooklyn and the future looks bright

New York Amsterdam News
by Richard G. Carter

Sure, they're coming of a 22-44 season that was a huge improvement from their previous campaign, and their best player is likely to leave through free agency, but never mind that...

These days, the Nets are all-in for Brooklyn, where they will be the first major league team to represent the fabled borough since the beloved Dodgers split for Los Angeles after the 1957 season. Bankrolled by Russia’s flamboyant Mikhail Prokhorov—the richest owner in pro sports—and buoyed by a bold, black-and-white color scheme and the spanking-new Barclays Center, the future is bright.

The Nets’ Brooklyn-bound status was first touted in a huge, 80-by-60-foot Deron Williams’ billboard in Times Square. Much like Jason Kidd, Williams is a game-changing, All-Star playmaker who makes everyone better.

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NoLandGrab: And when WIlliams joins Kidd in Dallas for the 2012-2013 season, the Mavericks will be looking to regain their elite status.

Posted by eric at 8:34 AM

May 23, 2012

So You Think You Can Dance? Prove It Next Saturday

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]

The Nets may be the doormats of the National Basketball Association, but their courtside dancers are second to none. And on Saturday, you get a chance to audition for the big time.

The Crunch Fitness-sponsored dance team will entertain at all Brooklyn Nets home games at the soon-to-open Barclays Center — and there may even be some international travel (perhaps if the Nets finally lose last place).
...

Nets dance team auditions at the Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center at Long Island University, 161 Ashland Place between Willoughby Street and DeKalb Avenue, 11 a.m., June 2. For information, visit netsdancers.com.

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NoLandGrab: Just be forewarned — you may be subject to ogling by Dennis Holt, but at least you won't have to worry about Jim Stuckey any more.

Posted by eric at 10:18 AM

May 18, 2012

How To Fix the Nets

The Epoch Times
by Dave Martin

The New Jersey Nets ended out their last season in the Garden State with a 22–44 record, good for last place in the Atlantic Division, while finishing their fifth straight season without a playoff appearance.

Not much went right for the team that will be calling Brooklyn’s Barclays Center its home next season.
...

All in all, the Nets have some good players [NLG: ?!!!], but aren’t yet a good team. Here are three keys to them competing next year...

Read on for the prescription, which has something to do with spinning straw into gold.

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Posted by eric at 10:01 AM

May 16, 2012

NBA Mock Draft 2012: Our Dark Basketball Overlords

The Basketball Gods are not nearly as benevolent as you think. If they get their way, the NBA Draft will look a lot like this.

SBNation.com
by Tom Ziller

SBNation speculates about how the NBA draft could shape up if the cruel basketball gods have their way — or if David Stern & Co. rig the draft so the #1 pick goes to their brand-new Brooklyn franchise.

Think of The Basketball Gods as cruel pranksters, mischievous dalliers who seek to inflict pain on the unholy and maximize schadenfreude in the execution. (Basically, think of them as the actual Greek and Norse gods you learned about in middle school.) What tricks will they have in store for us in 2012? Let's make some predictions. Let's mock.

Note: this is not the actual draft order, only the most cruel but legitimately possible draft order according to my assessment.

1. BROOKLYN NETS: ANTHONY DAVIS

Why would The Basketball Gods give Brooklyn the No. 1 pick?

  1. The Basketball Gods have abandoned Portland, who gets this pick if it's not top three.
  2. Bruce Ratner leveraged this team to gentrify/destroy a neighborhood, basically. Mad black hat swag.
  3. Jay-Z not only has sway over young players, but holy spirits. Game recognize game.
  4. Mikhail Prokhorov. See Bullet No. 3.

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Posted by eric at 12:17 PM

May 8, 2012

Why the NBA Loves the Brooklyn Nets (and Why Bruce Ratner's Now Talking Up Hockey)

The Classical
by Norman Oder

Surely Adam Silver, the lean and confident NBA Deputy Commissioner, wasn't the star guest at the Brooklyn Nets' big branding/sporting goods reveal last Monday, held at a Modell's big box store catercorner to the in-construction Barclays Center arena, whose motif might be dubbed "rusting tortoiseshell."

There was developer Bruce Ratner, introduced with imperial genuflection as "a man who has led the renaissance of Brooklyn." There was wind-up booster Marty Markowitz, the man who turned the Brooklyn Borough Presidency into a crusade to restore wholeness to his 12-year-old self, devastated by the Dodgers' departure.

There was goofy giant Brook Lopez, who got to play spokesmodel for the (not quite) Hova-designed Brooklyn Nets ballcap.

And there was Brooklyn Nets/Barclays Center uber-marketer Brett Yormark, the guy who claimed he'd never heard of P.T. Barnum, who finally sounded like he believed what he was saying: "The Brooklyn Nets are finally part of the conversation."

But if Yormark is marketing the heck out of the ineffable authenticity of the borough--"Brooklyn will become a chant," the advertising now claims--Silver surely will compound the relentless commodification.

"Brooklyn is of course a global city," Silver declared, "and in many ways parallels the NBA. Our games are seen in over 215 countries, and televised in 47 languages, plus Brooklynese"--a jocular dig at Markowitz--"so there's a perfect fit between Brooklyn and the NBA."

Well, Silver was exaggerating that list of countries--the league more precisely claims "215 countries and territories"--but make no mistake, the NBA must be salivating over a brand that can sell globally. The (New Jersey) Nets sure didn't.

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Posted by eric at 1:06 PM

May 6, 2012

Learning from Keith Haring: "Obey" from Ratner, #HelloBullshit, #GoodbyeBrooklyn, Nets/Crooklyn, and the critique of commodification

Atlantic Yards Report

Visiting the Brooklyn Museum last night for an exhibition on artist Keith Haring's early work, I was reminded how Haring made a practice of drawing on the temporarily unused advertising panels in New York City subway stations.

In the subway, his personal, open-ended images alongside a blitz of corporate advertising made an implicit statement about the role of corporate culture in shaping the urban environment.

Well, what was an outlaw critique is now iconic fare for a museum.

The commodification of the Nets

Given such precedent, perhaps we should take more seriously the artistic/satirical responses to the relentless commodification of the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center.

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Posted by steve at 10:43 PM

Forget Rap... I Work Construction Now

TMZ

Wait, are we sure that isn't Michael Dukakis?

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Posted by eric at 10:17 PM

May 3, 2012

Taste Test: Comparing Brooklyn Water to ‘Brooklynized’ Water

Grub Street New York
by Norman Oder

In March, we first learned the official water of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn would be produced by the Original Brooklyn Water Bottling Company … which is based in Boca Raton, Florida. The water itself is "Brooklynized," which the company says is marketing schtick a process that makes the water taste more like water that's actually from Brooklyn. I managed to get my hands on some and took to the streets of Kings County to see if the borough's residents could tell the difference between the bottled stuff and New York City's beloved tap, and to find out which one they preferred.

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Photo: Tracy Collins

Posted by eric at 3:04 PM

Nets Fans Line Up to Be First for Brooklyn Merch

View from Couch
by Ben Couch

Two of the first three people on line for the launch of Brooklyn Nets merchandise on Monday weren't from Brooklyn.

Yes, Nets fan Rob Gorman arrived at the Atlantic Avenue location of Modell's Sporting Goods at 2:30 a.m. His plan was to show up at 6, but awake late and beginning to worry he might not crack the first 100 customers - the number promised a ticket voucher for two tickets to Opening Night at Barclays Center – Gorman hopped a late-night ride on the N train from Astoria.

Popping out at the Atlantic Ave.-Pacific St. station, he settled into a portable folding chair. One train, one hour: an easier commute than trekking into New Jersey via two transfers.

"I became a Nets fan when I found out they were coming to Brooklyn," Gorman said. "I was originally a (New York) Knicks fan. I didn't fully switch, but the Brooklyn move is what got me here."

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Posted by eric at 11:19 AM

May 2, 2012

Second day reactions to Nets branding: the "borough is the message" and "going the nostalgic route with something that has little actual heritage"

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder rounds up more opinions about the Brooklyn Nets branding scheme.

I'm catching up on some second-day coverage of the Brooklyn Nets branding rollout Monday, April 30.

In Day One of the Brooklyn Nets Went Well, New York magazine's Will Leitch noted the "friendly little coincidence" that the team's brand identity launch "happened to coincide with one of the worst Knicks days in recent memory."

He noted, as I should have stressed, that the line outside Modell's was driven not merely by excitement about new logos and merch but by the giveaway of 100 free tickets to the home opener.

Leitch agrees that the simple fact of "Brooklyn"--as with the Brooklyn Cyclones--means people will wear the merch. He adds:

The problem, of course, is that you only get to do this once. We enjoyed the "No Sleep Till ... " and "Brownstone Ballers" T-shirts, and we enjoyed the "shoes hanging off a telephone pole" motif, along with the general good vibe, 'cause hey, how couldn't you? (Whatever your issues with Bruce Ratner and the nefarious ways this project was put together are, there is something viscerally exciting about having a basketball team in Brooklyn, at a base level.) But the Nets' plan, considering how bad the team is and how unlikely they are to sign Dwight Howard or keep Deron Williams, is to simply sell Brooklyn itself; the borough is the message.

And, he warns:

And the Nets only get to sell Brooklyn for so long; eventually they have to sell themselves. Right now, they're not close to that.

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Posted by eric at 11:14 AM

Predicting the Brooklyn Nets' Starting Lineup for Inaugural Season

Bleacher Report
by Ethan Norof

Nothing says cool like a starting lineup that substitutes Goran Dragic and Ersan Ilyasova for Deron Williams and Dwight Howard.

Although [Nets GM Billy] King wants to re-sign Wallace, D-Will, Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries, it's unlikely that there will be enough financial flexibility to accommodate all of those goals.

Incredibly, 11 of 15 players on this season's Nets roster are poised to become free agents, and the 2012-13 starting lineup might look a little different than some are expecting.

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Posted by eric at 11:08 AM

Are The Nets Becoming Cool?

NetsDaily

Bruce Ratner was not cool. We doubt even Bruce would argue that! But Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z. Well, Hello Brooklyn! The Most Interesting Man in the World and Empire State of Mind! There has never been as cool an ownership in American sports. Nev-vuh.

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NoLandGrab: Sorry, but we don't take our cool cues from this guy. And nothing says cool like losing 77% of your games over the past two seasons.

Posted by eric at 11:00 AM

May 1, 2012

Brooklyn Nets Season Tickets Now On Sale

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]

What, no reports of people being trampled in the rush for Brooklyn Nets tickets?

Fresh from unveiling the team’s new old-school look, the Brooklyn Nets started selling season tickets for the inaugural 2012-13 season today at 8:30 a.m.

The team was 22–44 in its last season in New Jersey — good enough for last place! — so in a statement, the Nets touted the “affordable prices” of the season ticket packages.

“Fifty percent of all season tickets are $55 or less [per game], 38 percent of season tickets are $35 or less [per game], and lower-level season tickets start at $65 [per game],” the team said in a statement.

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NoLandGrab: Sounds like a rip-off to us.

Posted by eric at 9:42 PM

Brooklyn Nets Sports Entertainment Corporation Claims to Believe "Neighborhood is Family"

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

Phew, are we glad they added "New York" to the round one which will be on center court, wouldn't want to confuse it with Brooklyn, Michigan or Brooklyn, Kansas. Perhaps a "718" next to the B is in order too.

The Nets new logo was leaked last week and officially revealed this morning at a press event at Modells (the supposed future site of a 25-story Atlantic Yards tower.) Oddly, the purported designer of the logo, Jay Z (yeah right), chose the Raiders' colors and shield, the Spurs' colors (minus the gray/silver) and even odder chose Freddy's colors albeit it with a much less appealing and ornate crest.

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Related content...

NY Post, Nets unveil new black-and-white Brooklyn look

Pinocchio delivers the Nets' logo creation myth.

The inspiration behind the black and white color scheme, a radical departure from the red, white and blue the team has featured for decades, came from minority owner Jay-Z.

“He came to me with a story he thought we should tell,” Yormark said.

Posted by eric at 10:40 AM

The Brooklyn Nets: I Call Technical Foul

Brand New

Whether Jay Z opened up Adobe Illustrator and set the type on a curve himself or not remains a mystery but one thing is for sure: the logo family is technically worthless and embarrassing. The “NETS” typography on the primary logo is conceptually uninspired — if the identity is meant to convey Subway signage, where is the bold Helvetica? — and visually unbalanced with a shift in thicks and thins that is neither obvious enough to look like a Humanist sans nor non-existent where it would be a Geometric sans. My design bullshit-o-meter thinks that it might just be an horizontally scaled version of Akzidenz Grotesk Condensed, which makes an appearance in “BROOKLYN” in the primary logo and the “B” inside the basketball, which has its own kind of thick and thin lines that bear no resemblance to the type or the strokes in any of the logo versions. If the secondary logo looks familiar it might be because another Brooklyn institution, Brooklyn Brewery, has a big “B” inside a circle with type on a curve above and below it. (The type in this secondary logo is so spaced out you could fit the egos of all the Nets owners in between.) The overall effect of the logos is painfully close to the recently popular and painfully accurate Hipster Branding.

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Posted by eric at 10:29 AM

April 30, 2012

The Brooklyn Nets can scrub hard, but the Jersey won't come off

Mere hours after the New Jersey Nets' final Garden State home game last week, the team made a thorough and final disappearance from Newark's Prudential Center.

Capital New York
by David Roth

The Nets will not bring much to Brooklyn, besides novelty and hope: The current team is lousy almost by design, stripped to ease the so-far-futile pursuit of high-end free agents. The idea was to pair point guard Deron Williams, a dynamic playmaker acquired in a blockbuster deal late last season, with disgruntled Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.

That deal didn't happen. Howard has an injured back and a new reputation as one of the N.B.A.'s foremost and most grandiose ego-monsters, and Williams is reportedly eager to leave the organization for less-dysfunctional climes, seemingly heedless of the fact that the Nets new arena is a short walk from both the Brooklyn Museum and Al Di La. Without Williams or Howard, it's no exaggeration to say that the Nets could be the N.B.A.'s worst team when they tip off in Brooklyn next year.

Of course, the Barclays Center—the Nets’ taxpayer-aided new arena, looming like a crashed U.F.O. over brownstone Brooklyn and above the old Atlantic Yards—is not exactly a Craigslist share off the Morgan stop on the L Train. There is that viral billboard campaign and all that Yormark marketing, and there is the chance that the team could snag a franchise-defining star in the N.B.A. Draft lottery. But mostly the Nets arrive in Brooklyn as naked and helpless as any hopeful, hopeless New Jersey emigrant.
...

It would be nice to wish them luck, I suppose. But New Jersey people—even those of us who have tentatively made it here, and love the place—have a thing about forgetting where we come from, and a special scorn for the sort of self-exile who instantly calls himself a New Yorker. We hear the accent, and the lie in it. Everyone else can, too. It's a hard one to shake.

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Posted by eric at 11:10 PM

At the "the brand identity launch of the Brooklyn Nets": new merchandise, global reach, "Community Week," and the continued invocation of Jay-Z

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder files the definitive report on the today's Brooklyn Nets merchandise-a-thon.

It was about Brooklyn, but it was, of course, about business: logos, t-shirts, hats, and other Brooklyn Nets merchandise at the Modell's across from the in-construction Barclays Center arena.

In a press conference/pep rally this morning, before the press and Nets-related staffers, MC David Diamante introduced what he called "the brand identity launch of the Brooklyn Nets."

The black-and-white logos had already emerged, though other "secondary marks" were new, such as the "Brownstone Ballers, "Brooklyn's Finest," and "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" shirts.
...

Beyond the merch: tickets

Substantial if not overwhelming crowds--well over 100 people--lined up for Nets' merchandise outside Modell's (below right photo) and on the Atlantic Terminal plaza to buy season tickets--before either of the lines actually moved.

A larger group lined up to shoot free throws and get a chance at a Community Week t-shirt.

The numbers were likely diminished because it was a work day. The Nets put 1000 season tickets, at all price points, up for sale to Brooklynites.

"Screecher seats"?

How many of the $15 seats, of which there should be 2,000, were for sale? Nets spokesman Barry Baum said people could buy at whatever price point they chose.

Would the much-promised $15 screecher seats be available as single-game tickets or solely as season tickets? Baum said, "At this point, we haven't determined [it]."

Click through for much more, if you have the stomach.

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Posted by eric at 11:01 PM

In Hapless Nets, Hope for Jilted Borough

The New York Times
by Joseph Berger

Though the Nets, who are moving to the borough after playing basketball the last 35 years in New Jersey, have a well-earned reputation for haplessness, those celebrating their arrival made no complaints.

“The curse of O’Malley is officially over today,” declared Bruce C. Ratner, the builder and majority owner of the arena, who orchestrated the Nets’ move before selling most of the team to a Russian billionaire in 2009.

And the curse of Ratner officially begins today.

The question hovering over the event was whether the Nets would be able to fill the 18,000-seat arena. Would the team continue its uninspired play after a season in which it lost twice as many games as it won and remind residents of “Da Bums” of the 1930s Dodgers? Or would it sparkle like the Brooklyn teams of the ’40s and ’50s that won seven pennants and put a lilt of I-told-you-so pride in the steps of its lunch-pail-lugging fans?

The Times takes us out with a bromide:

Jeff Noel, 22, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, who was carrying a half-dozen knit Nets shirts, was excited about the impact on the community.

“A lot of kids will be inspired to play in their hometown of Brooklyn,” he said.

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NoLandGrab: While The Times gave ink to inspiration expert Jeff Noel, they didn't bother to quote a jobs expert, like Bettina Damiani, about last week's Barclays Center jobs sideshow. In fact, they didn't bother to cover it at all.

Posted by eric at 10:50 PM

What Do You Think of the Brooklyn Nets' New Logo? [POLL]

Created by co-owner Jay Z, designs for basketball team unveiled on Monday.

Park Slope Patch
by Paul Leonard

The Nets' new logo is faring a bit better than the old team — but it's still a loser.

According to the Nets, the new logos combine design aspects from the current New Jersey Nets brand with the iconic "B" for Brooklyn—with one version a shield including "Brooklyn" at the bottom, the other with the words, "Brooklyn, New York," surrounding a basketball.

What do you think? Do the new logos "symbolically identify the team with the strength and character of Brooklyn"?

Or do the new designs for the borough's basketball team fall flat?

Click below to take the poll.

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NoLandGrab: Don't quit your day job, Hov.

Posted by eric at 10:36 PM

The New Nets Logo: Black And White and Read All Over

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]
by Joe Stepansky

Mr. Yormark wasn’t the only fan of the design. Aaron Harding, who works at the Downtown Flea Market in Fort Greene, said it is in step with Brooklyn’s unique identity.

“Brooklyn is more innovative now,” said Mr. Harding. “It’s fitting.”

It’s fitting — if you’re a fan of developer Bruce Ratner’s 18,000-seat arena currently rising at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues. The black-and-white logo doesn’t change opponents from seeing red over the basketball facility and the larger residential project that Mr. Ratner was allowed to pursue after the state used eminent domain to evict residents of the arena area and sold him the development rights for a below-market price.

“It’s a horrible ugly stadium,” said Michael Matson, 27, who has lived in Fort Greene for 10 years. “I don’t care about the new colors. Ratner’s a rat.”

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Posted by eric at 10:31 PM

Hello Brooklyn! Branding proceeds! Brooklyn Nets ballcaps cost $26

Atlantic Yards Report

Hello Suckers!

I'll have a lot more from the Brooklyn Nets' branding event later, but first, a fundamental fact: ballcaps at Modell's cost $26.

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Related coverage...

threecee via flickr, Brooklyn Nets Tickets Giveaway + new logo

Who'd drop 26 bucks on an ugly hat like that?

Posted by eric at 1:17 PM

23 Successful People Who Wake Up Really Early

Business Insider

Of course, one should take everything that comes out of the pie hole of Brett Yormark with a grain of salt, given the self-described early-bird's apparent lack of sleep.

The youngest CEO in the NBA told SellingPower that he gets up at 3:30 in the morning in order to get to the office by 4:30. From there, he works out and sends motivational emails to his team.

Those motivational emails appear to be lacking efficacy. Perhaps Yormark should try these.

He takes it easy on the weekends, arriving at the office by 7 a.m. instead.

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NoLandGrab: Yormark's alleged routine sounds downright lazy compared to George H.W. Bush's — which might explain his one-term presidency.

Photo: Crain's NY Business

Posted by eric at 11:23 AM

Yormark: Jay-Z is "creator" of new logo; promotional video claims "neighborhood is family and loyalty never goes away"

Atlantic Yards Report

Jay-Z, apparently is the "author" and "creator" of the new Nets' logos, Brett Yormark, CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center, told CNBC's Darren Rovell in a live interview. [NLG: CNBC is Yormark's go-to outlet for softball interviews.]

I wouldn't bet that the hip-hop star/entrepreneur/producer/"cultural icon" really drew it up, rather than helped choose from competing suggestions. Yormark called the black-and-white motif a major change from the red, white, and blue of the previous logo, and noted it was the only black-and-white one in the league.

One logo is a shield containing a basketball and the letter "B." The other is a circle with a "B" on a basketball, ringed by "Brooklyn" and "New York."

Yormark, asked by Rovell about principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov's promise of a championship in five years, pivoted and said suites had sold at 75% (really?) and sponsorships were going great.

He didn't specify, but, in late March, Forest City Enterprises reported that "64 percent of forecasted contractually obligated revenues for the [Barclays Center] arena are currently under contract."

Here's the promotional video — the Nets believe "neighborhood is family," apparently; people surely feel better when their brother trumps up a blight study and their mom drives the bulldozer that knocks down their (former) home.

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Posted by eric at 11:06 AM

POLL: Brooklyn Nets' Takeover

SB Nation
by Tom Ziller

The Oakland Raiders Brooklyn Nets are officially revealing their "new" logo today.

It did not take long for the Nets to push forward with their new identity, which is the smart thing: they weren't getting any more mileage out of their Jersey-focused brand. As of Monday, it became All Brooklyn Everything for the club as the team unveiled their logos, colors and fan gear ... everything except the jerseys.

The one on the right will be at center court at Barclays Center, per CNBC's Darren Rovell. The Nets will also be unique in another way: They are the only NBA team whose colors are solely black and white.

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NoLandGrab: Whatever one thinks of the jerseys, sending opponents to the free-throw line more often really won't help the already woeful Nets.

Posted by eric at 10:54 AM

New-look Nets open for Brooklyn business

NY Post
by Tim Bontemps

Hello, Brooklyn!

At midnight, the Nets officially ended their 35 years in New Jersey and became the Brooklyn Nets, finally completing a move that has been several years in the making.

“It’s very exciting to be moving on and heading to [Brooklyn],” said Brook Lopez, who will be among those on hand when the team officially unveils its new color scheme and logos this morning at an event near its new home, the Barclays Center. “I’m very anxious. ... I’d love to get it started right now.

“I think it’s something that’s going to have a ton of new energy, great energy, and something many people are going to want to be a part of.”

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Posted by eric at 10:49 AM

Nets Lose Mostly Meaningless Coin Flip, Ensuring Franchise Will Probably Suck Forever

NetsAreScorching
by Devin Kharpertian

The Brooklyn Nets lost a coin flip to give one of 1,000 combinations of ping pong balls to the Sacramento Kings, confirming to the world that the franchise is a complete and abject failure, and that no fan should ever have any reason to root for such a pathetic team.

In dropping from the juggernaut 7.6% odds of winning the lottery to the pathetic 7.5%, the Nets guaranteed that Anthony Davis will never play for the team, Deron Williams will bolt for Dallas, Brook Lopez will tear both his arms off at the shoulders, Billy King will trade Atlantic Avenue for DeSagana Diop, and the team’s practice facility will spontaneously combust on the eve of the team’s first preseason game.

Upon hearing the Nets now have just a 25.3% chance of keeping their pick (as opposed to the once-possible 25.4%), Mikhail Prokhorov immediately sold the team back to Bruce Ratner for an iPhone charger and two pairs of XXL sweatpants autographed by Kerry Kittles.

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Posted by eric at 10:45 AM

April 27, 2012

Yup, This IS The New Brooklyn Nets Logo

Gothamist
by Ben Yakas

During this morning's Barclays Center jobs press conference, everyone was whispering about the new logo, a photograph of which was circulating yesterday. Although Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz wouldn't comment on it directly ("I don't know, we'll see"), our sources confirmed that it is indeed the logo. As for the team keeping the Nets name, Markowitz said he wasn't that concerned: "As long as the first part of the name is Brooklyn!"
...

The Nets will officially unveil their Brooklyn "brand identity" Monday at 10 a.m. at Modell’s Sporting Goods across the street from Barclays Center.

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Posted by eric at 12:36 PM

April 25, 2012

The Perfect Name for Brooklyn's Team

The Wall Street Journal
by Jason Gay

The Nets are done with Jersey. That is that. They wrapped their final semester-at-sea in Newark with a stinker loss to Philadelphia Monday; Net-loather Chris Christie did not wander out to mid-court and warble Elvis Costello's "I Hope You're Happy Now"; there was no high-speed, 50-Ferrari trooper escort to the Verrazano Bridge. They have a road game left at Toronto, but the Nets belong to Brooklyn. Time to blow out the beards, guys. Grow them fuzzy and 19th century.

I am panicky about this team. They're going to be playing down the street, so I want them to be fun, but they're not very good, and they may lose their best player, Deron Williams, to free agency. The Nets will get a honeymoon in Brooklyn but it may be brief. If the team is a stink-bomb it will turn into the worst kind of smart-alecky joke; there's too much happening in this borough for fans to stay loyal through years of misery.

But right away, there's something else that these Brooklyn Nets are bungling and it has to be said.

The nickname has to go.

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Posted by eric at 11:30 AM

April 24, 2012

#HelloBrooklyn: get used to new Nets tag line and promotional phrase

Atlantic Yards Report

Goodbye, New Jersey...

After all the hype in the last few days regarding the Nets' last home game in New Jersey (they still go on the road), after that game, the Nets moved directly into Brooklyn mode.

The graphic at right appeared on the Nets' web site, and Nets/Barclays CEO Brett Yormark and others began tweeting with the #HelloBrooklyn hashtag.

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Posted by eric at 11:51 AM