After three years of having season tickets in New Jersey to see the Nets continually let me down, this past week I went to Brooklyn with a few members of the NBAtoday.net staff to see the Brooklyn Nets – which as it turns out isn’t even the same franchise that nauseated me all this time.
The trip all started from NJ, as T-Money and I took an NJ Transit train to Penn Station in NYC. There we waited for G and The Basher and began our subway ride to Brooklyn. It didn’t take too long, but luckily it wasn’t a packed subway train which made the ride as comfortable as a subway ride can be. Then again, maybe our subway car was empty around us because we were annoying, nevertheless.
As we walked out of the subway station (which was obviously new because the walls were white, literally), you could see the giant glow of B then A then R then C as you walked up, until the panoramic view of BARCLAYS CENTER was complete. Not gonna lie, that was pretty cool.
We got there pretty early and were waiting for our boy Z anyway, so we grabbed some food at a local Chinese food establishment. Afterwards, we headed to the Modell’s store across the street from the arena to get some reasonably priced BK Nets gear. Three of us ended up buying the exact same shirt, which was basically the only non-hipster shirt in the store.
And that is where I get into my main point of this post. In moving the team to Brooklyn from New Jersey (only about 20 miles from where the Nets previously played for decades) there was one main goal – change the culture of who and what the Nets were to what they want them to be. Forget the past, pretend this is a brand new franchise, an expansion team. The first basketball team from Brooklyn, not the last basketball team to play in New Jersey.
I was skeptical if they could manage to pull this off so soon. It’s hard to erase losing, lameness, having no fans, and even harder to generate interest and excitement when those previously mentioned variables were in existence. But gosh darn it, they pulled it off.
Other than a few hold over players (the good ones), the roster is different. The logo is different. The court looks different. The mascot is different (RIP Sly & Mini Sly). I’m surprised they even chose to keep the name ‘Nets’. I guess they didn’t wanted it to be ambiguous enough to stay hipster and non-mainstream.
It does bother me that the team wanted to move from New Jersey, but I understand the opportunity they saw. But they thing that really annoys me is that they actually were able to pull off this 180 from being nearly non-existent in the league to being a team to watch for now and in the future.
Then again, I guess winning helps, which is something that they’ve been able to do thus far, and they did on Sunday versus Portland when we were there.
P.S. – I gotta say, the coolest thing about this whole ordeal has to be the ‘BROOKLYN’ chant that comes up every so often. I’d like to see that being some kind of taunting feature down the road.
Also, I dont upload videos to Youtube, but if you want to get a video I took of the game ending,