New Jersey Nets ~ Barclays Center and Brooklyn's Future Team.
I don't know many who are willing to call a 24-58 season a resounding success. But in terms of rebuilding the club as they lurch forward towards an Opening Night in Brooklyn, in the Basketball Nets' case, it is just that. Considering they finished with only twelve wins the season before, the team only had one direction to go. But their strides towards success should be described in a broader scope than just by what transpired on the court. The local area has heard more from the Nets over the last year than they have over perhaps the last decade.
Even more so than just Bruce Ratner's original announcement to move the Nets to Brooklyn, Mikhail Prokhorov's arrival on the scene can be said, without a doubt, to have caused a dramatic upheaval in the local Basketball market. Determined and direct competition from Mikhail Prokhorov and the Nets' move to Brooklyn, which is only one season away from being realized, have stimulated the other team in town to enact dramatic changes of their own.
Mikhail Prokhorov kicked everything off with, The Battle of the Billboards, in where Mikhail Prokhorov fired the first shot by placing a advertising mural within blocks of Madison Square Garden. Then twice, the Knickerbockers found themselves in direct competition with the Nets over players. First, they competed for the services of LeBron James last summer, and then at the trade deadline for the services of Carmelo Anthony. Unable to acquire Lebron and losing Carmelo to the Knicks, the Nets quietly dealt for one of the best point guards in the NBA today; Deron Williams. To maximize on their acquisition, the Nets quickly relaunched a new ad-campaign promoting their upcoming move into the five boroughs.
Flatbush Avenue at 8th Avenue.
The construction of the Nets' new arena has also instigated the Knicks' owner to make renovations to his own house in preparation for what will surely become a Battle for the Fan Dollar.
So, it's obvious, direct competition between the teams has already fostered dramatic change that has so far upgraded both Knicks' fan's, and Nets' fan's products and both team's outlooks for the near future.
For them to further upgrade the product on the court, the Nets' are well under the salary cap, and have a surplus of picks leading into the next NBA Draft. New coach Avery Johnson having completed his first season, guided a very young team to a doubling of their win totals from the year prior, while imploring defense and demanding they compete the whole time. Kris Humphries became a monster on the glass. His resigning will be a priority for the club. Brook Lopez established himself as a legitimate NBA scorer. And of course, there are the hopes Deron Williams will extend his contract and lead the Nets into Brooklyn.
The 2010-2011 NBA Playoffs are in full swing. And construction on the arena that Brooklynites hope will one day soon host playoff basketball has been full steam ahead for over a year now. Groundbreaking for Barclays Center took place last year in March. Most work has been concentrated along Atlantic Avenue and 6th Avenue. The first year's construction effort was capped off with Arching Beams over Atlantic Avenue, which caused the arena to start revealing it's personality, as opposed to just being another over sized erector set. View more construction through March 21st, HERE.
As April comes to an end, construction is currently concentrated along Flatbush Avenue
at Dean Street and 5th Avenue.
APRIL 21, 2011
Flatbush Avenue at 5th Avenue and Dean Street; Downtown Brooklyn.