Saturday, August 11, 2012

Brooklyn Nets: The Hoops of Flatbush Are Almost Home

From the desk of:   THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

The HELLO BROOKLYN Campaign Is Hitting Home.

From Broadway in Williamsburg to Borough Park; from Park Slope to Brooklyn Heights; the Hoops of Flatbush have been introducing themselves to their new neighbors in, and around the Borough of Kings.  Nets hats and shirts are being worn throughout the County.  And the buzz surrounding the team's arrival has fans electrified with anticipation over the first major league game played in Brooklyn; by any league; since that dreadful year of 1957, when Walter O'Malley broke the hearts of two million people by moving the Dodgers to Los Angeles.

Hello Brooklyn indeed, and welcome back!.  It's been a long time coming; fifty-five years to be exact, since professional athletes drew paychecks to represent the denizens of Brooklyn on a major league level.  Finally, in eighty-two more days, Brooklyn's rebirth into the major league professional sports world will come.

Until they swing the doors of Barclays Center open for the first game; most appropriately against the Manhattan Knickerbockers; Brooklynites are continuing to get familiar with their new hardwood representatives.  The 2012 Hello Brooklyn campaign, in my opinion, has been a smash hit.  The Welcome to Brooklyn campaign; although interrupted by the NBA Lock-Out; was received very well.  But once the organization decided upon the logos, and color schemes, the closing campaign leading up to Opening Day has been a resounding slam dunk.

The team's home grown, and iconic minority share owner, Jay-Z, intimated he drew inspiration for the club's scheme from New York City's subway signage.  Upon the unveiling, I immediately embraced the look, which has continued to grow on me ever since.  And at least from the people I'm speaking with, most fans find favor with it as well.  These days, the subway stop servicing Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street now bears the name of Brooklyn's new arena.


I'm #7, Joe Johnson,
Six Time NBA All*Star and lifelong Razorback.

I'm #8, Deron Williams,
Three Time NBA All*Star and father of four.

I'm #11, Brook Lopez,
Twenty point scorer and Batman's biggest fan.

I'm #45, Gerald Wallace,
All NBA Defender and off season fisherman.

Most importantly, all indications are the Nets will be a competitive team immediately upon launch.  And if anyone deserves a billboard looking down upon Flatbush Avenue for making that so, it should be General Manager Billy King.  The prospects of assembling a quality team in time for the Nets' arrival in Brooklyn were looking bleak there for a moment, and getting darker by the day.  In truth, try a year and a half.  That's about how long the organization and Brooklyn had to sweat out the Deron Williams dilemma.

In more current news, the Nets' offer for Dwight Howard was better than what the Orlando Magic received in their four way transaction that shipped the center to Los Angeles.  Whether Orlando converts their newly acquired draft picks and tilts the deal heavily in their favor remains to be seen, albeit much further down the road.  I doubt it though.  The Magic got fleeced.  But who cares?  It turns out, Deron Williams lost interest in that transaction long ago.

Today, a better question is, will Dwight Howard really be happy as a Laker?  We'll find out when and if he re-signs with Club Kobe.  But for Brooklyn, the Howard trade finally brings finality for a guy like Brook Lopez.  He probably had himself an uneasy off-season. I'm sure his new contract made him feel better though.

I said it once, and I'll say it again.  I think the Nets are better off with Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries.  I'd rather have Lopez scoring, and Humphries rebounding separately, than risk having Dwight Howard go down, with say, a bad back (?), and have both those aspects of the game go down with him.  The Nets currently have a lower risk factor should Lopez or Humphries go down. Additionally, I think we'll be seeing greater maturity out of both players, as they will be surrounded by a very different cast of competent team mates now.

At this point, I think the Nets are very well put together.  And by saying that, I guess I should be changing my tact regarding Billy King.  For coming from Philadelphia, I did not like him, what he built there, nor what he accomplished with the Sixers.  I was more disjointed by the fact Rod Thorn worked for them now.  But without a doubt, Billy King has transformed what was increasingly appearing to be a skill-challenged team, into an Atlantic Division contender in time for Brooklyn's first ever tip-off.  He also effectively saved the organization from what could have very easily devolved into a tremendously underwhelming opening act for the team; not to mention for the controversial arena.

Okay, so the Nets are capped-out now, and have no draft picks until the year twenty-whenever.  Everything comes at a price.  Especially in Brooklyn.  However, since assuming the office of GM,  Billy King has since guaranteed the opening of Barclays Center, and the Nets inaugural season in the Borough of Kings will be anything but underwhelming, and that he's not just perpetrating a clever play on names.

Barclays Center;
Groundbreaking Day; March 2010

Summer of 2012:


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