They cut the ribbon and opened the doors to their new home. And what a home it is.
For years, this Nets organization had no place they could truly call their own. In the beginning, they set up shop across the Hudson River in Teaneck, N.J., and were named the New Jersey Americans. It was the ABA home of our own Bruce “Cousin Brucie” Spraggans and other local stars from the city.
But they were soon on the move to the Big Apple, where, over a dizzying number of years, they became the New York Nets at Island Garden Arena in West Hempstead at Nassau Veterans Memorial, as well as calling home Commack Arena. Then came the move to Continental Airlines/Brendan T. Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. Their final home across the river in Jersey was the Prudential Center, where the New York Liberty now play.
The shopping area around and inside Barclays Center is spectacular, rivaling almost the shopping center adjacent to the Garden and the 34th Street area. We should call time-out to note that, yes, it’s going to be a great rivalry on and off the court, and a great rivalry between the promotional departments of both organizations.
There’s enough attractions that will now keep folks from subwaying to Manhattan and the great shopping areas surrounding the Garden. However, in the long run–the very long run–both organizations will make our city proud. Believe! It’s a slam dunk for both franchises.
This is what President Obama is talking about–creating jobs. Over a thousand, mostly local, people from communities around the borough of Brooklyn are clocking in as we write at Barclays. Thousands more will clock in when the games begin at the Garden and at Barclays. You may call it a rivalry, but I call it a blessing, as Bill Moore and I watched the scores of young and elderly of all complexions on the job at Barclays. Yes! It’s an inter-city blessing and a slam dunk for both organizations.
Both the Garden and Barclays are paving the way, as they should.