Tonight the Brooklyn Nets hosted and won a thriller overtime game against their East River Rivals the New York Knicks. As a long suffering Knicks fan and a dedicated native Brooklynite I have five points to share about what this means for Brooklyn and Basketball and New York Sports
First, you gotta respect a team that wins on its own ice. The Knicks are 5-0 at Madison Square Garden this year. In the Eastern Conference, only one other team is undefeated in the early going at home: Dreaded Miami.
Second, For Nets, Jets, + Mets fans this game was something to make them smile. After the Jets disgrace recently on the gridiron and the Mets' horrible season OK, that is valid.
Third, I do have a beef with the franchise overall. I still hate the name. They took a lame, stale and generic basketball term and applied it to the most dynamic, exciting, and creative destination in the USA - they could have done better by just naming the team Brooklyn. That is a name I could have gotten behind. NBA fans, REAL NBA fans, support teams based on their players, their geography AND their history. This team seems identity-less. I know, the pundits will say that they now have forged an identity with this win, that they are a gritty defensive minded and timely shot oriented - I'm not buying it.
Fourth, I think that the Brooklyn Nets do a good job with two audiences:
Where last year Jeremy Lin activated a whole legion of non-basketball fans (Asian-Americans, Ivy League grads, etc) the Nets are activating a whole borough of non-NBA fans. This also includes those who have been essentially priced out of Brooklyn but still rep the borough because no place in the world is quite like it.
The other audience that JayZ is pippin' are hipsters and their yuppie pre-hipster gentrifiers. You know who you are, you live in the Clock Tower, or in some other overpriced condo with incredible views. You came to Brooklyn looking for excitement, art, love, and maybe just because Manhattan rents were too high for your banker salary or to justify getting that regular check from your rich folks - either way, you are committed now that the riffraff has been pushed out of the city.
Are you sensing a note of bitterness here?
My fifth and final point: Really, now that they are making money off of the Brooklyn brand can Brooklynites get a little love?
Think about it. All around the world countries make money off of their natural resources. They have oil, gas, copper, you name it. Brooklyn has nothing but its attitude and its name. Now, the Nets and their owners are going to pimp the only thing the borough really has - THEY are making loot off of your swagger Brooklyn!
That is the ultimate con and scam. Brilliant and sad and oh, well, pretty much Brooklyn.
New York 0 - Brooklyn 1--- Tonight was only the beginning.