by Lindsey Beakes
As the seasons change from summer to fall, it means certain things to sports fans: post-season baseball, Sunday and Monday Night Football and, most importantly, the commencement of basketball season.
With the start of the 2012-’13 basketball season less than a month away, the NBA gears up for what some are calling the newest turf war in the sports world.
As the Nets move from the Garden State to the Empire State, critics far and wide have discussed how successful the rebranding of this team will be. Since the establishment of the Mets in 1962, the trend has always been that it proves harder for the less established team to make it big. With the Knicks coming off a successful rebuilding season, can the Brooklyn Nets put up a fight for fans in the Big Apple?
In the past year leading up to the recent opening of the Barclays Center as home to the newest team in the NBA, the Nets have prepared. They have redesigned their logo, built a new state-of-the-art arena and added both depth and talent to their roster.
It is safe to say that despite all of this, the Brooklyn team goes into the upcoming season with only one clear advantage over its competition, and that is the cool factor.
With the brand new and completely accessible Brooklyn arena as home base, the Nets come into the new season in a stylish way. Not to mention the fact that all- star rapper and big-time mogul Jay-Z is a co-owner of the team.
As an artist, Jay-Z is known for the love of his hometown city of Brooklyn, and his push to give that city its own team since the Dodgers departed for Los Angeles in 1957. He has given the new team an already large amount of publicity.
The rapper will put the Barclays Center on the map with a large number of sold-out concerts at the arena this fall.
His first show, and the arena’s first official event, will be this Friday night, a week after the lights were turned on at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The $1 billion dollar, 675,000 square-foot arena will be home to 220 events each year, with the Nets kicking off the preseason against the Washington Wizards on Oct. 15.
At the ribbon—cutting ceremony, it became clear that this was not just any ordinary stadium. The herringbone-patterned court that sports a large black “B” in the center is the only floor of its kind in the NBA. Paired with the original all black lane that leads to the hoop, the Nets’ home court is described as extremely original.
Then there is the decision to make the tickets to the Jay-Z concerts and season games on the inexpensive side, which is a smart move to get the surrounding community more involved in order to build the fan base the Nets will need to compete with the Knicks. Jay-Z also had a large hand in designing the team’s new clothing and logo.
The black and white basic design with the emphasis on the letter “B” for Brooklyn takes the team back to the basic, more urban roots of the sport and helps to create a classic look for a new team.
There is also the strong hip-hop influence in the marketing campaign since Brooklyn is known to be one of the birth places and breeding grounds of the genre and culture.
Jay-Z has had some help with the birth of this team with the help of wealthy Russian owner, Mikhail Prokhorov. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony last week, Prokhorov claimed that after three years of play, this team will have an NBA championship.
The wealthy owner said this with confidence after a productive off-season of team building and roster additions.
This Brooklyn team begins its first season in the NBA with one of the best point guards in the league. Deron Williams will be working with six-time All-Star shooting guard Joe Johnson, who the Nets acquired from Atlanta. Williams has signed a five-year deal with the Nets.
The announcement of this new backcourt from general manager, Billy King, was followed by a lot of excitement. The Nets also have MarShon Brooks who proves to be versatile and talented even in his second year.
As starting power forward, there is Kris Humphries, who was signed to a two-year deal, and will help boast the teams rebounding stats.
Helping round out the frontcourt with Humphries is Brook Lopez, who was also re-signed for another four years this summer. Veteran forward Gerard Wallace also sign a four-year deal and joins the team’s experienced frontcourt.
Despite a questionable meshing of the front and backcourts, what is being called the “Core Four” (Williams, Lopez, Johnson and Wallace) is shaping up to be the most balanced group in the Eastern Conference on paper.
For a team that is up against the odds of a less-than-impressive past couple of seasons and a brand new arena in which to get comfortable in the Brooklyn Nets have the potential to shock the Eastern Conference. No matter what may be against this team in its debut season, it does have these
A famous co-owner with an unprecedented amount of star power who has rebranded the team to fit the Brooklyn lifestyle, a stylish stadium that is both easy to access and afford, plus a sizeable amount of talent put the Brooklyn Nets in a good position to gain a fan base entering the 2012-’13 season.