From man to brand
And so Brooklyn welcomes another pioneering athlete.
Today, it is Jason Collins, a member of the Brooklyn Nets and now the first openly gay player to compete in one of country’s four most popular sports leagues. Nearly 70 years ago, of course, it was Jackie Robinson who came to Brooklyn and made history with the simple but courageous act of putting on a Dodgers’ uniform.
Nothing but nets
Carmelo Anthony and a Hasidic Jew walk into an elevator. This is not a joke. We are in the lobby of the Jack Resnick & Sons-owned offices at 199 Water Street, and this elevator is going up.
Minutes later, on the 19th floor, Anthony is standing at the spot foreign exchange desk of BGC Partners, a voice and electronic brokerage, holding a landline to his ear, conducting financial transactions.
“Ninety-two bid, 10 euros,” the six-time All-Star says into the phone. “We’re working on it.”
Blast From The Past
When the Nets moved to Brooklyn last year, I assumed my days as a Knicks fan were numbered. With their fancy new starship arena—which is home to some of the borough’s best eateries and is conveniently located near Atlantic Terminal’s Target and Guitar Center—the Nets would be like my white knight, whisking me away from the ongoing abusive relationship of rooting for a James Dolan-owned NBA team.
After over a decade playing and coaching in other cities, Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing might have a shot to return to New York, the home where he spent fifteen seasons building his Hall of Fame career with the Knicks. However, the speculation surrounding Mr. Ewing doesn’t involve his old team, it is centered on the Knicks’ new outerborough rivals, the Brooklyn Nets, who are in the midst of a sudden makeover of their coaching staff and could have newfound room for Mr. Ewing on their bench.
Sportswriter Jake Appleman has inked a deal with Scribner to cover the Brooklyn Nets debut season. Mr. Appleman has written about basketball news and basketball tips for The New York Times, NBA.com, Vibe and NBC Sport and is a senior writer at SLAM magazine. Mr. Appleman tweeted the news this afternoon.
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An Arena Grows in Brooklyn
The new Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn has become a reality after nearly a decade of discussion, debate, compromise—and hard work. The neighborhood, the borough and indeed the entire city will reap the project’s benefits for decades to come. Developer Bruce Ratner deserves congratulations for his determination and his vision, now realized.
The centerpiece of Mr. Ratner’s arena is, of course, the Brooklyn Nets, which will become the borough’s first major-league sports team since the Dodgers left after the 1957 baseball season. But the Barclays Center is more than just another state-of-the-art playground for great athletes. It’s also a world-class concert venue, as Jay-Z will demonstrate with a week of concerts to celebrate the opening, beginning Sept. 28. And it will play host to the work of local artists who will celebrate and commemorate the borough’s history and culture. Three commissioned works are in the final stages of installation, with more to come.
An Arena Grows in Brooklyn
Welcome to the grand opening of the Barlcays Center—through the Calvin Klein VIP entrance, past the American Express box office and into the Geico atrium—the sometimes home of the Brooklyn Nets. Because in truth, this is the bank’s home and everybody else are its guests. Today it is the press corps’ turn, and we have been welcomed in the grandest of style. Fresh orange juice, hot quiche and chocolate-covered strawberries abound, though none of the twee Brooklyn food that will soon be sold at the very Brooklyn concession stands.
As one reporter mentioned to another, “Remember the good ol’ days?” Would that be when Brooklyn had a team or when journalists could afford their own meals, or even a few sweet years ago, when this was still a hole in the ground, neighbor fought neighbor and the banks were booming?
Barclays and its backers are certainly aiming for a fond nostalgia at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic.
An Arena Grows in Brooklyn
We were actually expecting a lot worse, really. Preliminary renderings showed a giant blue crest and the Barclays name emblazoned beside it, not unlike the huge logos atop the Staples Center in L.A. (and the neighboring Nokia Theater). Instead, the photos revealed yesterday by the WCBS chopper show a small, even diminutive logo that barely dominates the large white roof atop the new SHoP-designed arena.
Could it get any more Brooklyn than Red Hook? From On the Waterfront to that new Spike Lee movie you haven’t seen, the neighborhood is just off the grid enough to keep nostalgic hipsters feeling like they live in some far away place that is anything but Manhattanized (never mind the IKEA and high-end restaurant scene). But just as the Barclays Center has transformed the nexus of Park Slope and Fort Greene (for the worse, at least in certain [fresh] eyes), might a new Nets training facility do the same to Red Hook?
Beleaguered wax-man Kris Humphries has had a rough twelve months. The NBA lockouts had us fearing that he would forever be employed as Mr. Kardashian, until negotiations broke down on that front as well, leaving him booted from Team Kim shortly after their fairytale wedding. (“Fairytale” in the sense that it was entirely made up and in no way based on reality.)
His refusal to sign the divorce papers have lead to an ugly court case, with allegations of cheating, stalking, sex-tape set-ups, and a bunch of other sociopathic behavior on both sides. On occasion, he’s been booed off the court before he could even foul.
But now things are looking up for Mr. Humphries. The Brooklyn Nets (previously of New Jersey) have re-signed the power forward with a two year contract for $24 million.