Wednesday, July 18, 2012
To Be or Not To Be... a Brooklyn Nets Fan
i am a new york knicks fan. later this year, the brooklyn nets (formerly the new jersey nets, formerly the new york nets) will be opening up their new basketball arena (barclay's center) in brooklyn, new york, just a few minutes walk from my apartment. after the tumultuous last several days over the knicks failure to re-sign jeremy lin, i am beginning to wonder what it would take (and mean) for me to start rooting for the new cross-town team.
1. location, location, location
the brooklyn nets new arena is located on the corner of atlantic avenue and flatbush avenue. my apartment is located on the corner of atlantic avenue and court street. google maps tells me that the arena is 0.9 miles away and a brisk 18-minute walk.
the new york knicks play in the world's most famous arena, madison square garden. located conveniently above pennsylvania station in the borough of manhattan, it's a 31-minute commute (hopstop.com) from my apartment via the 2/3 (red) line on the new york subway.
the brooklyn nets were once the new jersey nets, the thought of which makes me a little nauseous. however, the were also once the new york nets, playing on long island for about 10 years, which makes me a little happy. as a person who was born in queens, grew up on long island and now reside in brooklyn, i have a very strong connection with this plot of land.
the new york knicks haven't won a title since the early 70s and have made the nba finals twice in my lifetime (in 94 and 99). for the past decade or so, they have been the laughing stock of professional sports under the leaderless pairing of owner, james dolan, and general manager, isiah thomas, which bring me to....
the brooklyn nets are owned by a russian billionaire who went up against vladimir putin this year in his bid to be russian president. the nets are also co-owned by brookyn-based rapper and kanye west mentor, jay-z (i don't know why i mentioned that last part... i think just so colin could think of kanye west).
the new york knicks are owned by a moron and a man whose primary existence is seemingly to frustrate loyal new york sports fans. he also owns the new york rangers and cablevision, the worst cable company ever (time warner sucks too... go verizon fios!!).
the brooklyn nets have deron williams (don't like the way he left utah), brook lopez (can't root for the man), kris humphries (won't root for the man), joe johnson (should never have left the suns) and gerald wallace (he's fun to watch). they were close to trading for dwight howard which would have been very exciting. as is, the current roster is none-too-exciting.
the new york knicks have melo (hated the trade), amare (just wish he wasn't always hurt, about to get hurt or recovering from being hurt), tyson chandler (amazing), jason kidd (i don't root for wife-beaters, especially over-the-hill ones... jk), raymond felton (i'm cool with it), jr smith (show me something), marcus camby (welcome home) and steve novak (why not). i feel like i'm missing someone... more on that later.
i don't love the brooklyn nets, but they do have some charming qualities and some objective characteristics that should lend itself to my affection. it's like when you see two people of the same race in the movies and you just think they should date each other because, in the back of your mind, it just makes sense. whether or not they are compatible is secondary to whether or not they superficially look cute together.
the new york knicks, on the other hand, are like being in a passion and drama-filled relationship that you can't seem to escape. you break up one week, get back together the next. nothing about the two of you makes any sense. you like to go out and eat steak, she likes to stay home and eat tofu. as much as you love them, you hate them the same-it comes from the same place. but after some point (if you're sane) you want to be in a healthy relationship... you want trust and stability, you want respect. after one random awful break-up, you decide that enough is enough and you need to move on. that time is different for everyone.
when i was young (a teenager), there were the knicks and then everything else (in sports). i was a mets fan and a giants fan, but i didn't care much about baseball and the giants played in new jersey. the knicks were everything to me. i followed the 90s knicks as closely as i've followed any sports teams in my life.
but now i've reached a point where i feel like i'm getting abused and shunned every time i put myself out there. last year, the knicks made a very exciting (though they overpaid, in my opinion) trade for carmelo anthony that was based as much, if not more, in making money as it was in winning an nba ring. now, after a very interesting and positive offseason, the knicks and james dolan, specifically, have chosen to spurn winning, once again, not because of money, but because of pride.... their pride, not mine, mind you.
23-year old jeremy lin, the sensational break-out point guard apparently asked for more money from the houston rockets, which the knicks took as a slight. heaven forbid an athlete that is looking to make as much money as they can. the knicks, whose MSG stock increased $600 million (according to nate silver) since lin's debut, have since decided to let jeremy lin sign with the houston rockets.
there is ONLY one way to read this latest series of events... james dolan values his pride more than he values his team, his company and his fans. i don't really care about his company but the other two things are incredibly important to me and my pride. i swore several years ago that i would never give another dollar to the knicks until i saw improvement from the management. perhaps now is the perfect time to just make a clean break of it.