Get A Grip: Brooklyn Wants a Hometown Team

Double Dribble Feb 4, 2004

The Nets are coming to Brooklyn? Bring ‘em on. The Nets and the Knicks competing in the same conference. Jason Kidd vs. Stephon Marbury. This is going to be better than the Yankees vs. the Mets or the Giants vs. the Jets. And it’s certainly way more exciting than possibly being the host of the 2012 Olympics. Like who gives a fuck about field hockey, archery, synchronized swimming and all those other sports that no one ever plays?

Basketball is the people’s sport. And if backwater towns like Memphis, Milwaukee, Sacramento and Salt Lake City can have NBA teams shouldn’t we be allowed to have two? And no, this isn’t going to be like the Lakers and the Clippers when a really lame team moved into a city that already belonged to a team that was a perennial championship contender.

In fact, it’s the Nets who have made it to the NBA finals each of the last two years while Brooklyn has been waiting more than 40 years for a big-league team to return. And guess who is in first place in their division again this year? This should happen. It’s our turn.

Change by its nature is disruptive but that doesn’t always mean its bad. The neighborhood critics say a thousand people are going to be displaced by this. Developer Bruce Ratner says it’s more like 100. So who do you believe? Whatever the number, the folks in Prospect Heights should demand and receive fair compensation from Ratner and the city for their troubles. It should be enough to ensure that they are able to live in some other equally attractive Brooklyn neighborhood. And yes maybe some of the office buildings they’re complaining about should be scaled back. But that doesn’t mean the dream should be scrapped or that these people should be able to put their narrow interests before the greater happiness of two million basketball-loving Brooklynites.

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