In an interview with Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger, Gov. Chris Christie said he hopes the Nets will stay in Newark as long as possible but when they leave, he still thinks the New York area can handle three NBA teams. He notes he required the Nets to give up their territorial rights to the state as part of their deal to get out of the IZOD Center.
"I do think this area, if it had good teams, could support three teams," said the governor. "We support three teams in hockey. I don’t think there’s any reason we couldn’t support three in basketball. So if the Nets do leave — and I’m still waiting for that building to be built in Brooklyn, I’ll believe it when I see it — I think it’s something we should look at aggressively."
Christie also offered to help recruit LeBron James, that he's only waiting for a phone call from Rod Thorn.
Mayor Cory Booker offered much the same sentiment in an interview with Mike Ozanian on Fox Business' Sports Money: "This is a hockey city, yes, but this is a basketball city, heck yeah. When the Nets make their way to Brooklyn in two, three, maybe four years, depending on how long it takes to get built, we want to do what Oklahoma did and say wait a minute, this is one of the most lucrative areas for basketball."
- Politi: Gov. Chris Christie says he's ready to get involved in N.J. sports issues - Steve Politi - Star-Ledger
Hockey's Influence in Newark (Video) - Michael Ozanian - FOX Business