Serious stuff. With Blake Griffin on the line in the third, a group of NetsDaily posters sitting in Section 3 began chanting "Over-rated," which soon the arena joined in. They were there at the invitation of Bobby Edemeka, a successful Wall Street type who paid their way to the game. Griffin proceeded to miss both shots.
Bobby Edemeka is a success on Wall Street. He's a Harvard grad who's worked at Goldman Sachs and Prudential. And earlier this year, he added something else to his resume'. He became a Nets fan. And like everything else Edemeka does, he got into it, realllly into it.
On Friday night, Edemeka spent $4,000 of his own money to buy a row of 20 seats in Section 3 and distributed them to posters on NetsDaily...10 sets of two seats each. He chose the fans he wanted to treat. Not all are "pollyanas," he told us. Some are skeptics but none are unalterably negative. That was his only qualification.
He chose well. It was this new "Loud and Proud" group that started the "Over-rated" chant as Blake Griffin stepped to the line in the third quarter ... and promptly missed two foul shots. It was loud enough that Associated Press mentioned it in its reporting on the game and NBA TV included it in the highlight package. They also began the "Reg-gie Evans" chant that lifted the arena. Evans took note of it after the game, saying, "That just shows that they appreciate blue-collar players, appreciate hard work. And sometimes you don’t have to be the scorer or the franchise player to get that from a crowd.” (Of course, Irina Pavlova learned of all this, visited the group, got them on the Daktronics screen late in the game.)
Why did he do it? We asked and here's what he told us in an e-mail...
As a Brooklyn native who loves his hometown, having the Nets and Barclays Center in Brooklyn is just huge to me. Even though I think the crowd energy at Barclays has been very good at times, there have been noticeable lulls, too; I think large parts of the crowd are there because they want to support their borough and want to get more involved but are still trying to figure out what the Nets are all about. For example, right now, I think it's easier to get the crowd going with a "Lets Go Brooklyn" chant than "Let's Go Nets" because the emotional connection with the Nets isn't strong enough yet for these new fans. My intent with buying the group tickets for the Clippers game is to help foster an even more vocal environment -- with a little helpful direction, I think the crowd will respond (at least, I hope so!). And hopefully this will be start of future NetsDaily member group ticket purchases at Barclays!
Nicely done, Bobby, nicely done.