For a group of NetsDaily posters, it was very agreeable bunch. No debate, no arguing, just a lot of throat-clearing, balls-to-the-wall hooting and hollering, starting before the game but not ending with 0:00 on the clock.
It was about a lot of things Monday night: pride in the team, pride in ourselves, but mostly it was a lot of fun. Where else but Brooklyn could you hear such witty chants as "A-A-R-P" or "Fake New Yorker" and the soon to be classic "Where's My Cupcake?" (Thank you Mills16.)
A lot of reporters, including Marv Albert of TNT and Moke Hamilton of SNY (along with others, it must be noted, inside the organization) thought there would be more Knicks fans than Nets fans in the house, as there had been at just about every game between the teams in New Jersey. Specifically there was the debacle at the end of last season when Knick fans took over Prudential Center, booed every time a Nets player took a foul shot, cheered their favorites on to a win. Such is the privilege of a team wondering into a place from which pride had long departed. An embarrassing if fitting send-off.
Brett Yormark tweeted after that game that it would never happen again, never happen in Brooklyn and people laughed at him ... and not all of them were Knick fans. As if to emphasize the point Monday night, Irina Pavlova was seen in our environs, talking up the fan-base.
And if ever there was evidence needed that this team, this fan base has changed, it was in sections like 230 tucked way up in the corner. There were a few Knick fans who chanted MVP" every time it seems Carmelo Anthony took a breath and predicting a 40-point game for the Nets nemesis. No matter, those of us in black and white were not going to let them spoil it for them.
There would be no let-up in support, no stoic resolve when the Nets slipped behind as they did almost all game. It was all about volume, about shouting and standing and chanting that now famous, goosebump-inducing, rhythmic, pounding "Brook--lyn," until it hurt the vocal cords as much as it hurt the guys in orange and blue near us.
As Avery Johnson said after the game, a knowing smile crossing his face, "Every time some sort of Knick contingent started to cheer, our fans got louder. This is what we've been dreaming about since I've been here. Its a nice feeling. I'm glad we rewarded our fans with a victory. They deserve it."
He was talking about the guys in Section 230. So was another team executive who emailed just one line after midnight, "Barclays Center really became our home tonight."
And in the end, as seconds ticked down, throughout the giant hall, the chant reached its crescendo. "Brook-lyn, Brook-lyn, Brook-lyn," It carried onto the concourse and down the escalator through the main entrance onto the plaza and down the subway and ultimately in our heads, on our trains, in our cars. It was emotional and exhilarating all at once.
Who owns New York? We own New York! Not some entitled bunch who took joy in our losses and beat us about the head with it for far too long.
Yeah, it was great to see Jay-Z and Beyonce' there at courtside again. Not to mention Richard Gere in TWO Nets caps not far away! But Monday night, the Battle of the Boroughs was about a place far from courtside, upstairs two levels, some place blue collar, some place raggedy and rowdy.
We were loud in Section 230 ... and proud.
Special thanks to Bobby Edemeka, aka GothamGooner, who made it happen.