William C. Rhoden, the Times basketball columnist, writes Monday about the Nets and their complicated relationship with the community. Although the team has embraced the borough and there's every evidence the borough has embraced the team, the dissent and anger felt by some is still out there.
Rhoden cites one Brooklynite in attendance Saturday who admits to a "moral dilemma" and quotes the arena general manager, David Anderson, on the need to mend fences.
"There are a lot of detractors with this building," Anderson said. "A lot of people pushed back on this building, so everything we do is under a microscope." Anderson talks as well as about how he's helped employ local residents, citing an example of how he's hired 20 people from one local church.
In a separate interview, Mikhail Prokhorov said he hopes to change critics' minds.
"It's their team. It's a part of the community," he told NBA.com's David Aldridge. "They're our fans, and they're most welcome here. And I'm happy that we can do something together ... So please come to the arena, have fun with the Nets, and I think we'll change your mind."
In fact, the Nets have had less organized opposition to contend with as the arena has become more entrenched in the community. The main protest group, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, has seen its contributions drop precipitously over the last several years and even a news site devoted to protest news has"ceased publication" of daily updates.
- In Packed Opener at Barclays Center, Controversy Is Absent - William C. Rhoden - New York Times