Barclays Pushing Long Island

Mar 7, 2012; Brooklyn, NY, USA; LIU Brooklyn mascot the Blackbird takes a photo during the second half in the 2012 NEC tournament against Robert Morris at the Wellness Recreation and Athletic Center. LIU Brooklyn defeated Robert Morris 90-73 Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

Thursday night, Bruce Ratner made a surprise appearance at the Nassau Coliseum to watch the Islanders and as if by magic was interviewed by MSG's Howie Rose about how the Isles need to stay in New York. Then, Friday, Barclays Center announced that it had reached a wide-ranging deal with LIU that basically makes the Blackbirds the arena's home team. Not bad timing, considering that LIU was about to face off (and lose) in the NCAA Tournament.

The two events may or may not be related. Ratner soft-peddled the Islanders coming to Brooklyn, but said he would certainly welcome them. The LIU deal is (probably) more about Brooklyn than Long Island since the arena is one subway stop from the main LIU campus. Still, don't be surprised if the people who own and run both the Nets and Barclays Center start focusing on the Island, with its 7.5 million people from the Verrazano Bridge to the Montauk Lighthouse.

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