The preliminaries are over, including the opening of his 40-40 Club at the arena, attended by most of the Nets. Sound and light checks are done. Barclays Center opens Friday night with the concert of the year, the first of eight by Jay-Z in his hometown. The long-awaited reveal of the Nets uniform, still shrouded in a (bit of) mystery, will take place during the night as well.
There is more than enough anxiety to go around, more than enough excitement, for this, Shawn Carter's moment. Everything he's ever done has pointed to this night. From Marcy Projects to the stage at Barclays is a hell of a long journey. Expect emotion from him, the crowd, the city. Forget the traffic snarls, the protests, all of it will be forgotten.
The question is, Where Brooklyn at? Right here, right now. "Yeah I think I'm the American dream," Jay-Z said this week. "That whole thing that you could come here and pull yourself up by the bootstraps, like that whole thing what America has always put up to the world that we represent. I feel that. Yes, I've lived that."