Don't believe the hype. October 10th, 1956 was Brooklyn's last home post-season game, but that's baseball. Dem Bums were cool but "Boys of Summer" chatter hides the fact that Brooklyn was once the epicenter of pro-hoops. Unfortunately, that only lasted 'til the mid 1930s but for a while there, several pro teams were based in Brooklyn and all won championships in a league called the ABL.
The ABL was the game's first national pro league although pro hoops was only as big as Arena Football is today. Still, the borough of Kings had several clubs (the Original Celtics who started out on Manhattan's West Side; the Visitations, and the Jewels) who all won titles.
By the mid 1940s there was only one pro team left. That organization had its roots with the Original Celtics. But by the time they moved back to Brooklyn they were known as the Gothams. They weren't very good and when the BAA (now known as the NBA) came along, they were easily usurped by the new league's flagship franchise, the New York Knickerbockers. Overnight the Gothams lost their top players, like Sidney Hertzberg (who later in life joined Bruce Ratner to announce his intentions of buying the Nets and moving them to Brooklyn from inside Junior's Restaurant back in 2003) to the big monied Knicks. Still the Gothams did make the ABL playoffs once. Their one and only home playoffs game took place on March 16th, 1947. They were crushed by the original Baltimore Bullets and disappeared into oblivion a few years later.
Now, you gotta have all kinds of nerdy to know all this. Or at least to know where to look it up. Thankfully, I roll deep. But you don't gotta be a nerd to see a link between the Brooklyn Gothams and the Brooklyn Nets number one fan, Gotham Gooner.
Our Gotham called the Brigade into action for Brooklyn's first post-season basketball home game since the Gothams. It's been 66 years. So with much help from Trippy's artistic eye and great camera work I was able to put together the night's top 66 photos. Actually I miscounted somewhere along the line. There's only 65 photos below but one of them features Alyonka so that's gotta count twice, right?
Either way it was worth the 66 year wait. Except for a couple of off key notes during Jerry Stackhouse's rendition of the national anthem, everything went off flawlessly. The crowd was louder than ever. The blackout and light up wristbands gave the arena a concert feel. Proky welcomed in the playoffs by noting it as a first step. No "happy to be here" Isiah Thomas speeches that Knick fans had to endure in 2004. Right before getting wrecked by the Nets. No corny confetti drops that those same Knick fans had to deal with last year. Right before getting wrecked by the Heat. Even the Brooklynettes were on point while dressing up as modern-day flappers. A good portion of the Brigade, thanks to a section of fans which appreciates passion, was allowed to be on their feet all game long. KoD beat his tambourine, PolaynJap swayed to the beat, NoJersey did his shuffle, and TwigHill led some not so sarcastic chants.
John Forte was brought in for halftime while NI was brought in to sit with the very fans he's spent years mixing it up with. All in good fun of course. With the Nets up by 28, everything was in good fun. Irina coming over to give JLI his long awaited kiss would have been the topper but maybe she's saving herself for tonight's game? Either way, the only doubt for Saturday night was whether we'd all fit inside the cramped 4th Avenue Pub for some post-blowout beers. An outdoor drinking area made that possible too. Trippy pulled a Jeff Spicolli by walking in with two pies for the entire Gotham gang. The least we could do for the dude who made this night possible for so many of us.
Norman Oder, Daniel Goldstein and Patti Hagan made cameos too. During the outdoor celebration they fired coins down at us from the bar's roof. All in good fun, right guys? Actually I kid the members of the opposition. Someone was up there showering us with coins, but from their aim, my guess is that it was a Bulls fan. Or as N1K suggested, maybe a Bull...
Enjoy your photos: