Yes, I was outside an arena in Central London, UK, three hours before what was technically scheduled to be a road game for the Nets, and all I could think was: "This is a Home Game".
Entering the foyer leading to the arena, one could immediately notice that there was an outrageous predominance of Nets gear around. Lots of them were Deron Williams’ jersey. Literally, for every fifty people wearing a Nets jersey, there hardly was one wearing a Hawks jersey. A group gathered around the main entrance, and chanted "Let’s go Brooklyn, Let’s go!" every time someone in a Nets jersey entered the complex. Boos and chants of "You are confused!" accompanied one guy entering the arena wearing a Brooklyn jersey underneath a Celtics jacket and trousers.
All in all, one thing was certain: This was going to be a home game. And I was excited.
Two hours before the game, they started letting people in. My ticket said "C2, Row C, Seat 34"; I could tell I had a good seat, but as I showed my ticket to the security officers, and they kept telling me to keep going down, I grew excited. Finally, I was shown my seat. Here I was, on the floor, sitting five feet behind Dominique Wilkins. Ten feet away stood Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel, from YES Network. Twenty feet away, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Mirza Teletovic were shooting the ball. I had a floor seat!
I immediately approached Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel, and, boy oh boy, aren’t they nice and humble. Ian Eagle actually thanked me for my support, and Jim was very friendly and asked me about my country and how I manage to watch games during the night.
An hour and a half later, I had spoken to Dominique Wilkins, Dikembe Mutombo, David Stern, Adam Silver, Steve Smith, Kiki, Rod Thorn, and so on. I let Nets players alone; the game was too important!
It was just a few minutes before the game when I noticed Irina Pavlova sitting in her courtside seat. She knew I was going to be there (thanks to Net Income of course), and as I told here who I was, she left her seat and came to greet me in the friendliest of manners. She thanked me for coming, and we spoke briefly about NetsDaily (that’s right)!
As for the game, the Nets could not have provided me with a better show. As the guy next to me told me, it was a "JOE SHOW"! We do not appreciate enough how strong Joe Johnson is, and how tirelessly he works off the ball. We do not appreciate enough how great Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans are for team chemistry. We do not appreciate enough how Kevin Garnett seems to never stop talking during the game. We do appreciate the hard work Andrei Kirilenko puts in the game, but thought I’d mention it anyway.
On a personal note, few people can comprehend how huge it was for me to, for once, share a Nets win with fellow Nets fans. If that was possible, I am today a bigger Nets fan than I was a week ago. And from what I’ve seen, we’ve got hundreds (if not thousands) of new fans from London after the game. We have truly become a Global team - I witnessed it with my own eyes!
So, thank you Brooklyn Nets on behalf of all Nets fans present at the game. Thank you Irina. Thank you Mikhail Prokhorov. Thank you Net Income for your help. I’ll see you at Barclays’ Center. That’s another promise.