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Jay-Z: "We Did It Again, Brooklyn!"

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via <a href="http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2010/03/12/alg_yards.jpg">assets.nydailynews.com</a>
via assets.nydailynews.com


Bruce Ratner was there, of course. Mikhail Prokhorov wasn't but his top aides were. Jay-Z was there with Beyonce'.  LeBron James wasn't but the hope is that he will be.  Spike Lee and the Rev. Al Sharpton, both born in Brooklyn, were in the house.  And across the street, a small group of protestors tried to drown out the proceedings, leading arena cheerleader, boro president and emcee Marty Markowitz to joke, "Sorry about the noise. Obviously disgruntled Knicks fans".  The ceremony was celebratory and filled with self-promotion.  Embattled Gov. David Paterson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised Ratner for the "thousands of  jobs" he will bring the city.  Paterson even revealed he's been a closet Nets fan since he lived in Long Island during the 1970's, calling the day the Nets sold Julius Erving "one of the worst days of my life...until I became governor".  Bloomberg basically dismissed the six years of protests by saying,  "No one's going to remember how long it took. They're only going to look and that it was done". But Jay-Z summarized the tone of the event best, "We did it again, Brooklyn!"

In an interview with WFAN, Ratner said that Prokhorov has told him "we will win an NBA championship."  The Nets owner added that he hopes Prokhorov will keep Rod Thorn as president of basketball operations and said that while the arena could accomodate hockey, it's unlikely the Islanders will join the Nets at Barclays Center.

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