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Brooklyn as phenomenon, not as a team, an arena or a place

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Alex Trautwig

The Nets will play an important game on November 1, their first real game, their first game in their home whites. And while everyone on the Nets side wants to beat the Knicks, some associated with the team see the game as the culmination of what has already happened, the quick (some might say, sudden) and dramatic re-branding.

Rembert Brown of Grantland takes a lengthy look at how that re-branding has developed, noting that the "Nets" brand has become secondary to the "Brooklyn" brand. To be fair to basketball operations, it's complementary rather than secondary. But there is no doubt, the move is about Brooklyn at least much as it is about basketball.

"At times, this seemed like an insurmountable task," he writes of the move. "But somewhere along the line it became clear that the way to achieve this goal was to stare the people square in the face. It had to stop being about the Nets. The sole focus had to be on Brooklyn. BROOKLYN. And once it became about Brooklyn, that's when it got fun.

"The Barclays Center isn't the Field of Dreams. Simply building it wouldn't have ensured anything. But that's not all they did," he adds.