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Brooklyn love shines through the night

The chant came at the end of the game, with a win on the line. "Broooook-lyn. ... Broooook-lyn," thundering down and filling the sold-out arena. It was the Nets first dose of Brooklyn love and they liked it.

Alex Trautwig

It was a scene that seemed unique to Brooklyn, with its big city/small town dichotomy. There at the corner of Flatbush and Dean, outside a coffee shop that was still open as the clock neared 11, was Marty Markowitz, whose name cannot be spoken with use of the word, "irrepressible." Brooklyn's borough president, dressed in Nets gear ("Fan since day one"), was taking congratulations, explaining various details of the arena, even offering directions!

As people passed by, there were cheers and high fives. Brooklyn is in love. Earlier in the evening, standing at mid-court, Markowitz had pronounced the ghost of the Brooklyn Dodgers finally exorcised. Only a few people in the house besides Markowitz could remember the Dodgers, but still there was a connection, particularly when Nets players and Dodger old-timers exchanged uniform jerseys.

As Joe Johnson, he of Little Rock, AR, said, this wasn't Manhattan or even New York. "It's Broooook-lyn. ... Broooook-lyn," he intoned. Now, it's up to the Nets to return that love.