Back in 1974 and 1976, the New York Nets won ABA championships at Nassau Coliseum. Once the team moved to New Jersey, their banners went with them. Then, this hockey season, they suddenly re-appeared near the four Stanley Cup banners won by the Islanders. Brian Erni of SNY Nets snapped a picture of them and tweeted it out. It's not the banners that hang in Barclays Center but replicas.
The Islanders didn't announce the move nor, apparently, did they explain it. But the rationale, as Erni and others have pointed out, is obvious: The Nets/Barclays Center management is now running business operations for the Isles and, this being Brett Yormark, they're looking for any synergies they can find. The Nets see Nassau and Suffolk counties as fertile ground. Despite the history --and the presence of the LIRR's new Atlantic Terminal station across the street from Barclays Center-- only 10 percent of the Nets attendance comes from Long Island, about the same as New Jersey.
The banners are only the latest extension of the Nets eastward. As Erni wrote earlier in the week...
The Islanders kicked off their season this month, and you can feel the Nets’ influence at the Coliseum. All graphics on the scoreboard bear the Nets’ font that had popped up since "A Shift in Power" became their slogan. "Bound for Brooklyn" signs were scattered across the arena, and even though some Long Islanders bemoaned a train ride to the Isles’ exhibition game against the Devils, the majority of the near 15,000 in attendance at that game were Long Islanders. And don’t forget: the Nets have committed to playing a preseason game per year at the revamped Coliseum when Forest City Ratner completes the renovation.
And of course, the Islanders are likely to be wearing an alternative black-and-white jersey at some games whenever they finally move to Brooklyn. Just as the Knicks and Rangers cross-market, so too with the Nets and Islanders.
- What is more fertile ground to expand the Nets base: Jersey or Long Island? - Brian Erni - SNY Nets