Harvey Araton writes Friday about how Barclays Center, the Nets mesmerizing arena, was a big part of the Nets' recruiting of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
Make no mistake: On the night the N.B.A. draft came to Brooklyn, it was an arena — first and foremost — that drew Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the borough. Barclays Center’s one-year-old shadow has grown quickly, encroaching now on the prime Midtown real estate of Madison Square Garden.
Araton recounts Garnett talking about his first visit to Brooklyn, when he and Pierce dominated a Christmas Day game (and led to Avery Johnson's demise).
On Christmas Day, the Celtics paid a visit. Garnett was casually asked what he thought of the N.B.A.'s newest suite-laden fun house. "Wow," he said. "Phenomenal."
Now, Garnett is part of the Nets and a denizen of Barclays Center. Araton thinks its the turning point.
With one veteran haul, they became the better team in New York, the best team in the Atlantic Division and perhaps a legitimate title contender. All on paper, of course, but still, considering where they were two years ago, the Nets’ growth has been impressive.
- Nets’ N.B.A. Star, Barclays Center, Lures Others - NYTimes.com - Harvey Araton - New York Times