More than 20 years after John Calipari demanded the Nets owners build a training site, ending years of players showering with truckers, the team is getting ready to move to a brand new facility in Brooklyn's Industry City. In the latest signal that the Nets New Jersey era is ending, the Record reports that the local YMCA will take over the East Rutherford facility after the team departs in February.
The Record reports the Meadowlands YMCA has struck a deal to take over and renovate the Nets' 65,000-square-foot practice facility off Route 17. The Nets building, at 390 Murray Hill Parkway, is across the street from a building the YMCA rents for office space. So it's a win-win for everyone.
Known as the Champion Center, then the PNY Center and now just the practice facility, the building once housed both the Nets basketball operations and business headquarters, but the business operations moved to MetroTech Center, Bruce Ratner's office complex a few blocks from Barclays Center, a couple of years ago.
The Nets took over the warehouse building in the late 1990's after ownership signed Calipari, who insisted on a new facility. The Nets, who practiced in a shabby gymnasium at a North Jersey trucking company in previous seasons, had a facility that rivaled the best in the NBA.
In addition to housing practices, it was the scene of memorable press conferences to commemorate big trades or signings for players like Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Deron Williams. It was a stone's throw from the Brendan Byrne Arena where the team played.
The facility suffered hundred of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in damage during Hurricane Sandy, which just accelerated the team's move to Brooklyn.
Meadowlands Y finds home at Nets practice facility - Linda Moss - The Record