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Concern over dropoff in attendance

Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images

Until last week, the smallest crowd at Barclays Center --capacity 17,732-- was for the third game of the Nets first season in Brooklyn, 14,017. But chalk that one up to natural disaster. It was not long after Hurricane Sandy devastated the city.

Then, last Monday vs. the Bucks and Jason Kidd, the Nets played before a mere 12,756. There was no natural disaster to blame this time. The disaster was on the court.

Brett Yormark said he's not that concerned.

"Well, we had a lot of no-shows," Yormark said in an interview last week with Andy Vasquez. "And we had a Monday night [game] and it was against Milwaukee, with all due respect. And I don’t anticipate there being many nights like that. I really don’t. I look at the pre-sale numbers — we’re in great shape. But it was a disappointing night."

But to suggest Yormark has no concerns would be wrong. According to several insiders, the supposedly hard-nosed businessman is upset, personally as well as professionally, with the Nets start.  He IS as much a fan as he is CEO. Ask the Brooklyn Brigade. Of course, as the marketing guru, he tries to put a spin on things.

"This is a bit of a transitional year," Yormark told Tim Bontemps Wednesday before the Nets broke their 0-for streak with a win over the Rockets. "And from my perspective, this year is about showing promise, and showing what the future can look like.

And he offers, as any good marketer should, some hope.

"Then, next summer, I’m obviously very excited because it’s the first summer since we’ve been in Brooklyn when we’re really going to be in the free-agent market, where we can sell on the merits of, ‘Hey, this is who we are and this is what we have, and why don’t you come be part of it?’ "

That of course could be whistling past the graveyard, too.  Players are now more about winning than location or endorsements, as our Daniel LoGuidice noted before the season.  And if those players don't come, why would the fans?  Could the debacle vs the Bucks last week, both on and off the court, be the harbinger of things to come?