There may never have been an NBA Media Day with more mentions of traffic.
With one of their number, Thaddeus Young, already moved in and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson likely to find a place there soon, Brooklyn has become more of a lure for Nets players, mainly because the Nets new HSS Training Center is expected to open in four months. Next year, Media Day will likely be held in the facility's rooftop lounge.
Living in Brooklyn --or Manhattan-- would have meant a tortuous commute to East Rutherford and the Nets long-time practice facility. Starting in February, players like Thaddeus Young will be minutes away from "work," the 70,000-square foot, $50 million facility in Industry City. Those who still live in New Jersey will have to cross two rivers and Manhattan. Daunting.
"If all the guys move to Brooklyn or close by it, it will be an easier commute," Lionel Hollins said. But it will probably next season before most players do that. They'll be in New Jersey for another four months, then depending on whether they make the playoffs, two or more in Brooklyn.
"I’m kind of like the lone wolf right now," Young said. However, he did say there are limits. He says he would not walk to work, but did not rule out using a Phunkee Duck or Citi Bike.
Young who grew up in Memphis and played most of his career in Philadelphia likes his choice, a condo near the Brooklyn Bridge in Dumbo, and like the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1940's and 1950's, he's been welcomed in the borough.
"I’ve been welcomed to the neighborhood," said Young, the first Nets player to move to Brooklyn since the 2012 move. "I’ve walked the Brooklyn Bridge Park, all the piers. My kids hang out there every day, actually."
Most of his teammates are still horrified by New York rents -- "double the price of Jersey," said Sergey Karasev. And of course, Young has a $50 million guaranteed deal. Donald Sloan, on the other hand, has only a $50,000 guarantee. He's on a short-term lease.
Brook Lopez hinted that he's going seriously consider things. He's still living in the same Edgewater, N.J. apartment he rented after being picked by the Nets in the 2008 Draft.
"It's definitely something I’ll be doing. I never do anything unless I absolutely have to," said Lopez who signed a $63 million deal this summer. "I’m sure the other guys are ahead of the curve there."
- The Nets Are Finally Moving to Brooklyn - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Even Before Opening, Training Center Has the Nets Feeling a Weight - Andrew Keh - New York Times