As I walked down Myrtle Ave, past the Sumner House projects, I could hear his voice — the Notorious B.I.G. — the man of the hour. His thunderous voice boomed down Marcus Garvey Boulevard like 808 bass hits, and me — the excited reporter awaiting the big event — I followed, eagerly, picking up a slight jog to get to the event.
Into the Brooklyn Bank I strolled, carried by the inescapable flows of Biggie. His iconic voice creeped and crawled its way up the brick walls of the event space before eventually meeting the 30-foot-high ceilings. The rhythms hit, the punchlines connected. The crowd bounced their heads in unison. The vibe was quintessential; it was inescapably Brooklyn.
D.J. Self was on the 1’s and 2’s, playing all the hits. Heaps of Biggie (duh), dashes of former Nets minority owner Jay-Z, and even a sprinkle of Maino, who (by no coincidence, I’m sure) was in attendance. As the classic New York records stretched on and on, the crowd grew tense in anticipation. When would the jerseys drop? The question hung over the room like the everlasting water vapors that gushed from the floor-bound fog machines.
And then, it happened. Underneath D.J. Self’s record-scratching station, the large black double curtain trickled back to unveil…
DeAndre Jordan, one of the Nets’ three amigos who agreed to come to Brooklyn during a a 4 a.m. FaceTime back in June. The Nets $40 million center stepped forward donning those long-awaited “White Brooklyn Camo” City Edition threads.
Well, Hello Brooklyn! Bed-Stuy, where Biggie grew up, will be honored by the Nets in a B.I.G. way...
“Me? I think they did a pretty damn good job on these jerseys man.” Jordan continued confidently, “I can’t wait to wear them.”
He will, soon enough...
In, the Nets will wear the uniforms 28 times this season.
The jersey itself is simple, yet flashy in a sense. Paying homage to Biggie’s borough, the chest features an iconic “Bed Stuy” logo designed by Eric Haze, the same Brooklyn designer who was behind October’s statement jerseys. Down both sides of Brooklyn’s crispy new unis is that classic Brooklyn camo print, which contrasts brilliantly with the jersey’s white base. Everything else about the jersey is fairly congruent to what we’ve seen so far from Brooklyn’s design team, whether that be the font choice for the numbers and names or even the small “Infor” insignia.
Jordan took a slight step back. He paused, almost cinematically. Addressing the crowd, Jordan assured the excited fans, “I’m not the real special guest, I brought a REAL special guest with me.”
At this point, D.J. Self chimes in, “Brooklyn make some noise for Joey Bada$$!!!!”
And then out he stepped, the great mind behind the instant-classic record 1999, an album that defined early adulthood for many people my age. The Brooklyn spitter let loose…
“I used to feel so devastated,
“At times I thought we’d never make it,
“But now we on our way to greatness,
+And all that ever took was patience.”
It was the perfect cap to the perfect night. Joey Bada$$ was right, all it ever took was patience. And lord, those crispy new “White Brooklyn Camo” jerseys, well, they’re certainly greatness.
The Nets explained that their 2019-20 Nike City Edition uniform “represents the neighborhood’s storied history, its lasting impact in music, art, & culture, and the icon who put it on the map.”
In addition, to honor the lasting legacy of Biggie, the Nets and Nike will revive a music program at Bed-Stuy’s Madiba Prep Middle School of Social Justice and Innovation. The school piloted a band program in 2018, but due to lack of funding the program was not able to continue. The investment from the Nets and Nike will reintroduce the music program, which will include 20 weeks of clarinet, trumpet, guitar and percussion classes for 40 sixth grade students.
A pep rally to tip-off the partnership will be held on December 5. The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music helped to identify the school and will provide a team of instructors for the classes.
- BROOKLYN NETS UNVEIL 2019-20 CITY EDITION UNIFORM BY NIKE LIVE FROM BED-STUY - Brooklyn Nets
- New NBA uniforms this season: Eastern Conference - NBA.com