As in-game host, Ally Love is the voice of the Nets at Barclays Center. She revs up fans when the ball isn’t pounding the Brooklyn court. But Love won’t be headed to the “Bubble” in Orlando. No fans to rev up at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Like all of us, she’s suffering withdrawal in the midst of an other-wordly experience without hoops or hype. She remembers the last time she hosted a game, back on March 8. It turned out to be the last home in Brooklyn.
“I was rushing to the arena to get there on time so I could be live on the court for Nets vs. Bulls,” Love told Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated earlier this month. “What I remember most is I had all this energy and I love a good Sunday afternoon game and seeing all the families come out. I remember we had great weather.
“I don’t remember leaving the arena and saying, ‘Wow, this is going to be our last day.’ I didn’t know before that it would be the last time I’d see some real live basketball for a very long time.”
She’s still working with the Nets, just this week recording a Juneteenth Testimonial video. in which she shares personal memories as well as an explanation of why the holiday is so important.
But she’s also working as a Peleton cycling instructor and now has 450,000 Instagram followers. No surprise she’s just as passionate.
“We have been able to stream classes live from home,” Love said of her apartment in Chelsea. “Someone said, which was quite funny, ‘How are you truly socially distancing when you have 25,000 people in your living room?’ That’s a good one. But we safely social distance and I was able to convert my living room into a studio and prioritize that.”
She’s also working with her company, Love Squad, a women’s organization with a goal “to unleash their inner boss and reclaim their power by facilitating educational and honest conversations.”
Not that she doesn’t miss the “vibe” of Brooklyn.
“I miss watching the players hit the court and the visiting teams,” Love told The Undefeated. “I miss people doing what they love to do. I miss entertaining 18,000 fans, home games, playoffs, preseason. I miss the vibe of Brooklyn, the fact that our fans have grown over the last seven or eight seasons to really be what Brooklyn is all about. This level of excellence and exclusivity. This grittiness that we have.”
Kevin Durant told Spears that one thing he looks forward to the first time he sets foot on the court at Barclays will be hearing Love on the mic.
“She brings that genuineness. You can tell that she is excited about the game and excited about Brooklyn,” Durant told The Undefeated. “She’s the face, it feels like. People see her on the Jumbotron and everyone gets excited to see her. I love her success. I love that she is a part of Brooklyn. I love that she is a part of where we are going in the future.”
When will she back on the court. She’s watching developments with the NBA Draft which she’s worked the last few years. It was supposed to held this week at Barclays Center. Now, it’s been moved to October 15. Seems likely it too will be a virtual event, but Love is hopeful.
“Safety is first. That is most important,” Love said. “The NBA has always been considerate in their approach. [The Nets] are handling a lot of moving parts. I know their priority is the safety of our community and the people first.”
- Nets’ in-game host Ally Love still bringing hype as Peloton instructor - Marc J. Spears - The Undefeated