The 36st Street subway stop in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is five blocks from the HSS Training Center and BSE Global’s business offices. It’s the closest subway station for the hundreds of employees who work in basketball and business operations for the Brooklyn and Long Island Nets as well as the New York Liberty.
And on Monday morning, it was the scene of a horrific attack that has left at least 29 people hospitalized, 10 of whom had been shot.
A gunman apparently disguised as an MTA worker set off a smoke cannister then began firing randomly on a rush-hour N line subway train at around 8:30 a.m. As the northbound N entered the station and doors opened, passengers flooded on to the platform from the smoked-filled cars many bleeding profusely. Some jumped on a southbound R train to escape, others ran for the exit at the station.
At HSS Training Center, priorities quickly shifted from preparing for Tuesday night’s play-in game to making sure that everyone was accounted for and safe. Ultimately after a lockdown, Nets security gave the all clear, but later Tuesday, the team tweeted out a statement that included a statement of concern, thanks to local law enforcement and a note about added security for the game...
Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by the tragic event at the 36th St. subway station in Brooklyn this morning. pic.twitter.com/jeymgM3fWh— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 12, 2022
At the 39th street facility, the attack was on everyone’s mind, no matter how they arrived.
“It’s obviously a very tragic morning. We’re devastated for the community and those directly involved,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “I don’t know all of the details so I don’t want to get too far into it. But we’re just all concerned for everyone involved try to prepare for the task at hand the best we can.”
Kevin Durant said his only warning of the attack came in a text from the team that he should be aware of additional traffic.
“They always text us when there’s traffic and get there little early; but I didn’t know the specific reason until I got into the building,” Durant said. “You see the helicopters out front, I mean outside. You just want everything to work out and figure it out.
“They sent us a text to say there might be some traffic, but I didn’t know why. And then you look through your phone and see stuff. I hate violence. I hate senseless violence and hopefully we can figure out the details and get everybody to safety and get everybody the help that they need. But it’s a tough situation right now.”
Some players, like Goran Dragic, were already in the building working out.
“I heard. I was already here. I didn’t even know the players were talking about it, about shooting in the subways,” Dragic said. “It’s terrible. I just hope nobody is hurt bad and everything is going to be well.
“I was just talking to (assistant) Jordan Ott the coach and we were talking about the situation and he was saying you see that yellow building, that’s where that happened. So it’s really close. It’s kind of scary of how close. And I’ve already been in the subway a couple times, but now I have my doubts.”
In fact, it could have been much worse. The Post reported that a jammed Glock and two extended ammo magazines were recovered at the scene. The gunman was still at large at 3:00 p.m., four and a half hours before the game at Barclays Center, about three miles away. Prospects for an early arrest were frustrated by word that a security camera at the 36th Street station was not operating.
“Guys pretty much heard stories on social media through their phones and hopefully they get this figured out and people safe. I know there’s a couple people shot. It’s just an unfortunate situation and I hope they get it figured out,” Durant said.
“It’s devastating to hear about….I don’t know too many details, but to hear the sirens out front of the practice facility and see so much commotion going on outside, you hope and pray for the best for everybody involved.”
- Nets react to ‘senseless’ Brooklyn subway shooting blocks from training facility - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Brooklyn Nets shocked by ‘devastating’ subway shooting at nearby 36th Street station - Nick Friedell - ESPN
- Kevin Durant, Nets ‘devastated for the community’ after learning about subway shooting near team’s practice facility - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets affected by nearby subway tragedy - Barbara Barker - Newsday
- Nets donate $50,000 to recovery after subway shooting - AP