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SBD/October 11, 2012/FranchisesPrint All
With the move from New Jersey to Brooklyn and a "significant influx of talent to the roster, the Nets have become one of the most talked-about teams" in the NBA, according to Tim Bontemps of the N.Y. POST. The spotlight "has focused on the Nets over the past week, thanks to the opening of training camp to tip off the season." The team on Tuesday was featured on “SportsCenter" and this season will be the focal point of NBA TV’s "The Association." Additionally, this week's issue of SI features G Deron Williams on the cover, wearing the Nets' home jersey in front of a mural depicting hip-hop artist and Nets minority Owner Jay-Z, Baseball HOFer Jackie Robinson and Basketball HOFer Julius Erving. Nets coach Avery Johnson said, "We’ve moved our team to a whole new state, a new city, and changed everything about the team. We’ve got new players this year, and it’s exciting" (N.Y. POST, 10/11). Williams said of the move to Brooklyn, "It feels great. It feels like a new start, like we kept the Nets name but started over." SI's Rick Telander notes Williams is one of only five players on the current roster that was with the team at the end of last season. Williams this offseason "had to be persuaded to continue as a Net," and he was "sold by the arena, the ownership, the borough, the future." He now "foresees that plenty of players will be eager to become Nets." Williams: "Ohhh, that's started. A lot of guys told me that if I signed, they wanted to come to Brooklyn. There's just a whole different buzz." Meanwhile, Telander notes the Nets' new black-and-white color scheme is "so un-Knickslike, with a retro-fresh logo designed by Jay-Z." NBA Commissioner David Stern "had to make an exception to allow those stark hues, since the league prefers that teams have primary or tertiary or at least pastel colors in their design." The team's "B" caps and "other Nets apparel are flying off the shelves" (SI, 10/15 issue).
ROAD WARRIORS: In N.Y., Nate Taylor notes the Knicks will play each of their six preseason games on the road, making them "the only NBA team not to have a single exhibition game in their home arena." The road swing comes after Madison Square Garden "underwent the second phase of its extensive renovations during the off-season." Knicks coach Mike Woodson said that he "didn't know if the Knicks would even get to practice in their home arena before their home opener Nov. 2." A rotation of three crews is "working around the clock at the Garden to get the renovations completed before the season" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/11).
In a special to the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts writes the '12 campaign, in which the team finished with a 61-101 record, “was a disappointing season.” He wrote the Cubs are “investing in our player development system, both in terms of talent and facilities.” Ricketts: “We are also working on being championship-caliber corporate citizens. We want to thank our fans and this great city with a committed community investment program.” He added, “While we are investing in the city we love, we will continue making dramatic investments in the major league baseball organization to ensure we will also be celebrating championships” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/10).
PRED PRIDE: In Nashville, Josh Cooper notes the Predators organization during the NHL lockout is continuing “to push its product.” Each Friday since the lockout has been a “Preds Pride Day,” and the team has “hosted a blood drive, open skate and movie night” at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators on Saturday will “host a party in front of the arena, along with another movie night.” Predators President & COO Sean Henry said, “We’re still the Nashville Predators, we’re proud of our shield, and we’re proud of our fans. So we want to make sure we’re still doing things to keep people, not only engaged, but being as positive as possible” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 10/11).
LIKE A BOSS: In Ft. Lauderdale, Mike Berardino cites a source as saying that Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross recently held a “townhall meeting with team employees.” The source said Ross addressed “key issues.” One issue addressed was that GM Jeff Ireland, who “was not in attendance, still has the full support of Ross.” Ross also reportedly “laughed off a question about line of succession should he die unexpectedly.” Ross said that he “hasn’t given that much thought." Ross added that "none of his four daughters have expressed interest in learning the football business.” He also said that HBO's "Hard Knocks" has "definitely benefited the franchise in terms of national perception and merchandise sales” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/11).
HELPING HANDS: In Denver, Benjamin Hochman reports the Nuggets yesterday at Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., held "a scrimmage for the students, faculty and staff.” More than 60 Gateway students "were at the theater" during the July 20 shooting that killed 12 people and injured 58 others (DENVER POST, 10/11).