Nets In The Spotlight After Brooklyn Move; Team On SI Cover, NBA TV Reality Show
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).