As you probably know, the New Jersey Nets are planning to move to Brooklyn after next season. It was one of the main selling points in their pitch to LeBron James, it’s going to help put the Nets back on the proverbial map and the new arena will be an upgrade from the Prudential Center. All in all, it’s going to be great for the Nets to be in Brooklyn because New York is so basketball-crazed.
However, it won’t be so good for the Knicks who have been the only show in town since forever. They’ll no longer have New York City all to themselves, and judging by the underwhelming billboard they put up near the Nets’ new arena’s construction site, they’re a little antsy about having new neighbors. From the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy:
In a marketing move that Nets CEO Brett Yormark described as a “defensive maneuver,” the Knicks hung up a billboard of Amar’e Stoudemire near the construction site of the Nets’ new arena.
The billboard – which is much smaller and lower than the Nets’ billboard that overlooked the Garden – has Stoudemire posing in front of the Manhattan Bridge with “Brooklyn Represent” written underneath.
“I’m glad to see they know where Brooklyn is,” Yormark said. “Clearly, they know what’s coming.”
Yormark added, “I encourage them to do this. It heightens the awareness for us and basketball in the area and ignites our fanbase. I thank them because it’s only going to help us in the long run.”
Nice one, Brett Yormark. Way to take a bold — and copycatted — move by the Knicks and nonchalantly make it in to a marketing opportunity for the Nets. That’s good business and it’s the CEO equivalent of minority owner Jay-Z’s “Pardon me I had to laugh at that.” Good spin, my man.
Furthermore, I’d say he’s pretty much right about this situation. The Nets are coming off a 12 win season, have a fanbase a fraction of the size of the Knicks’ and aren’t even in New York yet, but they’re still making enough noise in the area to garner a response from the Big Apple’s finest. It makes the Nets seem a lot more threatening to the Knicks’ legacy than they probably really are. That’s a pretty good coup for a team that’s looking to go global.
Now all they have to do is find a way to win more than a dozen games to really reignite this rivalry. That could be fun.