If you are thinking Brooklyn or if you are thinking sport, one of the first things that comes to mind is the Brooklyn Nets. It is the much loved NBA team from the New York City borough and enjoys a massive fan-base across a number of regions. But what is something only serious Nets fans will be able to tell you if you went to a game at the Barclays Centre? (Other than Jay Z)
They have moved 8 times in and around New York
You’ve probably heard enough about the team to know they moved to Brooklyn from New Jersey, rechristening themselves from the New Jersey Nets. But did you know they were the New York Nets before that? And the New Jersey Americans even before that as part of the American Basketball Association?So as a recap, they played at Teaneck, Commack, West Hempstead, Uniondale, Piscataway, East Rutherford and Newark before moving to Brooklyn. Brooklyn Nomads anyone?
Their basketball court can transform into a hockey rink
It isn’t just the Nets that call Barclays Centre home, the New York Islanders do as well. And they play there at the same time of the year. When the Islanders want to play their games, the ice deck flooring, consisting of interlocking wooden panels is taken off, and Voila! There’s an ice-rink below it.
They have more than 4 division titles
Brooklyn Nets had a very successful first decade in the 21st century, winning division titles in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006. Fans cannot stop gushing about this period and rightly so. But there is a piece of history that only true fans would know.
The team also won two division titles in 1974 and 1975. It just wasn’t the NBA. The Nets were part of the erstwhile American Basketball Association and clinched back-to-back championships, winning their divisions along the way. This also made them the last champions of the ABA.
Drive-in elevators and Turntables
Athletes enter arenas in style, we know that. But the Nets take it to another level at the Barclays Centre. Players and VIPs arrive for games via truck elevators that can carry 80,000 pounds! Cars are driven into the elevator which takes them down. And what greets them there?A giant moving turntable! The moving, circular floor allows entry and exit to and from various points in the arena, which makes it a very interesting space-saving design. Surely something you want to check out.
Inclusive, New York style
New York is famed for its diverse culture and setting progressive examples. The Brooklyn Nets are an epitome of this attitude. This was underlined when they signed free agent Jason Collins in 2014, who became the first openly gay athlete to participate in any of the four major North American leagues. He was part of the team that was among the league’s best in the second half of the season, reaching the Eastern Conference semi-finals before bowing out to Miami Heat. The Nets set a precedent that can be viewed as a turning point in NBA’s inclusiveness.
With such a rich history there are hundred more interesting facts that only passionate fans can know. There is no better way to find out more than to go to a game with a local fan.