With their two biggest free agency hauls in team history yesterday, signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets poured hot water into a big ol' cup of instant relevancy. They also finally became Brooklyn.
It’s been seven years since they left a lackluster home and fanbase in New Jersey for New York City’s most populous borough, but, once with desolate teams and losing seasons that attracted only the basketball OGs and the dwindling diehards, they needed time to fully mirror where they chose to put down roots.
Now, in 2019, they’ve caught up, and now they’ll join in on what Brooklyn does best: quick and sweeping change at the expense of the people who were there first.
In the Knicks, Manhattan saw one of its own, while the Nets, a bad team in a non-historic arena, remained an interesting and understated alternative, in both attendance and ticket price. Over the four-or-so years they were irrelevant, you circled days on the schedule in which a great player or a great team was coming to town. You saw Anthony Davis or Damian Lillard for a $15 ticket.
But they’re Brooklyn's now, and they’ll be flaunting $100 tickets and corporate packages to newcomers who would never dream of going before, the same way the CEOs in San Fran stumbled upon the Warriors. Their jerseys will be thought-provoking. Game nights will no longer look like the empty warehouses in Williamsburg. Yep, the Nets have finally arrived.
[READ: Inside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving's plot to team up in Brooklyn]
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