I decided to see the Nets’ last preseason game against the Knicks at The Rock. The tickets were only ten bucks so I came through with my lil’ homey from Rutgers.
So, do the Nets fit in well with Newark?
Let’s start from the beginning. This was my first time at The Prudential Center so I was somewhat anxious to check it out. We finally made our way in and somehow cut the line. It’s quite impressive once you get in the lobby. Neon lights painted the windows from the inside and it It just felt modern when you walked around. Plus the upper and lower levels entrances are open unlike Izod.
It’s convenient since you can take quick peaks at the game if you’re not by one of the flat screens. The only undesirable part was our seats. It felt like we were up in the Adirondacks but hey, that’s what you get when you don’t pony up. All things considered the Rock makes the Izod Center look like a dusty airfield hanger.
I thought we came late as we grabbed our seats 2 minutes before tip off. Then a lot of heads showed up out of nowhere deep into the 1st quarter. I guess everyone was running on CPT and I missed the memo.
Now on to the actual game. Well, the first half went from decent to abysmal. The Knicks got an 18 point lead at the break. I’m a Nets fan but I grew up in a family full of Knicks diehards so I have no hard feelings towards them. At any rate I don’t like blowouts and the crowd seemed to agree with me. It really took a ton of energy out of the building.
My friend wanted to grab some ice cream so I decided to tag along. I’m a tall dude so my legs needed some circulation anyway. We finally found a small Carvel vendor and she dropped a Lincoln for a cup of ice cream. That’s was a pretty ridiculous price but hey you can’t get between a woman and her food.
Thankfully things picked up in the third as the Nets went on a run. The place came back to life and then some. Chris Douglas-Roberts started to drain shots out of nowhere and got some cheers. Then Keyon Dooling shook someone (Chris Duhon I think) and made the crowd go OOOOOOOOHHH!! I had to bring myself down for a moment. It felt like a regular season game considering how well attended it was.
The Nets built up a one possesion lead in the fourth but tempers flared as Bobby Simmons got it in with Nate Robinson of all people. Like I told my friend, what do you really gain from picking on someone Nate’s size? Dude is barely tall enough to ride a roller coaster but I bet he’d knock him out. Most NBA cats can’t fight anyway but it was funny nonetheless.
Nate and Bobby got a double Technical and they kept it moving. The Nets continued to fluster about with their slim lead as did the Knicks in their attempt to catch up. You could kind of tell that the game would eventually fall out of their favor with only 5 minutes left in the game and Devin Harris in street clothes.
Then those Knickerbockers got their act together and got the lead back in the waning moments. They seemd to ice it with a 2 possession lead and mere seconds on the clock. Then they fouled Courtney Lee which was pretty stupid. He missed the second shot on purpose, got his own board and got an and 1. The Nets were back in it with slim hopes but most of the crowd left at that point. Lee forced the miss and the ball bounced around with failed tips toward the basket until the buzzer sounded. The Knicks squeaked by with the W while the Nets suffered a winless preseason at home.
We had a good time even though they lost. Even though NY heads came in via Penn Station there were a good number of Jersey faithfuls seen throughout. it was easy to see that fans were genuinely interested in the slim possibility of the Nets making their new home in Newark.It took a little bit to get the crowd going at first but they stayed in their seats until the Nets choked at the end.
Now on to some funny/weird events that transpired throughout the game. Dwight Gooden was in the building and that’s all well and good. But the DJ kept playing Michael Jackson records and I couldn’t figure out why. Sure MJ is a legend and all of that but it didn’t seem natural. Come to find out Joe Jackson was sitting court side and made the jumbotron. The crowd sounded confused when they found out. You know how weird it sounds when people cheer and boo evenly at the same time? Yeah that happened.
Cheerleaders are OK with me but I guess the senior citizen dance team was all the rage. They started out with some geriatric dance number then started gettin’ it to this song.
It was pretty hilarious and somewhat unexpected. I just hope I can move as well as them when I get up there.
These little girls were a riot. They startin’ wildin’ when they played You’re a Jerk and got live for the free t-shirts. Unfortunately the cheerleaders didn’t have arms like Jay Cutler so those shirts didn’t quite make it up there.
Wrapping things up, having the Nets in Newark would really bring interest back in the waning franchise. But the NBA Lords don’t want that to happen so it’s just a pipe dream for now. Meanwhile, the people aren’t clamoring for the Barclays Center or Atlantic Yards. On another note, the traffic heading into the game was pretty bad even for Newark. Atlantic Avenue would easily be worse should people dare to drive in to the Barclays. Then again that’s why I suppose they’re building it right next to Atlantic Ave-Pacific St. Station. Oh well, it was great while it’s lasted. Now I just have to wait until spring when the league will take my team away.
Oh and another thing. My first post on the Nets and The Prudential Center made NJ.com. It’s really dope to get a nod from the Star Ledger but I guess I should clear something up. I never went to that game. When I said I checked it out I meant I watched it on Yes. It sounded right in my head when I wrote it but I guess it didn’t translate to the author of that post. I just thought it was funny and I got some shine from it. I just hope I’m not discredited for being honest.
I’ll end it with this. As we got past security they had a promoter getting people excited for the game. He said “New Jersey and NEWW YORRK… Are YOU Ready?!?!” or something to that effect. Then some dude behind me says “We Don’t CARE about New York!! We CARE about NEW JERSEY!!”
Too bad more people out here don’t feel the same way…