The much-hyped Brooklyn Nets opening game at the Barclays Center was pared down greatly this weekend after Hurricane Sandy’s destruction in New York, according to the New York Daily News.
Plans for a special ceremony involving Jay-Z and Jackie Robinson’s 90-year-old widow were scrapped, as Thursday night’s game was postponed until Saturday. Although the Atlantic Av/Barclays Center station was open, transportation in the city was still more difficult than usual. To cap it off, the Nets were according to the Daily News.
In fact, many tickets were still available hours before the game started, even $55 seats.
But the game did still manage to attract some die-hard Nets fans to the Barclays Center who made the trip from New Jersey in the aftermath of the storm.
John Pollara, a 19-year season ticket-holder from Morris County, N.J., stood out wearing his blue-grey-and-red New Jersey Nets hat and T-shirt. His home had been without power for six days, but he didn’t want to miss the opening game.
According to the Daily News, the Nets unveiled their new mascot on Saturday: the “Brooklyn Nets Superhero” designed by Marvel Comics. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov was at the game, as well as former Brooklyn Dodgers Ralph Branca and Joe Pignatano. Jay-Z did make an appearance with wife Beyoncé, but only as spectators.
And while many in the city were still without heat, power and many basic necessities, Nets coach Avery Johnson said the team knew they were lucky to play.
“We can’t complain. We’re in an air-conditioned building. We’ve been able to move our guys that need hotels to hotels. They have food and water and all the necessities of life,” Johnson told the paper.