Rimless basketball hoops at Riverside Park and 74th Street on Friday, March 27. Photo © Dana Schulz for 6sqft.
In the recent weeks, Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have taken different approaches when it comes to social distancing measures in public spaces, but one thing they’ve agreed on is that basketball games need to stop. In his press conference on Wednesday, the Mayor spoke about the specific problem related to basketball courts and announced that he’d received reports from the Parks Department and the NYPD that 80 courts around the city, out of a total of 1,700, were an ongoing issue. He went on to say that the basketball hoops at these locations would be removed, which they were yesterday.
My wife and I took the kids to the Barclays Center in early 2013, during the Nets’ inaugural season in Brooklyn. There had been a lot of hype, not only about the Nets but also about the new arena. And there had been a lot of flack about both the Nets and the arena, respectively, as well. But after all the back and forth, over many years, both the stadium and the Nets were part of Brooklyn, and while we had been ambivalent observers during the whole imbroglio, we were anxious to check things out once matters were settled.
The arena impressed. Spacious corridors and lots of polished surfaces. Professional and courteous service. We roamed around each level, sampling food and drinks from some of Brooklyn’s finest eateries and breweries. And, of course, a stop at the gift shop was mandatory for the kids to purchase Nets gear which had become the unofficial uniform of Brooklyn’s youth. By the time we sat down in our seats, we were definitely on board with the whole Nets/Barclays thing. The pregame production turned out to be top notch, too: dancers, acrobats, a DJ named TJ, a knight-of-some-sort who shot t-shirts into the crowd, and a super-stylish MC definitely on point, ratcheting the crowd into a pseudo-frenzy (it was only a mid-season game against Atlanta after all). And when the lights dimmed, and the music loomed, it was on for real: through the loud speakers came a familiar voice, smooth and deep, informed by a trademark flow…
“Welcome to Brooklyn, y’all…”
Oh my good-ness! That’s Jay-Z!
“Birthplace of Michael Jordan.”
Read more of Andrew’s story here