Legendary broadcaster and native Brooklynite Marv Albert guest-wrote for the New York Times, talking the Brooklyn Nets, announcing for the first-ever professional game in Brooklyn, his hoop game, his relationship with Walter O’Malley and the Brooklyn Dodgers, being a Knicks ballboy (THE PICTURE!) and more. A snippet:
Around the city, people keep asking me about the Nets — at a rate that I never thought possible. Fanatics from New Jersey used to be the only people who wanted to chat me up about the Nets. Sometimes, you hardly knew they had taken the court at Izod Center. Far more often, people wanted to talk to me about the Knicks — and kept asking after I left the Knicks’ TV booth to call Nets games.
The Nets are a likable group, and even without playing a game they’ve become popular. I think they’ll win over kids who haven’t developed loyalties yet. They will certainly lure basketball fans drawn to the new arena by games against the Lakers, the Celtics, the Thunder and the Heat. And if the Knicks stumble and don’t make the playoffs, some Knicks fans might defect to watch Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.
The Nets are finally being embraced, perhaps for the first time since Julius Erving’s heyday.