Our friends at Brooklyn Based (a great source for stuff to do and things to eat in Brooklyn) interviewed Toko Shenegalia, who, as they note, is the closest thing the Brooklyn Nets have to someone actual living in Brooklyn. His cousins live in Bensonhurst.
When Steven Weinberg asked Toko where in Brooklyn he would take his girlfriend for dinner he says Nobu -- which, yes, is in Manhattan. He describes the spectacularly good and expensive and acclaimed restaurant as "a pretty good place."
If the Brooklyn Nets are going to insist on not living in Brooklyn, could they at least eat here?
Other interesting bit in the brief interview:
How are home games in Brooklyn different from games you’ve played in other places?
In Europe it’s big difference I would say. For instance some of the team fans just stand the whole game and sing and dance, and it doesn’t stop. They would be throwing coins and everything on the court. So, pretty much crazy, crazier fans than we have here.
Brooklyn fans are less crazy than Europeans? Are we going to take that?
Gore Vidal once said, "whenever a friend succeeds, a small part of me dies." Apart from being an honest, small, and mean-spirited sentiment, I think that statement is sports fandom--tribalism, really--boiled down to its most basic human impulse. We want those who we consider ours to succeed to the detriment of all others.
It's not a terribly rational thing, sports fandom. Perhaps the seed of the impulse was once--when we were hunter gatherers and ours succeeding meant not starving, being trampled by a mammoth, or having your head caved in by a yak bone. And why should the tribalism of sports be any different? Back in the day, you didn't choose which hunter-gatherer tribe you ran with. You didn't say, "gee, that tribe over the hills has been much more successful in mammoth hunts and yak club crafting then mine. I should go with them." No, you were just born into it.
Similarly, I don't know many people who logically chose their favorite sports team. I got into the NBA from renting those old NBA Entertainment videos. I didn't become a Knicks fan because I knew anything about the team or their history or because I lived in the area. I became a Knicks fan because I hated my middle school English teacher who was a virulent Celtics fan and the Knicks happened to be playing the Celtics in the playoffs.
I know a guy who became a Pirates fan because his grandfather gave him a Pirates hat when he was eight years old. Why should a guy in New York follow the Pirates when the Pirates vacillate between terrible and waiting for the bottom to fall out and when he has both a terrible and a good baseball team right here in the city to root for? Because his grandad gave him a hat. Sports fandom doesn't make sense and we keep trying to pretend it does, like a bunch of circus clowns arguing the merits of Kant vs Hume when what we really want to do is smash pies into each others faces.
So, why be a Knicks fan when I live in Brooklyn? With all the troubles and the scandals and bad moves and losing, why not start over fresh with the Brooklyn Nets? Some people have, to be sure. I don't begrudge them that at all. Life is short and if people feel that switching teams will increase their level of happiness, living in this grim, hurricane ravaged, petrol starved Thunderdome, then why not? But color me skeptical. Not about their motivations, but about their emotions. Picking a team because they moved into your town is like an arranged marriage. Maybe the feelings blossom over time, but is the passion--the tribalism--automatically there?
I've been in turns mad, disgusted, annoyed, and perplexed by the Knicks over the last 12 years. And yet when human beings wearing orange and blue uniforms start making baskets, I become happy. There is no rhyme or reason to this.
By MATT ENGEL
Divorce. Despite the frequency with which it’s used, it is still a nasty business. The kids (if they exist) always get hurt. There’s endless acrimony about dividing money and property. Lucky to have been personally unaffected, from what I’ve heard from friends and seen in movies, divorce brings out the worst in people. Still, despite the pain, after it’s all over and done with, divorce can provide the promise for a new beginning, for something better.
For years in the United States, a divorce could only be accomplished if the party seeking dissolution found a legal fault with his/her incompatible counterpart. Now, though, with the advent of “no-fault” divorce, a marriage may be ended for such excellent vagaries as Irreconcilable Differences, Incompatibility, and my personal favorite, Irredeemable Breakdown of the Marriage. In 2010, New York became the last state to move from a legal scheme that allowed only fault divorces, to one that permits no-fault divorces as well.
Without wasting any more of my or your time, I’ll assert my privilege: Goodbye, New York Knicks.... MORE →
In his continued quest to be one of the best in the business, Howard Beck spent some time in his latest New York Times article talking to two Knicks defectors: Nelson Ortiz and James Graham, once fans of the New York Knicks but have, as Mikhail Prokhorov prophesied, turned into Brooklyn Nets fans.
Ortiz said that the team was so bad for so long that he was "kind of looking for a way out," and the Bay Ridge resident will attend Saturday nights' pseudo-opener dressed in black and white. Graham says he tried diligently to remain loyal throughout the lawsuits, lost seasons, and poor playoff performances, but his loyalty was "pried away with a crowbar, (and) now it’s attached to a new team.”
Beck did talk to one fan, Brian Koppelman, a 23-year Knicks season ticket holder, who vowed to become a Brooklyn Nets fan this season -- and got cold feet at the last moment.