Who’s Got Juice In Jersey

Happy Sunday readers. Combing through the Sunday papers this morning and saw an interesting piece that’s relevant to the Nets and the future of the New Jersey sports landscape. The Star-Ledger’s Steve Politi launches his “inaugural” Jersey area “Top 25 Most Powerful Sports Brokers” list and obviously a lot of the picks tie-in to the Nets and their potential move to Brooklyn.

NJ state senate president Richard Codey comes in at #1 in this countdown.  Politi writes of Codey:

The future of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority is a major issue, and the future home for the Nets — either here, or in Brooklyn, or in a location yet to be determined — will finally be settled.

NJ Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek comes in at #3 with Politi noting that Vanderbeek will play an integral role in bringing an NBA franchise to the Prudential Center in Newark. And of course Nets owner Bruce Ratner makes the list at #6:

Influence doesn’t necessarily translate into likability, and if the Nets owner succeeds with his Brooklyn project, Jersey loses its NBA team. If he fails, he’ll have the power to sell the team to local investors or to a group that will try to move it again.

The move to Brooklyn for years has been a major political issue in New Jersey and New York, but with things seemingly coming to a head in the coming months, Nets fans should expect to read a lot of ink and hear a lot of political grandstanding from folks on all sides of the aisle. The financing for this project is still in doubt, and opposition is still strong and it’s all heading towards a December 31 deadline that many think will determine whether or not Brooklyn happens. And I’m all but certain that the status of this real estate deal will find a way to reflect itself on the product on the court, for better or worse. It’s going to be hard to be a Nets fan going forward without following the twists and turns of the proposed move to Brooklyn.