Derrel “Jazz” Johnson, SNYNets.com
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the NBA decided against postponing Thursday night’s highly anticipated season opener for the Brooklyn Nets. As you certainly know by now, though, New York City’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has recommended that the NBA cancel the game, and they have.
The game will not be played since millions of people in the tri-state area are without power and the New York City subway system, upon which Barclays Center is said to rely, won’t be fully functional for days, if not weeks.
Still, having the game played as scheduled would have probably been the right thing to do…
The NBA would have been wrong if they decided to postpone Thursday’s game between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks because I don’t believe that the fans ability or inability to get to the arena should be a deciding factor.
Back in December 2010, when the Nets were still in New Jersey, I remember braving a blizzard to get to Newark’s Prudential Center. The NBA didn’t postpone that game, despite the fact that over a foot of snow had fallen in the New York City area.
My usual route to “The Rock” was taking the the A train to Chambers Street, then switching to the PATH to Newark. As I paid my fare and waited on the platform of the PATH train, I was told there were no trains running to Newark.
I then walked upstairs and discussed with a PATH employee my options of going to the arena. PATH trains were not running to my destination, and neither was New Jersey Transit. Luckily, I met two die-hard Nets fans who were also headed to the game, and we decided to take the PATH to Journal Square in Jersey City and catch a cab from there.
Upon arrival in Jersey City, there were few cabs running, and the few that were wanted three times the regular rate. As we debated our options, I went to a drug store to buy a hat. I ended up having to purchase a children’s hat because it was the only one left, and yes, it barely fit.
After we went over the remaining options, we decided to pay $30 each and have a man in a minivan drop us off at the Prudential Center.
We arrived in time to catch the beginning of the game, and the crowd of 11,514 was very energetic. The game wasn’t the best, and the Orlando Magic defeated the pre-Deron Williams Nets, 104-88. I have fond memories of that night that don’t involve the actual game, and I also met a good friend who I still speak with today.
On Thursday evening, there will be no snow and no rain, but there probably won’t be much subway service, either. It would have been difficult for Nets and Knicks to navigate their way to Barclays Center.
What there would have been, though, were fond memories for those who would have sacrificed and attended. And who knows? There may have been a few future friendships forged, as well.
In some ways, postponing the game makes sense, but rescheduling is going to present a logistical nightmare for the NBA.
And at the end of the day, it just doesn’t seem right that the Nets will open their new arena against the Toronto Raptors.
Right now, 11 subway lines that cross Barclays Center will not be functional, but by Thursday evening, some of the service will have been restored. It’s a game that should have happened.
It certainly would have been better than that December 2010 matchup between the Nets and the Magic.