The NBA postponed the highly anticipated home opener of the newly relocated Brooklyn Nets this week, after Hurricane Sandy flooded New York’s subway system. Though some fans grumbled after paying top dollar on the secondary market to attend the game, Howard Beck of the New York Times says it was the right call.
“It’s pretty clear that with so much transit out and with the transit very slowly coming back, it just wasn’t feasible or wise,” Beck told Bill Littlefield on Only A Game. “The fact is, Barclays Center was built on a huge transit hub. It was one of the advantages, but the flip side of that was that they did not create a lot of parking in that area and it’s a residential area.”
Beck attended the Nets’ Thursday practice at Barclays Center and said the players were understanding of the NBA’s decision.
“A lot of these players lost power. Some of them had their homes flooded. One of the players, Tyshawn Taylor, he lives in Hoboken, [N.J.], couldn’t get out of his apartment complex for two days because of the amount of flooding in Hoboken. So they understand.”
The Nets will play at home for the first time on Saturday against the Toronto Raptors, a matchup Beck says has a “little less electricity” than the Nets and the Knicks. But, Beck says the players are just looking forward to getting back to work.
“These guys haven’t played in a while, and they’re just really eager to get it going,” Beck says. “So as competitors it’s difficult for them, but as people they absolutely understood.”
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This week, the Houston Rockets acquired former Oklahoma City guard James Harden in a trade involving several players and some draft picks. The NBA’s heavily bearded Sixth Man of the Year put up 37 points in his Rockets debut, but Beck was convinced before Harden even took the floor.
“It’s a fantastic deal for Houston,” Beck said. “A guy like James Harden doesn’t become available very often.”
Former Knick Jeremy Lin now plays for the Houston Rockets as well. Beck says Lin might have the most to gain from the Harden trade.
“Jeremy has great potential. We saw what he could do last season, but we still don’t know what he’ll be ultimately in the NBA. And it was going to be, I thought, a little too much pressure resting on him to try to somehow bring the Houston Rockets back by himself. Having James Harden there is great for Jeremy Lin. It’s great for their franchise.”