When the Nets roll into Brooklyn next season, things will be different.
Off the court, at least. (On the court remains to be seen.) The Nets are coming to the nation’s largest market in a new building and they are looking to make a splash.
There will be changes — and they will have Jay-Z’s flair.
Jay-Z is a minority owner of the team and cultural icon and tastemaker. The long-overlooked Nets are trying to cash in on that style to provide a higher profile in Brooklyn, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The Nets are celebrating the role that he’s played in everything from revamping the logo (“He’s refreshed it,” [Nets CEO Brett] Yormark said) to designing new uniforms (“His fingerprints are all over it”) to coming up with a new color scheme (“A bold redirection”), all of which the team plans to unveil this spring.
In addition, the Nets are set to begin marketing 11 luxury suites that will be known as “The Vault at Barclays Center,” a small, high-end space on the event level of the arena. Yes, Jay-Z chose the forks—in addition to offering his input on the Champagne ($300 bottles of Armand de Brignac), the layout (asymmetrical) and much of the décor (lots of black and shimmering metallics).
The Vault will have its own entrance, owners get 10 front row tickets to every event, and they have their own private bar (done in Armand de Brignac style). All for just a cool $550,000 a year. Basically, if you have to ask you can’t afford it (and you’re not cool enough anyway).
By the way, Jay-Z is opening the Barclays Center with a series of concerts.
The Nets need something to give them standing when they get to Brooklyn. Jay-Z does that. So would Dwight Howard, but that’s another matter.
Andre Drummond is a terrible free-throw shooter…except, apparently, when he’s shooting from the other free-throw line. Monday night against the Raptors, Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to five at the end of the third quarter with this three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer:
Now, if only he could work on his accuracy from his own free-throw line.
Not a lot has gone right for the Nets this season, but an impressive clutch shot by seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson gave them their 14th win of the season on Monday. With time expiring, Johnson banked in a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 105-104 over Denver and secure the victory:
Johnson had 12 points on the night.
For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.
Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:
The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.
The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:
Sports Illustrated‘s Jake Fischer further reported that only three players indeed showed up on Monday morning:
That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.
Since he came into the league, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ offensive footwork has been unusually advanced for a rookie. He showed off his impressive moves again on Monday night, getting to the basket around Luke Babbitt with this spin: