UPDATE 7:44 pm: It’s official, the NBA Draft next summer — the one fun things fans get to experience before the lockout — will be in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center. David Stern made the announcement in New Jersey before the Nets home opener.
Why? Because of renovations to the Madison Square Garden Theater. This is a one year thing.
1:28 pm: For the next two years, Newark will have an NBA team. Until it moves to a New York City borough.
So the NBA is taking the NBA draft out of a New York borough to put it in Newark, according to the Associated Press. David Stern is expected to announce this tonight before the Nets home opener.
One reason could be renovations to Madison Square Garden that are ongoing for a couple years. If that’s the case, there aren’t other suitable venues in NYC? Really?
The NBA draft has been in New York since 2001 and the
drunk spirited crowds there are as much a part of the show as rookies in bad suits. The event has a real energy, in part because of the energy in the city.
Not that it couldn’t have energy in Newark, but why move it? To a city the NBA is using as a stopover until they get to New York. Is this a “sorry you are losing the Nets for a couple years, we’ll throw you a bone” move? A nod to new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov?
Stern will not spin it that way. But it sure feels like that a bone thrown to Jersey, doesn’t it. It’s hard to see any other good logic. Well, the Clippers can book their hotel rooms early and get a discount, I guess.