People shop for merchandise bearing the logo of the Brooklyn Nets. (Seth Wenig / Associated…)
The Brooklyn Nets have arrived to give the people of the borough their first sports franchise since the Dodgers came to L.A. more than half a century ago.
So when the Nets unveiled their new colors and logo Monday, it was a joyous occasion. But that didn't stop Bruce Ratner, the real estate developer and minority owner who was the catalyst behind the team's relocation, from getting one last dig in at the family that moved the Dodgers out of Brooklyn in 1957.
"Ladies and gentleman, the curse of O'Malley is officially over today," Ratner proclaimed during a ceremony at a sporting goods store across the street from the soon-to-be-finished Barclays Center, where the Nets will play their home games starting next season, after 35 years in New Jersey.
It's a new beginning for the sports-deprived fans of Brooklyn. Hopefully, it also will be a fresh start for a franchise that has suffered a dramatic fall in recent years. It's hard to believe that it has only been a decade since the first of back-to-back NBA Finals appearances by the Nets, and that they made the last of their six straight trips to the playoffs just five years ago.
They just got so bad so fast, bottoming out with a 12-70 record in 2009-10, that everyone seems ready to move on. Along with their new name and location, the Nets are abandoning their red, white and blue look, switching to black and white as their primary colors.
The new shield logo -- which has "Nets" printed above a basketball with a block "B" on it -- was designed by minority owner Jay-Z and inspired by New York City Transit Authority subway signs from 1957. And we all know the significance of that year.
So if the new logo symbolizes a return to the glory years for Brooklyn sports fans, one can only hope that all of the change can also bring about a return to glory for the team as well.
"Hopefully, around this time next year you guys will be at our press conference for the 2013 playoffs," Nets Coach Avery Johnson told reporters at Monday's unveiling.
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Brooklyn Nets represent more than one fresh start