New York – With the last leg of my US trip coming to a close, I felt that I had gone out and done practically everything that I had set out to do with the exception of catching an NBA game. While in California the week before, I had hoped to see the Warriors in Oracle Arena[i]. But as luck would have it, Golden State was in the middle of back-to-back games in Philadelphia (January 30) and New York (January 31).
I missed them by—placing my index finger ever closer to my thumb—this much as I only flew to New York the following evening. So my options now were either seeing the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden (February 2) or visit the spanking new home of the Brooklyn Nets: The Barclays Center (February 3).
It was an easy choice. The Nets. As I had never been to Barclays before[ii].
Following the concierge’s instructions to the letter, I took the suggested two trains and found myself in the Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center stop—right below the Barclays Center. I was prepared for my trip up to that point, but what I didn’t expect was the proximity of Barclays to the subway’s entrance. Now, I knew it was nearby. But I didn’t expect it to be that near! By my estimation, it was only a few feet away from the subway!
I don’t know what Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov and his associates paid the City of New York for such as sweet deal but as a first-time visitor: I was impressed.
Upon entering Barclays, I was immediately captivated by the view of the playing floor from the concourse. Highest marks to management—who could have easily added more seats to maximize their profits—for resisting the temptation. The view was breathtaking.
I then proceeded to the concession area, settled for Paisanos Burger, and bought their basket of chicken fingers and a drink. The entire meal almost cost as much as my ticket but it was certainly filling. My seat, in Section 207, was less exciting as it was closer to the rafters than the playing floor. Just to give you an idea how far I was, one would have to take an elevator to my level and then walk up a short flight of stairs.
The players warming up looked like ants! Section 207 was also parallel to Jason Kidd’s retired jersey.
The game featured the visiting Indiana Pacers who almost immediately after tipoff got their running game going and made the Nets play catch up the rest of the way. Swingman C.J. Miles of the Pacers—who didn’t even start—had it going with a team and game high 27 points. The man was efficient from everywhere on the floor and seemed to hit everything he threw up (10-15 FG, 3-3 FT, and 4-7 from deep).
With the outcome well in hand, I decided to leave for the hotel midway through the 4th quarter. It had been raining the whole day and I just wanted to get out of my soaking wet socks and running shoes.
Final score 114-100.
If there was one thing that I learned from this experience: Always check with your hotel’s concierge. They may be able to hook you up with tickets and (who knows?) maybe even at friendly prices.
[i] Even if the Dubs were in town that week, it would be no small feat to secure a ticket.
[ii] The Indiana @ Brooklyn game would mark the third time that I would get to see the Nets—in any of its incarnations.