The legend of Jackie Robinson is irreplacable.
It’s been 55 years since the Brooklyn Dodgers left New York for their current Los Angeles address. Residents of the nation’s 4th largest populace have yearned for generations to become relevant in sports once again.
The wait is nearly over.
The death of baseball in the Brooklyn gave life to street basketball which would become the borough’s calling card. There were Brooklyn-born-ballers like Fly Williams and Albert and Bernard King. Others migrated from Harlem, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan. Earl Manigault, Pee-Wee Kirkland, Lew Alcindor, Julius Erving and thousands of other young men became tailors of the fabric woven into a community clinging to a shattered dream 3,000 miles away.
The birth of the Hip-Hop phenomenon enveloped all of New York in the early 1970’s. Aspiring MC’s chose subways, street corners, parks and even stairwell cases in housing projects as their battleground. Superior lyricists traveled throughout the five boroughs as word of their skills spread.
Brooklyn can lay claim to some of the greatest MC’s to ever hold a mic. The Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, GZA, Fabolous, Lil’ Kim, Mos Def, Notorious B.I.G., Talib Kweli among others.
The one name omitted is also Brooklyn-born and bred. He thrived and survived as the drug era gripped Brooklyn and other inner cities throughout the U.S. In the end, he was fortunate enough to trade in his street hustler status for one of a cultural icon.
Shawn Carter (aka) Jay-Z is putting the final touches on an unprecedented hat trick in the name of his beloved Brooklyn.
After becoming part owner of the former New Jersey Nets, Carter was able to convince new owner Mikhail Prokhorov to move the team to Brooklyn from New Jersey.
The 18,000-seat Barclays Center rests across the street from the site where former Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley had chosen to build the new stadium for the Brooklyn Dodgers. O’Malley’s plan was ultimately rejected and led to the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn.
Not only has the arrival of the Nets inspired Brooklyn, but the New York sports landscape. The Knicks have had New York basketball to themselves since 1946. Once the red-headed stepchild of New York’s sports teams, the arrival of the sparkling Nets in the backyard of the New York Knicks has to make the most staunch Knickerbocker fan somewhat green.
If that doesn’t move them, maybe knowing the Knicks won’t be able to kick the Nets around will. This team is good. Eastern Conference contender good. Better without Dwight Howard good.
Led by All-Star point guard and gold medalist Deron Williams, the Nets house as many as three all-stars on their roster. In addition to Williams the Nets recently acquired shooting guard Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks to go with mainstays Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries and high energy man Gerald Wallace. Add in budding star MarShon Brooks was one of the NBA’s best reserves in his second season. The move that landed Johnson was made as a precursor to the team landing then-Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard. The move eventually fell through saving the squad from being stripped at other key positions just to acquire Howard.
Where the Knicks continue to surround Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire with aging stars including the once-retired Rasheed Wallace. The Nets have a solid young core which will be allowed to jell. The Knicks as well as the Eastern Conference have taken notice.
We won’t have long to wait for the results. The Knicks and Nets open their season on November 1st at Barclays Center.
Ed Reed playing through injured shoulder (Black Sports Online).
Bowling Green basketball coach Louis Orr is a victim of hate crime (Black Sports Online).
Jonathan Vilma practices to the delight of teammates (NFL Football).
Updates on NBA depth chart battles (Mike and McGoutry Show).
Art or vandalism (In Flex We Trust).
Canada provides assitance to flood victims in Nigeria (African Brains).
Didn’t hear about this (Hoops World).
Recent photos of Fidel Castro age 86 (CNN).
Is it cheating if there’s no sex (The Root).
Imagine Biggie sittin’ courtside at a Nets game