Dress Rehearsal: Brooklyn Nets’ exhibiton opener at Barclays Center a smashing success
As far as dress rehearsals go, this one had all the makings of a long-running hit on the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues.
A full-throated crowd of 14,219 Brooklynites earned the right to say they saw the Nets play their first-ever game in Brooklyn, albeit an exhibition contest against the Washington Wizards, on Monday night.
From the opening tip, which unofficially ended our borough’s 55-year drought without a pro sports franchise, to the final buzzer of an impressive 98-88 victory, Nets fans, decked out in the franchise’s brand new black-and-white color scheme, rocked the Barclays Center from points high and low in the state-of-the-art arena, which will host its first-ever regular-season affair come Nov. 1 against the East River rival Knicks.
“It was absolutely fantastic,” gushed Nets center Brook Lopez, who led five players in double figures for the “home team” with 18 points and 11 rebounds. “I couldn’t help but smile most of the time. The fans brought a lot of energy. The arena was alive the whole time. It was really fun for us to be out there playing.”