Fifty-five years after the Dodgers left for the West Coast—and an additional two-day wait because of some bitch named Sandy—Brooklyn is hosting its first major professional sporting event tonight when the newly minted Brooklyn Nets take on the Toronto Raptors at the Barclays Center on the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.
A lot of folks have weighed in on the impact the arena and team will have on the borough (if you read one think piece about it, make it this one), but the question in our office was: Would longstanding Brooklyn residents, and long-suffering Knicks fans change allegiances and jump ship for the Nets and their celebrity owner, fancy new logo and colorway, and supposed BK pride? We talked to Brooklyn native Papoose about it last month (because all those other pubs already asked Spike Lee—who's sticking with the Knicks):
"A lot of people are disloyal but it puts everyone in an awkward position, especially if you’re from Brooklyn," said Papoose. "You know the Knicks your whole fucking life and they always let us down but it’s still New York. The Nets are Jersey’s team, let’s keep it real. But now they’re in Brooklyn. If they go against each other, I can’t go against my borough. I got to go with Brooklyn. If you’re from Brooklyn and you take pride in your hometown, then you got to go with where you’re from."
Really? At least one Brooklyn native begs to differ. Complex editors Justin Monroe and Jack Erwin, the former BK born and bred, the latter a resident since he was 20—and both Knicks fans with the battle scars to prove it—took up the issue for themselves. One still bleeds orange and blue, while the other has gotten caught up in the BK madness. They explain themselves in the essays that follow.