Keeping the NBA in New Jersey

New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center, NewarkIf you Devils fans are anything like us Devils Army Generals (and I bet you are), you may not be huge NBA fans.  Or if you’re like me, you see the possible lack of an NBA season as nothing more than a great opportunity for the mass media to step up their hockey coverage.  That being said, I think few can deny that our Great State of New Jersey could benefit from having an NBA team.  The economic benefit is a great boast, and who doesn’t want another team to bring a championship to the state?  With the NJ Nets leaving Newark when their new arena is completed, that would leave us with one major league team to call our own.

That being said, basketball star Shaquille O’Neal (you may have heard of him) is looking to bring basketball to Newark.  Shaq was actually born in 1970’s Newark, so needless to say he has an emotional connection to the city that many of us have come to call our second home.  Shaq recently had a chat with the folks behind The New York Times NBA blog, Off The Dribble.  It’s a small portion of a much bigger interview, but here are the basics: Shaq knows that Newark can support an NBA team, and he wants to be one of the guys to bring it there. Knowing how excited Mayor Booker was about having the NCAA Basketball Tournament in Newark this past season, I bet he would be interested in this as well.

Personally, I’m all in.  I love New Jersey and traveling into Newark for Devils games more and more recently has shown me a lot of the city.  I want to see Newark be the best it can be, and I feel that having an NBA that’s there to stay could be a huge benefit.  It would also be pretty cool to have the best arena in the NHL become the best arena in the NBA.  Tell us what you think.  Do you want to see pro basketball back in Newark ASAP, or do you think three teams in one market is asking too much.  Comment away!

Special thanks and credit to The New York Times and Off The Dribble writer Joe Brescia for posting the interview.

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About DougTownsend

There is more to my life than the NJ Devils, but that's not important right now. Follow me on Twitter @DDougyy.

Posted on October 19, 2011, in Devils Army Generals, Prudential Center, The Rock and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. As much as I am not a basketball or an NBA fan, it would be nice for the Prudential Center to have another professional team as a co tenant with the Devils. With the money issues looming over the arena and the city investing heavily on the arena to attract businesses, I would like to see the Pr Center generate more revenue. Before the NBA lockout, the Nets revenue would have put the arena in the profitable margin (the black) for the first time since it has been built.

    Now I know most Devils fans have the reaction of “Keep the NBA out” or “The Rock is the Devils home”. You have to face an economic reality: the Devils don’t sell out every game, and it doesn’t bring in enough revenue. Most city’s have an arena that both the NBA & NHL share because it makes economic sense. If the NBA helps to keep the Devils & the Pru Center running in Newark for the long haul, then I’m for it.

  2. The nets had their chance to win the state a championship several times and failed.
    I was so disgusted last year when I saw all of these Nets banners of players all over the rock. It’s our building, was built for our team. Also I’m pretty sure the nets/knicks have a location veto thing for any franchise coming into the NYC area, we already know that 3 nhl teams is too much, a new NBA team won’t survive.

  3. I cannot disagree more with Maxx, three teams is not too many, in any sport. I have not been a basketball fan in some time, but I think there’s more than enough support for a team in Newark. Having the Nets banners was always part of the experience at the Brendan Byrne/CAA arena, and I looked forward to it. Having them back in The Rock has been nice, not offensive. That’s part of the problem with the Northeast sports fan, not enough of being happy for others and always wanting it to be about them. Personally, I’m far more disgusted by Devils fans chanting “You S***!” after goals and you-know-who S***s during games. It makes us low class, and makes us seem like we’re more concerned about whether someone else loses than whether our team wins. Even the Philadelphia Union have worked hard to discourage similar chants in their building, and I’d like to think of NJ fans as classier than Philly, but the truth is we’re not – we’ve been petty and small for years, running around with a chip on our shoulder because we don’t garner the lion’s share of the press in a crowded market.
    The truth of the matter is that multiple teams creates rivalries, which are needed to get attention in this part of the country. Why wouldn’t we want others to have something they enjoy, such as having a basketball team to call their own on this side of the Hudson?

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