Big Boy Shyt!!!
Rap impresario Jay-Z stood on a dais across the street from the monstrous Barclays Center construction site on Monday morning and tried his very hardest to get everyone to forget about the NBA lockout. A minority owner of the New Jersey Nets, Jay-Z made the long-anticipated announcement that the Nets will be known as the Brooklyn Nets when they move into the arena before the start of the 2012-13 season. "I am absolutely humbled," said Jay-Z, who looked resplendent in a dark suit that featured a white pocket square. Jay-Z toured the site. Construction workers flocked for photos. He announced that he intends to christen the new arena with a series of concerts. "Maybe one, maybe two, maybe three—I sound like LeBron," he said, taking a swipe at LeBron James's much-maligned championship prediction with the Miami Heat. For one sun-splashed morning, the labor strife that continues to threaten the 2011-12 NBA season was a non-issue. Perhaps that was the hope. Organizers of the press conference had promoted it by claiming it would include a "major announcement." The event did mark a milestone of sorts: the start of a 12-month countdown until the arena's scheduled opening in September 2012. Borough president and tireless Brooklyn booster Marty Markowitz painted the entire project—buffeted for years by grassroots opposition—as a victory for his constituents, and as a loss for the cross-city New York Knicks, a team he re-branded as the "Manhattan Knicks." "For generations, Brooklyn-ites were belittled and disrespected," Markowitz said. "Disrespected and belittled, no more! Next year, when we formally open this arena, the ghosts of Ebbets Field will forever be lifted." Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark rattled off the events to which the arena will play host: concerts, professional boxing cards, family shows. A person with direct knowledge of the league's plans confirmed Monday that the Atlantic-10 men's basketball tournament will move from Atlantic City to Barclays Center in 2013. Before he delivered his remarks, Jay-Z invited a group of students from George Westinghouse High School to join him on stage. He referenced his own childhood growing up in Brooklyn's Marcy Projects. He used the words "excited" and "pride" and "humbled," more than once. "I appreciate all the support from Brooklyn," Jay-Z said, "because without Brooklyn, I wouldn't be standing here, humbled." He spoke for a total of 1 minute, 43 seconds, and when he was done, he disappeared with his security detail. A phalanx of luxury vehicles awaited, engines running.*standing ovation* What a GREAT accomplishment...clap for 'em, Dancers!