Brooklyn Nets Get NBA Stars Durant and Irving

Rings displayed at Barclays Center Plaza, Saturday, June 15 for Arianna Grande concert (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

PROSPECT HEIGHTS – A pair of NBA stars is moving to Brooklyn (well, at least that’s where they’ll be working).

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will be joining the Brooklyn Nets for the 2019-2020 season, ESPN reported on Sunday. Durant, a former Golden State Warrior, will sign a four-year deal worth $164 million, and Irving, a former Boston Celtic, has also agreed to a four-year contract and is slated to be paid $141 million during his tenure. (Under league rules, neither of them can officially sign yet.)    

New York’s other NBA franchise, the New York Knicks, reportedly shied away from signing the 31-year-old Durant due to concerns about his achilles tendon which he injured during the playoffs. The injury is likely to sideline him for much of the 2019-2020 season. 

DeAndre Jordan, an 11-year veteran who played on the Knicks for part of 2019, also plans to join the Nets.  

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With the Nets’ new star-studded lineup—which also features D’Angelo Russell—the Barclays Center’s often low ticket prices are likely to soar. The Nets’ median ticket price during the 2018-2019 season of $89 will rise to about $107, according to Brett Goldberg of TickPick

In 2016, developer Forest City sold the Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports and Entertainment. Joe Tsai, co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, recently finalized a deal to purchase a 49% stake in the team

Council Member Laurie Cumbo, who represents the neighborhood where the Nets play their home games, said she’s excited to welcome new talent to Brooklyn.  

“We’re so very proud to welcome Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan to the Brooklyn Nets,” Cumbo said in a statement. “The organization has already made tremendous strides this past season and we hope these new additions put our Nets in a position to bring a Larry O’Brien trophy home.”

The Council member added that she looks forward to possibly “partnering on socially responsible initiatives and cultural activities that uplift Brooklyn and the 35th District.”

But not all local politicians reacted to the news with jubilation.  

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams— who represented the 45th Council District before earning his citywide post and like many other Brooklynites remains a Knicks fan—despaired, blaming Knicks owner James Dolan for the team’s lack of big-time offseason acquisitions.  

“I think our @nyknicks are doomed until this owner just sets us free…. We got nothing. Nuthin!!” he tweeted

“But really @nyknicks you let them scoop us!!” he said in another tweet. “THEY JUST GOT HERE!! #tradedolan already dammit!!” 

 

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Sam Raskin

Sam Raskin has reported for Politico New York, Gotham Gazette, Gothamist and Curbed New York.

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