Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

The Brooklyn Nets and the battle for Big Apple affections


CHINA/The Brooklyn Nets …. LeBron James …. Battle for Big Apple affections ….┬áHot topics for sure among New York-area hoops fans with news that Russia’s richest man is riding to the $200 million rescue of the Nets, and Brooklyn may once again rise to alter the sports landscape of The City.

The long-ago announced plan to relocate the Nets — struggling to establish an identity and profitability in the swamplands of northern New Jersey — to Brooklyn has been an on-again, off-again mess with team owner, real estate mogul Bruce Ratner, fighting zoning boards, politicians, preservationists, environmentalists and the general economic morass for a mega development deal that included a new arena for the NBA club.

This put the Nets into a no-man’s land and a deconstruction of a once-successful team with Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson stripped away from a team that earlier in the 21st Century went to back-to-back NBA Finals.

Now with banking billionaire and former hoops player Mikhail Prokhorov an NBA owners’ vote away from joining the league as in-charge of the Nets, all things once again seem possible.