"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Just To Get a Rep

Real nice piece over at SB Nation’s Longform on the Branding of Brooklyn by Brandon K. Thorp:

Outside Modell’s on Oct. 3 stood an elderly black man almost entirely dressed up in precisely that blue and orange crap — a Knicks windbreaker over a Carmelo Anthony jersey over a white tee-shirt, and an old-timey New York Knicks cap that actually said “Knickerbockers.” This man’s name was, it happens, Oscar Modell. “No relation,” he said.

Modell lives in Bed Stuy, and always has. “I just took a walk to see [Barclays],” After he did a walk-around of the arena, Oscar said he’d go to Junior’s, in downtown Brooklyn, for a piece of cheesecake.

“This is looking real good here,” he said. “I never thought I’d see something like it. I look forward to seeing the Knicks beat the stuffing out of the Nets here.”

Asked why he, a lifelong Brooklynite, wouldn’t root for a Brooklyn basketball team, he laughed.

“Brooklyn doesn’t have a basketball team,” he said. “Brooklyn’s got an arena. But I read the boys on the Nets don’t even live in Brooklyn. They don’t even live in New York.”

This is true. The Nets mostly still live in Jersey, near their practice facility. Small forward Gerald Wallace remarked recently that he’d never move to Brooklyn; that he’s too frightened of New York City to ever live in it.

“The boys on the Knicks, maybe they’re not from New York, but at least they want to come here,” he said. “Just like people from all over the world want to come here. That makes it a hometown team. But the Nets? The Brooklyn Nets? The Brooklyn Nets is just a logo. Maybe one day it’ll be more than that, but not yet. Not for a long time.”

Here’s the Nets bandwagon: I ain’t on it.


1 NoamSane   ~  Nov 1, 2012 3:07 pm

I'm on the Houston Rockets bandwagon! Lin, Asik, now the Beard Harden? Royce White is an intriguing guy. I'm definitely rooting for him to succeed. They may or may not win games, but I bet they'll be a lot of fun to watch.

I'm excited for the new Knicks - Nets rivalry, and Brooklyn pro basketball in general, but the actual teams on the floor I expect will leave me a bit cold.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Nov 1, 2012 6:06 pm

I agree with Modell, the Nets are really a gaggle of carpetbaggers right now. But Brooklyn is gentrifying and changing anyway, so they should be the perfect representation of this.

3 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Nov 2, 2012 6:49 am

[2] Nailed it. Parts of Brooklyn now I don't recognize at all from my youth in the 80s..this is not always a bad thing of course! It's certainly safer in many places but..well, the 'gentriwhiteification' of a lot of spots is just not Brooklyn.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver