Newark Pushing for NBA Team Once Nets Leave

by January 26, 2011

New Jersey’s governonr has had what he terms as “casual conversations” with David Stern about getting a team to replace the Nets after they leave for Brooklyn. From the Bergen Record: “[Governor] Christie said he is aware that Stern has expressed doubts about the feasibility of a third NBA franchise joining the Nets and New York Knicks in the same metropolitan area. ‘But sometimes people don’t say things to me that are going to make me unhappy — you know how that works,’ the sometimes combative Christie said with a smile at a press conference at Newark’s Prudential Center. The event touted the upcoming NCAA men’s college basketball tournament games to be played there in March. ‘I think there is a future for NBA basketball here in Newark,’ Christie said. ‘I think that New Jersey having a state-of-the-art facility like Newark has here, you have the possibility of doing that. We support three [National Hockey League] teams in the region, so I don’t see why we can’t support three basketball teams.’ The Nets moved to Newark last fall from the Izod Center for the first of what is scheduled to be two seasons at ‘The Rock’ while the Barclays Center is being built near downtown Brooklyn. But thanks to the Nets’ lame duck status, lack of a charismatic star, and another poor record this season, the Nets remain last in the NBA in average attendance at 13,123 per game. That’s up just 20 fans per game from last season. Christie said Newark will impress fans from whichever four visiting NCAA schools advance to the third tournament round to play there in March.”