Thursday's Nets opener on as scheduled

10/30/2012 10:04 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Apparently, nothing – not even a hurricane – can stop the Nets from officially kicking off the Brooklyn era on November 1.

NBA Spokesman Tim Frank confirmed via Twitter Tuesday night that despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, Thursday night’s season-opener between the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks will be played at the Barclays Center as scheduled.

Earlier in the day, Frank had Tweeted that the league was “assessing the situation” after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Tri-State Area on Monday, causing widespread flooding and power outages throughout the New York City metropolitan area.

Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn were especially hard hit by the storm, but reported that a Nets team spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that the Barclays Center sustained no damage. However, the storm did force NYC’s public transportation to be shut down completely, and while the MTA restored limited service as of Tuesday night, it may be days or weeks before the entire system is running full strength once again.

The Barclays Center, which is in close proximity to the Long Island Railroad and nearly a dozen subway lines, hopes to rely heavily on its patrons using that massive public transportation system.

Prior to the announcement, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had expressed hope that the game would go on as planned – saying he would be in attendance if it did – while Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz urged ticketholders to be mindful of potential transportation issues.

"Right now, our biggest priority in Brooklyn is helping with the recovery from this terrible storm, (and) I am confident that the NBA, in conjunction with the MTA, the NYPD and all of the necessary city agencies, will make a decision that represents the best interests not only of sports fans but of all of our citizens in New York City,” Markowitz said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “If the game is played Thursday, I certainly encourage fans to carpool and to take city buses … I expect that adequate numbers of traffic agents will be employed to move traffic swiftly, as has been the experience with the previous events at the Barclays Center."

The Nets will practice at Barclays Center on Wednesday, as their training facility in East Rutherford, N.J., is currently without power. One player who might not make it, however, is rookie guard Tyshawn Taylor, who Tweeted Tuesday that his apartment building in Hoboken, N.J. is without power and is “literally an island … flooded by water on all sides!” as a result of the storm.

To accommodate that change, a concert by the band Smashing Pumpkins planned for Wednesday at Barclays Center has been postponed.

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