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Nets-Knicks opener in Brooklyn postponed

10/31/2012 4:07 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Thursday’s Nets-Knicks season opener at the Barclays Center has officially been postponed by the NBA due to damage incurred from Hurricane Sandy.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank had Tweeted Tuesday night that the game would be played as scheduled, but less than 24 hours later, it was called off at the request of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"Mayor Bloomberg informed us this afternoon that after further analysis of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy that he felt it was in the best interests of the city of New York, the teams and our fans that we postpone the Knicks-Nets game scheduled for Thursday night," NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this devastating storm."

The usual NBA policy on the status of a game is to play it if both teams and the three referees can make it to the arena, which wouldn’t have been a problem. However, the Barclays Center, which is served by both the Long Island Railroad terminal and nearly a dozen NYC subway lines, wants to rely heavily on its patrons using mass transit – and with most of the city’s public transportation still out due to effects of the storm, transportation to the game would have been difficult.

"It's a great stadium, it would have been a great game but the bottom line is there is not a lot of mass transit. Our police have plenty of other things to do," Mayor Bloomberg said at a news conference. “I’m sorry about the game; I was personally going to take my daughters and Diana (Taylor), and we were looking forward to it.”

The arena itself sustained no damage from the storm, and the Nets practiced there on Wednesday morning in anticipation of Thursday’s opener going on as scheduled.

"Some of you still don't have power, but there are people that have lost lives, lost loved ones, lost their belongings. So I think as an organization, as players, we've got to be sensitive and understand that it's bigger than the game of basketball," Nets general manager Billy King told reporters before Bloomberg's announcement. "What this storm has done to this region, as (New Jersey) Governor (Chris) Christie said, it's something that no one has really seen in their lifetime."

No date has been set for the rescheduled game, and as of now, the next scheduled meeting between the Nets and Knicks is set for Tuesday, Dec. 11 at Barclays Center.

As for the future, a later email sent by Frank said that the Knicks’ scheduled Madison Square Garden opener against Miami on Friday was set to go on as planned, and the league also confirmed that Saturday’s game between the Nets and Toronto Raptors will go on at Barclays Center as scheduled, with Mayor Bloomberg saying during his news conference that the city will work with the league to provide extra buses to Saturday's game in case the subways are not yet operational.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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