Brook Lopez had been speaking at the lectern for merely 34 seconds, talking about how thrilled he was to finally see the Brooklyn Nets' logo officially unveiled, when he experienced his first "Welcome to Brooklyn" moment.
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As the Nets center started praising the black-and-white color scheme and sharpness of the logo created by rapper/minority owner Jay-Z, a fan standing a few feet away shouted "Ho-va!" -- a reference to one of Jay-Z's nicknames. Lopez, unsure what was going on, said, "What?"
After an incredulous look that garnered a few chuckles, Lopez, who grew up in Fresno, Calif., continued with his homage to the Nets' fresh look. Welcome to Brooklyn, indeed.
The Nets officially unleashed their new brand to the world in the shadows of the $1-billion Barclays Center Monday, beginning a long-awaited chapter. They released the team's two logos -- with the primary one displaying the word "Nets" in a shield with a "B" emblazoned on a basketball beneath it -- as they kicked off a week of community events to celebrate their Brooklyn arrival.
"The logo is bold," said Nets coach Avery Johnson, standing inside the Modell's at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues. "It's going somewhere where nobody else has gone. Nobody else has gone black-and-white. This is chic. It's different and it's bold. That's what the 'B' is all about. It's about Brooklyn, it's about Brooklynites. It's about being bold and that's what it's all about -- energy."
Soon, though, it's going to be all about Deron Williams and whether he'll be in a Nets uniform with the new logo on it come fall. The point guard said he wants to decide where he'll play before the Olympics begin in July.
"He wanted to go see the Barclays Center [last week]," Johnson said. "We didn't twist his arm to go and see it. He had a great visit. He saw where his locker is going to be, he saw the court, he saw our practice gym, and the main thing is he can envision himself shooting there on some off night, getting ready for games.
"Hopefully opening night next year, he'll be wearing No. 8 in the Barclays Center."
"He's done it every day since I've met him," King said. "So it's nothing that I shy away from, man. But I want the same thing. He's not asking for anything that I'm not asking for. It's something that as we go forward, that's an easy task for me. It's just to go out there and try to build a winner."