Playing with the pros: Fans join Brooklyn Nets athletes for practice on B’Bridge Park courts

Brooklyn Paper
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Hoops and hair: Peter Ramirez cut Aiden Garcia’s hair at the Brooklyn Nets’ open practice in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday.
Fresh: Fans got their sneakers cleaned up at the event.
Ready for the show: Hundreds of Nets fans gathered for the public practice in the waterfront park.

It was nothin’ but Nets!

Players from hometown basketball team the Brooklyn Nets put on a show for hundreds of people in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday when they hit the meadow for a practice session followed by a block party. Fans traveled from near and far for a chance to see the ballers in a more relaxed setting, and one long-time devotee said his journey was well worth it.

“We had a good time,” said Marlo Williamson, who drove from New Jersey with his 9-year-old son Miles to attend the “Practice in the Park” event. “It was nice to see the players up close and interacting with us.”

Team members, including star point-guard Jeremy Lin, first took the waterfront courts at Pier 2 to do some drills and shoot around before inviting onlookers to play ball with them.

The spectators then joined those who did not get to see the training session, which required reserving tickets in advance, at an open-air party that boasted fan-favorite festivities including face-painting, temporary-tattoo applications, and haircuts.

Williamson — who said he’s been a Nets fan since 1984, when the squad played in New Jersey — never attended an open practice before, and said he was pumped to learn the athletes are kind, normal dudes.

“It was cool, they’re just like normal guys,” he said.

And park honchos cheered the event’s hosts, whom they encouraged to use the green space as an alternate practice site again down the line.

“We were thrilled to host the Brooklyn Nets at Pier 2 for their open practice and block party last Saturday. We look forward to working with the organization in the future on more great community events like this,” said Eric Landau, president of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 5:53 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Unfortunately, there isn't much to expect for the Nets this season as the move to Brooklyn was never found to be a magic bullet for them. In the end, they are just the same team just wearing a different uniform. The only reason they did good on their first year there was just because the team itself was good, not the location, and I bet if they stayed in NJ and did the same transactions, the results would have been the same. Even the trading of Brook Lopez to the Lakers for D'Angelo Russell didn't give them any boost especially on the GM Survey for this season in offseason trades. Then again, the season only starts today, and it's still too early to tell how far they will be going, though not much is expected for them.
Oct. 17, 2017, 4:42 pm

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