On the same day his buddies Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov are laying waste to one of Brooklyn's great community bars—Freddy's Bar and Backroom—BEEP Markowitz is upset about reports of yet another Atlantic Yards bait-and-switch. Turns out the Cleveland and Russia based tycoons may not call the team they want to move to the Barclays Center Arena the Brooklyn Nets or the Brooklyn Anythings.
And that upsets Markowitz, because...you know...he cares so much about Brooklyn and the important things, or at least that "Brooklynish thing."
Hate to say we told you so Markowitz.
Funny, he didn't seem to care about any of his colleagues (or constiuents) who have been furious about the Atlatnic Yards scam he spent the past seven years cheerleading.
Nets to Change Name, and May Not Use 'Brooklyn'
Local Pols Were Counting on Boost for Borough
WNYC. By Matthew Schuerman
A lot of Brooklyn politicians—and local residents—gave their support to the Atlantic Yards complex assuming it would be host to "the Brooklyn Nets." Now, they can't be so sure.
A team spokesman, Barry Baum, confirms news reports that the team submitted an application to change its name to the NBA. The timing, he said, was in order to be ready for the move to Brooklyn, expected in late 2012. But Baum wouldn't specify what the desired name would be or whether it would use "Brooklyn" or "New York" as the geographic name. The NBA also wouldn't comment.
While the sports world is abuzz with speculation over a nickname change, local officials are more concerned about the geography.
"The owners from day one—the one pledge they made, beside other pledges, was that the name would be the Brooklyn something," Borough President Marty Markowitz said. "And I don't care what the second name is as long as the first name is Brooklyn."
An agreement that Ratner's group negotiated with state officials to secure subsidies they needed for the project leaves open whether New York or Brooklyn would be used. That agreement was signed last October, about a month after the sale to Prokhorov was announced but before it closed.
"The company shall cause the team to play all of its home games using a name that incorporates the words 'New York' or 'Brooklyn,' unless otherwise agreed to in writing by ESDC," the document states, using the acronym for the Empire State Development Corporation.
Markowtiz says he wasn't aware of the document and would be disappointed if the team chose "New York" for its name.
"I know my colleagues in Brooklyn would feel very upset about it," he said.
The article continues:
But Markowitz said he didn't see any business reason why Prokhorov would break Ratner's promise. "The whole idea of locating a basketball team in Brooklyn is because of the Brooklyn persona, the Brooklyn brand, the whole Brooklynish thing," he said. "The name 'Brooklyn' is probably better known or at least equally known in the world as 'New York.'" (Emphasis added.)
Markowitz threw out a couple of other name suggestions of his own that would keep the borough's name intact—the Brooklyn Bridges and the Brooklyn Attitudes, for example. Prokhorov has been a bit more cavalier about the issue, once suggesting to reporters that he could rename the team after his girlfriend, except that would mean he'd have to change the team's name often.