The Nets held their third-annual “Practice in the Park” for season-ticket holders in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday.
Playing on the outdoor courts on Pier Two overlooking the Upper New York Bay, the Nets hope to establish a connection between the team and the borough since the organization moved to Brooklyn in the summer of 2012. Judging by the amount of fans who showed up, it certainly has become a highlight event of the preseason.
“It’s amazing, man,” Garrett Temple said. “The environment. I’ve had a lot of fan engagement practices during training camp and preseason, this is easily the most impressive one. Being able to have Brooklyn on one side and Manhattan on the other of the East River.
“Just being able to be here, outside, we’ve got a great day and a great crowd. Hopefully it’s foreshadowing for a great season.”
Joe Harris, who has been with the Nets since they began the event, noticed it has gotten more popular and attracts more fans each year. And with the offseason additions of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant — both of whom were in attendance — the line to get in roped down the pier.
The team was able to interact with several fans around the outdoor court, and those attending had a chance to catch some merchandise thrown from the players.
The Nets debuted their new jerseys to the public on Saturday as well.
Eric Haze, the Brooklyn-based artist who crafted the jersey design, was in attendance and spoke to the crowd before the team came onto the court sporting the new gray uniform. He mentioned how he wants each player who dons the jersey to feel the pride of Brooklyn, and it was clear how well-received the new look was by the fans and the team.
“I’m lovin’ them,” Temple said while admiring the graffiti-style letters across his chest. “When I saw them at the lockers this morning I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s dope.’ I love grays, black and white. I’m really feeling the new jerseys and I’m really feeling the new court, it’s a great vibe.”
“For sure [I feel the pride],” Harris added. “The graffiti-type print is just symbolic of the borough itself and it’s got good vibe, good feel to it. It definitely kind of echoes the city to the team and vice versa.”