NEW YORK — Hello from Brooklyn, the home of Horshack, Hova and Hannah Horvath. And now Brooklyn is the home of hoops. The Nuggets played their first game in the borough Wednesday at the magnificent Barclays Center, a "fresh out of the box" arena.
"It's brand new, everything is high-tech, the lights are bright, it's a nice feeling out there," said Nuggets guard Corey Brewer. "The black seats. Everything is pretty cool."
The billion-dollar Barclays Center features herringbone-patterned maple hardwood, similar, as explained in a news release, to a Brooklyn brownstone (perhaps like the one Hannah stumbled into last Sunday on HBO's "Girls." Yes, I watch "Girls.") Special lighting has been installed to make the court appear like a stage, with darkness upon the seats, similar to the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Still, according to the same news release, the arena provides "the most intimate seating configurations ever designed into a modern arena with unparalleled sightlines."
(But I'm writing this from the second row of the press area, so my sightline is some reporter's mop.)
Still, the arena is pretty cool, I must say. There's a good vibe in here and a cool vibe around here. I was just walking in the neighborhood, amid delis and dry cleaners, and then I turned the corner, and there was a gargantuan arena.
Oh, and check this out: When a team arrives at the arena, its bus drives onto an enormous elevator. The bus is carried down to the event level, then rotated around the circumference of the arena until reaching the proper loading dock, Jetsons-esque.
And the crowd is as eclectic as the borough. Around me, I see everything from Joe Cools in business suits (glaring over at me, Schlomo Uncool) to (surely) a fashion model to some guy in neon and weird glasses dancing nonstop to Mr. Whammy. He's my favorite. He's an elderly man in a Brooklyn Nets jersey, "Mr. Whammy" on the back, who walked toward the base of the basket when the Nuggets were shooting free throws. And he barks at the shooter: "Hey, No. 3, gotta miss!" Then, upon the shot's release, he throws his arms, a whammy if you will, in the direction of the shooter.
Surely, Mr. Whammy went home thinking he had something to do with the Nuggets missing a bunch of free throws, though the folks in Denver know better.
Injury report. Danilo Gallinari missed the game against the Nets because of a sinus infection. Andre Iguodala's neck continued to bother him, so he also didn't play in Denver's final game before the NBA all-star break. Both players probably will return for Denver's next game, Tuesday against Boston at the Pepsi Center.
"The worst part is I've been on the road and I haven't been able to get good sleep," Iguodala said. "My pillows have been too soft. I'm getting treatments, it's working, but then I go back to sleep and it's back to square one. It's almost like a crick in your neck."