Albert King Tours Barclays Center Site
July 27, 2011
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—On Wednesday, former NETS forward
For Albert King, this was an outing that melded multiple pasts with a vision of the future. Traveling to Brooklyn's Prospect Heights neighborhood, just a short walk from where he grew up in Fort Greene, the retired Nets swingman joined current General Manager Billy King and media for lunch at Junior's and a tour of his former team's future home.
Guided by officials from Forest City Ratner Companies and Hunt Construction, the two Kings spent 30 minutes walking the concourse and taking in various views. Explanations enabled them to envision the final product, a task made easier with each day of progress.
"It's incredible," Albert King said. "You can see the stands, you can see the whole arena taking form, and it's exciting – especially coming from Brooklyn, and coming as a former Nets player. The only bad thing about it is I can't play in it!"
Billy King proved impressed at the differences made since he last visited in May, when the now-omnipresent pre-cast seating had begun to take shape. He is excited to be a part of the building's eventual opening, because he left an assistant coaching job with the Pacers just before the Conseco Fieldhouse opened in Indiana, joining the Sixers just after the opening of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
"This building will give the fan base an opportunity to just walk a couple of blocks to a game, or just jump on a subway," Billy King said. "You don't have to get in a car, you can jump in a cab. And when you have 2.4 million people living in the vicinity, it gives you a great opportunity to just get to a game. I think everybody wants to support the team; Brooklyn, now, will have a team. The people here will say, 'That's my team.' They'll wind up wearing Brooklyn hats, Brooklyn shirts. And if you're from Brooklyn, we're Brooklyn, and there's a sense of pride in that."
Albert King showed some of that pride, acknowledging that the area surrounding the arena has already begun becoming "what it could be," and enjoys knowing that there will be an option for fans who can't afford top ticket prices, or a trip out of the borough.
"There are going to be $15 seats available, and there are a lot of young kids – like myself, when I was growing up – that never had the opportunity to go to a pro game. Now, they'll have the opportunity to go, and I'm excited to see it."
For more from Albert and Billy's visit, view our Photo Gallery on Flickr.