Nets Appreciate the Fans
By Cory Wright
On Fan Appreciation Night, the Brooklyn Nets felt appreciated by the fans.
Brook Lopez and Jeremy Lin addressed a sold-out Barclays Center before the game, thanking them directly for their support. They acknowledged that the rebuilding year had been tough at times, but that dedication through tough times really meant something to the team.
Lopez, the longest-tenured Net gave fans the ultimate compliment.
"We would be nothing without you guys," Lopez said. "Thanks again."
Outside, it was a sunny, 58-degree day in Brooklyn, but 17,732 fans packed a sold-out Barclays Center to spend their day inside with the Nets. That support - especially during a 19-60 season - stood out to the players and coaches.
"The crowd has been outstanding quite honestly considering we haven’t had a ton of wins and not fighting for a playoff spot," Coach Kenny Atkinson said pre-game. "It’s been great, the support has been great."
Atkinson said he’s felt the support away from the court as well. The Long Island native lives in Brooklyn and said he’s approached by fans at the store, or when he’s with his family around the borough.
"The feedback I always get is that we understand what you’re doing we like what you're doing and that’s a majority of the comments I get," Atkinson said. "We understand that we’ll have to take another step next year and they should demand that and that’s on us to get better this offseason, but outstanding support. I said it when I got the job, Brooklyn is basketball. They love it. It’s been great."
To show their appreciation, the Nets held a series of giveaways on Saturday evening. The Nets gave away a brand new Honda Civic to a mother and her three sons, gave another fan an Azad watch, while whole rows got movie passes and the team parachuted prize packs from the rafters.
At the end of the night, the Nets gave fans the jerseys off their backs.
All of it was to thank the fans, who were out in full force on Saturday night and behind the team all season.