Nets start planting roots in Brooklyn (we mean that literally) • Brooklyn Paper

Nets start planting roots in Brooklyn (we mean that literally)

Tree-mendous: A panoply of Net officials — including the legendary Sly Fox (second from right) and former NBA great Darryl Dawkins (fourth from right) — helped plant a tree in Fort Greene Park last week, one of nearly 300 that the Brooklyn-bound team will earth.
Photo by Tom Callan

The New Jersey Nets wear red on the court — but they touted “green” in Brooklyn last week.

The Brooklyn-bound basketball continues to pitch itself as a good neighbor, this time by promising to donate hundreds of trees to the borough.

In September, the team will plant 300 oaks and maples in open spaces around the borough — like in Fort Greene Park — as part of its “Trees for Threes” effort, which matches one tree with every three-point shot made during the team’s 24-58 season.

The team will move into a completed Barclays Center arena for the 2012-13 season.

“We’re excited to make our entry into the community in a green way,” said Petra Pope of the team’s marketing department. “As we settle in, we’ll continue to do good things.”

The tree donations come after years of tension surrounding Atlantic Yards, which will bring the team’s 19,000-seat arena to the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, shaking up everything from traffic to nightlife in Park Slope and Prospect Heights.

It also comes as Boerum Hill residents are angry about a traffic mitigation plan that they believe will flood their streets with noise and pollution — all of which takes more than a few leaves to remedy, they say.

Borough President Markowitz was more welcoming.

“We can’t wait until the Nets are not only planting their trees in Brooklyn, but making their ‘threes’ here as well,” said Markowitz, who has long championed the $4-billion Atlantic Yards mega-project and the arena at its core.

Last Friday, Markowitz along with former Nets center Darryl Dawkins, Brooklyn Parks commissioner Kevin Jeffrey and even some of the team’s cheerleaders planted the first tree in Fort Greene Park.

A total of 459 trees will be planted — with 159 going to New Jersey. A Nets spokesman could not yet confirm which Brooklyn parks would receive the green infusion.

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