Nets Lopez was the ‘center’ of attention on Bergen Street

for The Brooklyn Paper
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The New Jersey Nets don’t move to Brooklyn until next October, but one of the team’s stars couldn’t wait that long to take a look at his future home.

Nets center Brook Lopez toured the under-construction Barclays Center — but also liked what he saw beyond the rising steel skeleton at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

Before visiting the arena, Lopez, Nets GM Billy King and Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner chowed down at Bark on Bergen Street one block away. Despite a sling from last week’s surgery to remove bone mass, Lopez was able to down one of the joint’s special, organic, free-range, grass-fed, hand-massaged hot dogs and fries.

But Bark owner Josh Sharkey said King and Ratner enjoyed their meals even more.

“King had a hot dog and a sandwich, and then came back for another one,” Sharkey said. “Ratner had a good time, had a hot dog and some baked beans.”

Word spread quickly that a real, live NBA player was in the vicinity, and Nets fans crowded the restaurant to take photos and get autographs. Lopez was happy to oblige, and was surprised by all the attention.

“He didn’t think people would recognize him in Brooklyn,” said Nets Vice President Barry Baum.

Then, en route to Barclays Center, Lopez took a detour to Bergen Street Comics to buy some merchandise and shake hands with other customers.

“Great to see someone on the Nets is a comics fan,” said store owner Tom Adams. “He even knew that new comics come out on Wednesdays.”

The trio resumed course toward Barclays Center, but not without fans shouting from passing cars and running from stores into the street, some already sporting unofficial “Brooklyn Nets” jerseys.

Finally at the construction site, Lopez was in awe.

“He said he’s excited about the whole process of building an arena, and the engineering that it takes,” Baum said.

The arena is on schedule for a grand opening in September, 2012.

Starkey said he can’t wait.

“The arena is definitely positive for us,” Sharkey said. “It’s going to be a big improvement for the area.”

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Reader Feedback

Norman Oder says:
Easy to cover a story packaged by the Nets, right? Tougher to report on something more complex, like EB-5.
May 14, 2011, 6:35 am
Hot Doggerel from P Slope says:
Boycott Bark and their 8 dollar hot dogs. Wait, I thought Atlantic Yards supporters were the anti gentrifiers. Guess not. WOOF WOOF.
May 14, 2011, 7:58 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
"special, organic, free-range, grass-fed, hand-massaged hot dogs"

Really? Isn't any sausage hand massaged to some extent? Hot Dogs are made out of all the crap that would get thrown in the garbage otherwise, to pay $8 for one is the height of foolishness.
May 14, 2011, 10:05 am
Resident from PPW says:
Welcome to Brooklyn Brook! Even though I am a lifelong Knicks fan, looking forward to seeing you and your team in Brooklyn next year.
May 15, 2011, 5:57 am
Mike from Maspeth says:
Whoa! What an editorial change, Gersh! Writing a story that reads like a Ratner fan mail press release!
May 15, 2011, 9:13 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"Boycott Bark and their 8 dollar hot dogs. Wait, I thought Atlantic Yards supporters were the anti gentrifiers. Guess not. WOOF WOOF."

It was never about Brooklyn, the Nets, jobs for locals, or even affordable housing, it was just about Ratner trying to get another of his mega compelexes built, which will most likely fail in the long run. In reality, he couldn't care less about the people. Everything he is said to promise those who help will end up as lies as usual. The sheep have been lead to slautherhouse, and they were warned about that years ago.
May 15, 2011, 5:01 pm
Friend of Marty Mashugana from Borough Haul says:
Norm at Atlantic Yards Report needs to get a life. Every single story doesn't have to be how Atlantic Yards is a boondoggle. The arena is happening and Brook Lopez coming to visit the new place is news for a local paper. Who the F is Norm anyway? He stinks like his last name. His reporting is biased against Ratner, just like he claims this story is biased for Ratner.
May 16, 2011, 12:38 am
harriet from Brooklyn says:
I know the staff at Brooklyn Paper is short of resources, but I don't want PR pieces in any newspaper, even free ones. If the Brooklyn Paper wants to re-write press releases, why don't you cover those of local community groups? I would rather hear about a Brooklynite eating a hotdog, not some employee of a Russian mining billionaire.

Let's keep this paper about Brooklyn. There's lots of real news here.
May 16, 2011, 9:34 am
Gladys from Fishbowl West says:
What's up with Lopez's elbow? It looks so, so BLIGHTED.
May 16, 2011, 10:39 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"His reporting is biased against Ratner, just like he claims this story is biased for Ratner."

Excuse me, but Oder has done extensive research on this very project. Also, he is well credited for this. Rather than making personal attacks at him, how about giving proof where he is wrong instead. Tell me something that he doesn't know especially on the EB-5 program that most never talk about. Until then, I will just see you as another possible paid supporter who tends to act very defensive on this.
May 16, 2011, 2:44 pm
Jim from South Brooklyn says:
No one wanted to build in Brooklyn. Not even Trump. Mr. Ratner was the first to cross the bridge and build pierpont Plaza in 1987.IMHO, without Mr. Ratner, there is no brownston brooklyn revitalization. It took years to get the Brooklyn Marriott built because no one wanted to take a chance. Hilton backed out. The area was so blighted that the no one wanted to restore the beautiful Granado hotel on Ashland & Lafayatte. It was torn down in the early 1990's Wake up, without him the area would still be a blighted crime ridden wasteland.
May 16, 2011, 4:54 pm
Be from real says:
Jim, when were the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill historic districts established? Well before Ratner.
May 16, 2011, 10:03 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jim, please don't give me that Ratner is a saviour for Brooklyn when he clearly wasn't. Oder debunked that Real Deal article last week. Speaking of MTC, that complex actually alienates a 24-7 community, not helps it. In the end it was nothing but an office park. His malls were no good either, because they were the usual housing for corporations, and not local businesses. When was that area ever blighted? Even Roger Green, who supports this project, never found that to be true. Also, what makes you think it's just because of him that it was no longer blighted? There is a good chance that neighborhoods can build themselves. Then again, it's obvious for someone from South Brooklyn to support it, which is where most of them are from if not paid by Ratner.
May 17, 2011, 7:50 pm
yourmotha from parkslope says:
these dicks didnt needa move here. its bad enough we have all these yuppie hipster scum moving in now to mess the parking up. lets invite the nets to build a huge ugly stadium by a already f**ked up street to drive on. we dont need drunk hyped up basketball fans pouring onto the streets on Atlantic theres gona be to many car accidents.
May 18, 2011, 10:19 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jim, how would you like it if this was being build where you live, and both Ratner and Markowitz called your neighborhood blighted? You would fight tooth and nail like those that are doing it right now, or just sell and leave? Take a walk in their shoes before thinking something like this. Also, doesn't the fact that this is near the most congested intersection sound like a bad idea? If it couldn't handle the traffic now, what makes you think it can when there are games there? That was pretty much the reason not to have a stadium for the Dodgers there. The traffic won't be residual being that it's about 20 blocks in from the BQE. Don't give me that most will take mass transit because of the transit hub nearby when there are still a number of those that drive to games. BTW, if that's the case, then the Major Deegan Expwy by Yankee Stadium shouldn't be packed when there are Yankees games because of the transit that is there, but it is. There is even a good chance that many will be going through your neighborhood just to get to and from the games.
May 18, 2011, 9:38 pm
Friend of Marty Mashugana from Borough Haul says:
Tal, all Norm does is write one-sided articles. I am not saying a lot of his work is not good, but he never gets the other side -- or makes a solid effort. And if someone disagrees with him, that person is "brutally weird." It is getting old like Bloomberg's reign of error.
May 18, 2011, 11:27 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Friend of Marty Mashugana, just because Oder happens to be against the project doesn't mean that he is always writing against it. There have been some cases where he has acknowledged what is there. The only difference here is that he is mentioning what is really happening and how some of the media keeps getting some of it wrong. I am still waiting for evidence that the EB-5 Program that your friend Marty is backing to be found true, but until then, I will consider some of what you say to be slander. Then again, it's not surprising to hear from Ratner's supporters to say something bad about Oder and trying to get their 15 minutes of fame by doing so, which reminds me of those who do it to Michael Moore on his documentaries, interviews, speaches, and publications. Maybe, if you see the documentary, The Battle for Brooklyn, we can talk more about this.
May 19, 2011, 9:16 pm

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