May 20, 2010 3:38 PM | 10
When the Dodgers left Brooklyn 53 years ago they not only ripped out our hearts and guts they also took away the borough's only major league sports franchise. We all know this sad story, so let's not dwell on it here; better for Brooklyn sports fans to turn their attentions to the hardwood machinations of a spindly Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov, majority owner of the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets. Or, I should say, the Brooklyn Somethingelses.
At a recent press conference Prokhorov hinted that the nickname Nets might stay behind in Newark when the team moves to the Barclays Center in a few years, leaving me to wonder just what kind of name would be appropriate for a bunch of dunking, spin-moving, alley-ooping colossi flexing their muscles in the land of Junior's cheesecakes.
There are a number of options open to any owner looking to rename a team: one could call on history -- like football's San Francisco 49ers; or look to industry -- the Detroit Pistons, the Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers; or one could even make a crafty literary allusion -- after all, football's Baltimore Ravens are named for Poe's famous bird. In each case, the owner needs to think about the place where the team plays and what it is about that place that makes it special. And we all know there's a lot that makes Brooklyn special -- so what to call our future basketball team?
Here's my suggestion.
THE BROOKLYN WHITMANS
Think about it. We would be the most mystical team in the entire league! Freely espousing and freely dunking all over the place. Plus there's a built in nickname for all diehard fans -- the Whitmaniacs. We could have beautiful green uniforms -- Leaves of Grass -- with lines of poetry embroidered along the trim. And even if kids would be a little frightened at first by the bearded mascot who riles up the crowd with poems read in a booming voice over the arena PA, in time they would love him and come to think of him as a kind of Naismithian Santa Claus. Finally, and most importantly, when LeBron James gets here he could invent a new dunk and name it something like The Body Electric or The Deathbed Edition. Even if Mikhail Prokhorov doesn't go for it, I'm sure that other Brooklyn poet and minority owner, Jay-Z, is in my corner.
But what do you think? What would be a good name for this new team? We're curious to know!