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Monday, April 30, 2012
Brooklyn Nets unveil logos

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- New name. New borough. New arena. New logos, too.

The Brooklyn Nets unveiled their brand-new logos on Monday morning.

The Nets will have a black-and-white color scheme, which pays homage to the old New York subway signage system.

The Nets will have a pair of primary logos. The first features a shield and the name "NETS" accompanied by the letter "B" inside a basketball and "BROOKLYN" underneath. The second features the letter "B" inside a basketball encircled by "BROOKLYN NEW YORK."

"Hello, Brooklyn! I've been waiting a long time to say that," center Brook Lopez said at the team's formal logo unveiling at the Modell's Sporting Goods store across the street from the team's new home, the Barclays Center.

The Nets on Monday unveiled their new logos, which rapper and part-owner Jay-Z helped design.

The Nets will move into the $1 billion arena at the start of the 2012-13 season.

"We've been waiting a long time for this," CEO Brett Yormark said. "The Brooklyn Nets are finally part of the conversation."

Yormark said that the Nets' circular logo will be at center court at the Barclays Center. Yormark referred to the shield as "the shield of Brooklyn," and it will appear on the team's shorts.

Team part-owner Jay-Z played an instrumental role in the design of the logos.

"The Brooklyn Nets logos are another step we've made to usher the organization into a new era," Jay-Z said in a statement. "The boldness of the designs demonstrate the confidence we have in our new direction. Along with our move to Brooklyn and a state-of-the-art arena, the new colors and logos are examples of our commitment to update and refine all aspects of the team."

The hip-hop mogul and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the majority owner of the Nets, were not in attendance.

A spokeswoman for Prokhorov said he "loves" the new logos. According to the spokeswoman, the logos began being designed a year ago, and discussions were still taking place as of a few weeks ago.

Brooklyn has not had a major league sports franchise since the Dodgers left in 1957. Developer Bruce Ratner, who pushed for the move to Brooklyn beginning a decade ago, said the curse of former Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley, who moved the team to Los Angeles, is dead as of "[Monday]."

The Nets will unveil their new uniforms sometime in the fall. They are the only team in the league to have a black-and-white color scheme.

NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver isn't going to root for the Nets per se, but believes it's important for the team to get off to a good start as it begins to cultivate an identity in Brooklyn.

"They'll get it done. They were unlucky last season, and it didn't help that they were playing in a temporary arena and about to make a move," Silver said. "Cementing their identity in Brooklyn, I believe, will help in player recruitment as well."

General manager Billy King wants the team to be competitive immediately.

"We're not gonna build slowly," King said.

Coach Avery Johnson said that hopefully, "at this time next year you guys will be in my press conference for the 2013 playoffs."

King has a lot of work to do. The Nets wrapped up their 35th and final year in New Jersey with a 22-44 record. They have not made the playoffs since 2006-07.

Superstar point guard Deron Williams has reiterated his intentions to opt out and become a free agent. Williams said he'd like to come back and be part of the first team in Brooklyn Nets franchise history, but he's expected to be heavily courted by a number of suitors, most notably his hometown Dallas Mavericks.

Lopez, a restricted free agent, wants to stay with the organization that drafted him. Small forward Gerald Wallace has said he'd like to return but plans to opt out because he wants a multiyear deal. Power forward Kris Humphries is an unrestricted free agent.

MarShon Brooks, Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro and Jordan Williams are the only Nets who have guaranteed contracts for the upcoming season.

Merchandise featuring the Brooklyn Nets' new identity is available at Brooklynnets.com and the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor for ESPNNewYork.com.