The NBA regular season opener between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks has been postponed due to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Thursday's game was to be the first played at the Nets' new home, Barclays Center.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recommended to the NBA that they postpone the highly anticipated game because of Sandy's "lingering effects" on the city's public transportation system, The New York Times reports. At first, the NBA was confident the game could go on as planned. Mayor Bloomberg was hopeful as well, and had planned to attend the game.
"The bottom line is there is not a lot of mass transit," Bloomberg said at a news conference at City Hall. "Our police have plenty of other things to do."
"Mayor Bloomberg informed us this afternoon (Wednesday) that after further analysis of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy that he felt it was in the best interest of the city of New York, the teams, and our fans that we postpone the Knicks-Nets game," NBA deputy commissioner Adam Siliver said in a statement according to ESPN. "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this devastating storm."
"We are disappointed that we can't play, but there are more things going on right now," Nets point guard Deron Williams said, the NY Daily News reports. "A lot of people lost homes, a lot of people lost loved ones, so a basketball game doesn't mean much right now." Williams also noted that the shake ups with the city's transportation system would have made it hard for fans to attend anyway, so he felt the decision to postpone the game was best for everyone.
The Nets were unable to practice Wednesday at their usual practice facility in East Rutherford because it had lost power, and the first floor had been flooded, so the team practiced at Barclays Center instead, The New York Times reports.
Nets' rookie point guard Tyshawn Taylor missed Wednesday's practice as he has been trapped in his Hoboken, NJ apartment due to flooding caused by the storm.
A make up date for the game will be announced, and Nets and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said all tickets for Thursday's game will be honored at the rescheduled game, ESPN reports.
"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy," Yormark said. "We know these are trying times for so many of you and our thoughts are with you."
Yormark said he will try to have the game rescheduled for a date before the end of this year, The New York Times reports.
The Nets' regular season opener at Barclays Center will now take place Saturday against the Toronto Raptors, and the Knicks will open their season Friday at Madison Square Garden against the Miami Heat.