Nets

Guide To Watching The Nets At Barclays Center

February 18, 2014 6:19 AM

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Photo Credit: Scribner

Photo Credit: Scribner

Jake Appleman is the author of Brooklyn Bounce: The Highs and Lows of Nets Basketball’s First Season in the Borough, published by Scribner on February 4th. Appleman has covered the NBA for ten seasons for SLAM magazine, GQ, Vibe, NBCSports.com, NBA.com, and most recently The New York Times.

In sister company Simon & Schuster’s Brooklyn Bounce, Jake Appleman takes readers on a stirring ride through the ups and downs of the Nets’ first season in their new home. A history of the Nets as well as a story of their reinvention to evolve into the Brooklyn scene, Brooklyn Bounce is great for Nets’ fans and basketball enthusiasts alike.

Here, Jake gives us an insider’s tips on where to eat, drink, and sit during a Nets game at the Barclays Center.

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Barclays Center
620 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(917) 618-6100
www.barclayscenter.com

In abundance: Black seats, brand sponsors, people in Nets gear, open space in the atrium and the concourses, transportation options to the game.

Lacking: Organic acoustics from all of the fans screaming at the same time, music that isn’t Brooklyn-oriented hip-hop or new-age dance techno.

Coolest feature: The giant circular scoreboard outside of the arena known as the Oculus gives Barclays Center its futuristic feel. The scoreboard constantly projects everything from streaming looped highlights of the game to beaming light out into the night. The beautiful herringbone court and the ability to watch traffic on Atlantic Avenue during breaks in the action from some of the arena’s seats are also both worthy Barclays Center features.

More: Where To Eat Near The Barclays Center

Worst seats: Generally, try not to sit behind a basket, although premium behind-the-basket views at Barclays are still better than at most other NBA arenas due to the angle of the lower bowl in relation to the court.

Best seats: There is no shortage of quality seats on both levels. Sitting in the front rows in the upper level is perfect for watching plays develop.

Photo Credit: Calexico

Photo Credit: Calexico

Clubs: Fans looking for the VIP experience can go to the Calvin Klein Courtside Club, the Honda Club, or Jay-Z’s 40/40 club.

Cheap eats: Buffalo Boss boneless chicken wings with fries ($10.75), Nathan’s foot long hot dog ($8), Veggie Burger at Brooklyn Burger ($8).

Fancier Eats: Pastrami or corned beef at David’s Deli ($16.75), fish tacos at Calexico ($14.75), anything cheesecake-related.

Best place to stand: Standing right outside section 101, just off the main entrance yields a beautiful panoramic view.

Worst place to stand: Standing anywhere during the beginning of the second half is not the best way to watch the game. For the second consecutive season, the Nets have often struggled during third quarters, especially when fans lag behind in clubs and a post-halftime lull leaves the crowd in its sleepiest state.

More: The 10 Best College Basketball Bars In NYC

Photo Credit: Nathanial S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo Credit: Nathanial S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Many Mascots: Not only do the Nets boast arguably the scariest official mascot in the NBA – The BrooklyKnight – Barclays Center is also home to the team’s two unofficial mascots: Bruce Reznick aka Mr. Whammy, an older man who attempts to distract opposing free throw shooters, and Jeffrey Gamblero, a graffiti artist who acts as the team’s aisle dancing extraordinaire and unofficial Jumbotron hype man. Before I knew Gamblero’s name, I just thought of him as “dancing neon undershirt guy,” because he always pairs a custom Nets jersey with a colorful undershirt (turquoise, lime-green, banana-yellow, etc.).

Conclusion: The Barclays Center is a visual spectacle with a lot going for it. The stadium will cater to more emotionally invested fans as the team improves and the need for sheen and promotional shouting wears off. The business of basketball is winning.

Jake Appleman is the author of Brooklyn Bounce: The Highs and Lows of Nets Basketball’s First Season in the Borough, published by Scribner on February 4th. Appleman has covered the NBA for ten seasons for SLAM magazine, GQ, Vibe, NBCSports.com, NBA.com, and most recently The New York Times.

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