dicusses the Nets and Barclays Center

Updated: October 8, 2012’s David Aldridge  talks about the Barclays Center and what it will do for Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Nets.

For a 675,000-square foot building of iron and concrete, the $1 billion Barclays Center in Brooklyn takes on many different shapes.

It is a beacon, which drew Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace back to play basketball there. It will also draw Barbra Streisand, Rihanna, Bob Dylan and Lady Gaga to perform in concert there. Not all at once.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Williams said last week, as the team got its first look at its 18,000-seat arena, built where Walter O’Malley wanted to put a new baseball stadium four-plus decades ago. He was not allowed to build that stadium there. And because of that, Walter O’Malley took his Brooklyn Dodgers and went to Chavez Ravine, 3,000 miles away. There hadn’t been another professional sports team that set foot in the borough — which would be the fourth-largest city in the United States if it weren’t part of New York City — since.

Brooklyn Nets

He went on to talk about the roster and how they think it will all come together.

Williams organized practices before the start of camp, with most players taking part in September, so that the team’s new players could get up to speed. He was in Joe Johnson’s ear this summer in the Hamptons. And he wants to be held accountable.

“Nobody’s scared to say something to me,” he said. “We’ve got vets. Jerry Stackhouse has been in the league 18 years. My good friend Keith Bogans keeps me straight. We have a good group. We have a good veteran group. We have guys that are at the point of their career where they want to win. They’re not worried about their stats.”

And they hope Barclays shifts shapes once more, into a real home for them, after so many years in the wilderness. The vision that GM Billy King and Prokhorov sold Williams to keep him from going to Dallas is on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic, perhaps not a catalyst to remake a borough, but just an arena, a fine arena that will enable the Nets to win more basketball games.

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