Nets end 35-year run in New Jersey, head to Brooklyn
A fan holds up a sign bidding farewell to the New Jersey Nets at the Prudential Center in Newark on Monday night.
April 24th, 2012
11:46 AM ET

Nets end 35-year run in New Jersey, head to Brooklyn

When the New Jersey Nets game ended Monday night, Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" blared over the loudspeakers at the Prudential Center in Newark.

When the Nets play their next home game, expect "Brooklyn (Go Hard)" - from Nets co-owner Jay-Z - to be the song of choice.

That's because the NBA team ended their 35-year run in New Jersey on Monday night with a 105-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Come fall, the team will become the Brooklyn Nets and play their games in the brand-new Barclays Center in the New York borough.

The Nets have one more game to play representing New Jersey - Thursday night against the Raptors in Toronto - before this season ends, but Tuesday morning, even the team's website was looking ahead to the 2012-13 season, displaying a blank logo on a black background with the Twitter hashtag "hellobrooklyn."

A sell-out crowd watched Monday night's loss to the 'Sixers, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wasn't there to give the franchise a nice sendoff.

“You don’t want to stay, we don’t want you,” he said at press conference earlier Monday.  “I’m not going to be in the business of begging people to stay here.

"Good riddance! See you later," Christie wished the Nets.

Others seemed to have moved on, too.

The sports front page of nj.com, the website of the Newark Star-Ledger, put the story of the Nets final home game in the city, in the 10th position, below even two items on the New York Knicks. The story was eight paragraphs long.

The mood was a bit better among the 18,711 patrons in the Prudential Center Monday night. The team brought back some its biggest stars, including Derrick Coleman, Kenny Anderson, Albert King and Kendall Gill, for the game. Current Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd, regarded as the best player in the Nets' history, recorded a message.

“Being a Net was a great time of my career,” Kidd said, according to a report in The Record of Bergen County. “And a great honor.”

Fans gave loud cheers when highlights of the team's two runs to the NBA Finals were shown, according to an ESPNNewYork.com report. But those finals runs ended in losses, just like more than 1,600 other games in the Nets record books.

And shortly after the cheers of "Let's go Nets" faded into silence Monday night, the Nets were indeed gone.

“Knowing that (the franchise) is not going to be here anymore, it’s definitely a sad day,” Coleman told The Record. “Just for the people here in the state of New Jersey. … it’s never going to be the same because it’s not here in Jersey.”

Star Ledger writer Dave D'Allesandro, penned the New Jersey Nets obit at the top of his column Tuesday morning.

"Pro basketball died here tonight after a long and excruciating illness. For much of its 35 years in New Jersey, it was an athletic institution paralyzed by trauma, triggered by a chronic gaucherie with spasmodic bouts of semi-competence.

"It is mourned by a few thousand fans who cared enough to notice the Nets for 41 nights a year, a few thousand others who liked the idea of good seats at discounted prices, a handful of newspaper guys now sentenced to watching that insufferable college game, and a mayor still holding out for a share of the parking revenue.

"The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Nets Center for Disease Control in support of those who suffer from the same masochistic devotion to blowouts and monumental failure."

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • New Jersey • Sports
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