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east rutherford blues

Meanwhile, in East Rutherford ...

While Knicks fans were looking toward the future at MSG, out in East Rutherford the Nets were saying good-bye to a building with an alligator on the outside and a smattering of bored, embarrassed fans on the inside. This is the 29th, and last, year for the Nets in East Rutherford, with two years (at least) in Newark upcoming, and Brooklyn eagerly (and not-so-eagerly) waiting. Fittingly, the Nets lost, and even more fittingly, the team didn't even put together an East Rutherford highlights package. You thought the last game at Shea was bad? At least in Flushing people pretended to be sad.

Chris Sheridan from ESPN put together a nice retrospective of the Meadowlands, which included this happy tidbit:


I asked one Nets employee to recall a certain game that stuck out in his memory, and he came up with two anecdotes: One was the night Rod Strickland, who had been out late the night before with Sam Cassell, vomited on the court during the middle of a play (they didn't clean up the puke until the next whistle); and the night when Pat Riley was coaching the Knicks and Chuck Daly was coaching the Nets, and John Starks took out Kenny Anderson with such a hard foul that Anderson was never quite the same player afterward.

So, yeah: Lots of history being taken away from us. The Nets' season officially ends tomorrow, and next year it's hello, Newark, good-bye, Izod/Continental Airlines. Nothing really happened there, and no one liked watching games there, and sometimes a place is just a failure and you can't really be sad about it at all. If you really think your life will be empty without the Izod Center, worry not: They're not tearing it down. You can go see Slayer and Megadeth there in August. Tickets start at only $10. That's cheaper than the Nets ever were.

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Photo: Bill Kostroun/AP