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Brooklyn Nets Apparel Score Major Points in Park Slope

Groups of people shuttled in and out of Modell’s on Tuesday to buy shirts, hats and tracksuits emblazoned with Jay-Z’s new design.

Brooklynites are proudly putting on the colors of the first professional sports team to come to the borough since the Dodgers left in 1957.

According to a manager at on Flatbush Avenue, between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street, there was only 15 percent of merchandise left after Monday, the first day it went on sale.

“I opened and closed that day, the sales were dynamic,” Ricardo said, who did not want to give his last name. “There was nothing left that night. Fitted and snapback hats straight sold out. Now there are only youth sizes left.”

A man shopping on Tuesday said he could not be happier about the Nets coming to Brooklyn. He said he split season tickets with his friends, for seats “front and center court.” But to go with the seats, he had to buy two T-shirts.

“I was born and raised in Park Slope and I am living here again now,” Martin Kleinbard, 26, who spent $100 for a couple of Nets T-shirts. “It's a dream come true to have a team in my neighborhood.”

The team’s new logo and black and white colors was designed by Jay-Z, who is part owner of the team and for September’s opening show. Most of the apparel is by Adidas, but there are also New Era fitted hats and Adidas snapback hats.

And although  in a poll, Ricardo said that he has seen at least a 100 percent increase in foot traffic and he said he can’t even begin to calculate how well they did on sales in the last two days.

Literally, people are coming from all over the borough and even from other boroughs to support their new Brooklyn team, he said.

“I came out from Queens today to buy a snapback,” said Jason Chamberlain, who only planned to buy one hat now, but will come back soon for T-shirts. “I'm going to be the first person in Queens to have a Brooklyn Nets hat."

Most of the customers buying apparel said they liked the new black and white colors, which were picked to match the old New York City subway signage and floors, which were also black and white. And most people said the designs were right on.

“The design is official, I like the design—it represents Brooklyn,” said Faisal Abdullah, from Flatbush, while he was looking at the new gear on Tuesday.

A man buying a Brooklyn Nets tracksuit for $109 said he loves the new design and colors, but said it’s not about the apparel at all.

“This is about Brooklyn. I like it because it’s Brooklyn, and I am all about my borough,” said Lorenzo Gattling, who lives in Prospect Heights.

A Nets employee, who was shopping for his brother and father on Tuesday, said that he stopped by Modell’s on Monday night and he was astonished.

“The shelves were empty,” the NBA employee said, who wished to stay anonymous and bought six T-shirts for $30 a pop. “There were only a few hats and white shirts left. We are making a killing.”

When the Brooklyn Cyclones paraphernalia came out in 2001, with the interlocking “B” and “C,” Brooklynites bought anything with their logo with almost feverish consumerism.

The New York Times reported in 2001 that the Cyclones sold more gear, from hats to stuffed monkeys, than all of the 181 minor league teams except for one.

And although it is too early to tell, we’ll find out soon if the Brooklyn Nets merchandise sales are a slam dunk, or not.

Jose Toro, who grew up in Brownsville, said while looking for a couple T-shirts and hats that he was ready to “spend a buck,” meaning he was going to lay down $100 on Nets merchandise.

But, not everyone seems to be crazy about the new design, the new team colors, or even the fact that the team is moving to Brooklyn.

Zed Brown, who walked out of Modell’s with his wife and two kids without a shopping bag, said he was not impressed with the logo.

“I don’t like the logo and the color scheme is too bland. I figured they would keep the same colors,” Brown said, who lives in Crown Heights and has been a Knicks fan for 40 years. “It seems like they are just going through the design process and kept it straight from the pencil and paper stage.”

He said he didn’t buy anything because he is “still adjusting” to the move.

“I can't just jump ship because they are in Brooklyn. I am a Knicks fan, that’s just what I am,” Brown said.

His wife, Margaret, said she actually likes the new design, but she has other reasons not to support the team:

“I can’t support them because of all the crap that happened while building this thing,” she said as she pointed to the arena across the street. “The people that had to move from their homes I feel too bad for."

Kate May 02, 2012 at 06:01 PM
i like that white jacket w Brooklyn on the back!!!
Sara May 02, 2012 at 07:36 PM
I love this story! Gets me excited seeing other people excited

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