New Jersey Nets Invade New York in Pursuit of LeBron, Put Up a Mural

| by Alex Groberman

It’s sneaky. It’s creative. It’s brilliant.

In one artistic swoop, the New Jersey Nets may have sold LeBron James on the fact that they will soon carry more sway over New York than the current marquee Big Apple franchise, the Knicks.

Today, pictures were released of a new mural being painted right next to Madison Square Garden on Eighth Avenue and 34th Street. The 225-foot piece of art has the faces of owner, Mikhail Prokhorov and the minority owner, Jay-Z, with a caption that reads: The Blueprint for Greatness. The quote is a play on words as Jay-Z (who incidentally is close friends with James) released a classic rap album on September 11, 2001 called The Blueprint.

When Prokhorov first took control of the Nets a few months ago, his goal was to turn them into the biggest brand in basketball. The worst team in the league still has some ways to go before they can put themselves atop the NBA hierarchy, but for now, they’ll have to settle in taking down their New York neighbors.

The title of ‘biggest team in New York’ always belonged to the Knicks, and it wasn’t even close. However, with a series of embarrassing seasons and no real direction aside from praying that James falls in their lap, the allure once attached to the blue and orange is quickly fading.

This latest move by the Nets’ management is just another sign of things to come. The little brother franchise that will soon come to Brooklyn, wants to let Knicks owner, Jim Dolan and the rest of the organization know they’re playing for keeps.

The mural isn’t finished yet, but it will be completed by tomorrow. The timing is perfect, obviously, because July 1 kicks off the NBA free agency period.

Clearly one mural painting is not going to sway James one way or another, but it certainly makes a statement. The Nets are going into the Knicks’ backyard, and planting a flag. Further, they are showing James that they have the power and the desire to take over the basketball mecca of the world.

With mere hours before the kickoff to free agency, things are already getting interesting.

Check out a picture of the mural below.