A day after reporting that the Nets' discussions about playing preseason games in Newark, N.J., could be a prelude to a permanent move there, the Newark Star-Ledger dutifully followed up Wednesday with this: Never mind.
Star-Ledger basketball scribe Dave D'Alessandro got Nets CEO Brett Yormark on the phone and broke this piece of news: Yes, the Nets were considering moving their preseason games from East Rutherford to the Prudential Center next season, but those talks have ceased.
Yormark stated that the team continues to discuss preseason options that would expand the fan base, including Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. But he was adamant that such plans would have no bearing on the team's goal of relocating to a new arena in Brooklyn by the 2011-12 or 2012-13 season.
"It has nothing to do with us going to Brooklyn," Yormark said.
There were other developments Wednesday in the Nets' quest to inhabit Jay-Z's home borough, none of them good. Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz issued a statement saying that the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project -- which includes an estimated $1 billion Nets arena -- is no longer financially feasible. Markowitz, a supporter of the project, is calling for plans to be scaled back due to financing and economic concerns.
Barry Baum, the Nets' vice president for business and entertainment communications, provided the following statement from Forest City Ratner Companies, the commercial real estate firm run by Nets owner Bruce Ratner: "We are continuing to speak with many arena experts and working hard to find ways to build a world-class venue in an incredibly difficult economic environment."
Yormark told the Star-Ledger that construction was supposed to begin this year on the Brooklyn arena, but that no groundbreaking date has been set. Stay tuned.