The Nets and the state of New Jersey are are all set to bid each other a tearful goodbye this week. Or not.
The Nets are scheduled to play their final home game in the state on Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers before moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2012-2013 season. To mark the historic night, New Jersey's Govornor said he couldn't care less.
On a video uploaded to his official YouTube channel, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie torched the Nets for their decision to abandon his state, where the franchise has played since 1977.
"I'm not going to the Nets game tonight and my message to the Nets is goodbye," Christie said, shrugging his shoulders and drinking from a water bottle as an audience applauded and laughed. "If you don't want to stay, we don't want you. Seriously, I'm not going to be in the business of begging people to stay here. That's one of the most beautiful arenas in America that they've had a chance to play in. It's in one of the country's most vibrant cities.
"They want to leave here and go to Brooklyn? Good riddance. See you later."
Christie, a Republican born in Newark, went on to say that perhaps his hometown's Prudential Center could one day house a different NBA franchise.
"I think there would be some other NBA teams that are looking to relocate, they look at that arena, they look at the fanbase here in the New Jersey and New York area and say this is an opportunity for us to increase our fanbase and try something different," he said.
NJ.com reported that the Nets franchise spent a total of 36 years playing in the state of New Jersey, including stops in Teaneck, Piscataway, East Rutherford and Newark. Nevertheless, Christie was adamant that losing his state's only basketball franchise after all more than three decades wasn't an emotional ordeal in the slightest.
"There will be no tears shed on my part tonight," he said. "If they go, they go. That decision was made a long time ago. If they want to go to Brooklyn, have at it. No problem from my perspective."