Brooklyn, NY – The New Jersey Nets will become the Brooklyn Nets once the team moves into its new home at the Barclays Center in September 2012.
Rapper Jay-Z, a part owner of the team, spoke during a press conference Monday at the under-construction building and revealed the name change while also saying he will be the arena's first performer.
"This is where I'm from, I'll always be Brooklyn, and opening this arena will mean more to me than anywhere else," the Brooklyn native said. "I also look forward to opening night for the Brooklyn Nets. We're going to create an atmosphere like only Brooklyn can."
The next game for the Nets could actually be in Brooklyn. The NBA lockout is threatening at least the start of the 2011-12 campaign and it could cost the league the entire season.
"We are proud to announce this highly-anticipated decision to name the Brooklyn Nets, a choice which reflects the decades-long tradition of our team and fans, as well as the dynamic new place that will be our home," said Nets chairman Chris Charlier.
If the league finally negotiates at new collective bargaining agreement with the players, the Nets will play a second straight season at the Prudential Center in Newark after years at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford.
The Nets first played in Teaneck, New Jersey for their inaugural ABA season of 1967-68, then moved to Long Island before heading back to New Jersey for the 1977-78 season after the ABA-NBA merger the previous year. The team played in Piscataway at the Rutgers Athletic Center for four seasons before moving to the Meadowlands in 1981.