New York Mayor Michael “Nurse” Bloomberg can’t stand to see anyone have a good time. He’s in hog heaven at the moment since Hurricane Sandy has given him an opportunity to pursue his first love of being a professional scold and do it in the name of ‘public safety’. Today after learning that the NBA had planned to go ahead with the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener against the New York Knicks the mayor went into action and asked that the league postpone the game.
The NBA had been monitoring the situation all week and since the Brooklyn Nets’ home court–the Barclays Center–received little if any damage they decided to play what was considered one of the biggest sporting events in Brooklyn history and certainly the most important since the Dodgers moved West. The league and arena were aware that transportation could be an issue, but felt that the importance of the event was paramount.
Bloomberg obviously has a vested interest in keeping New York’s ‘state of emergency’ going as long as possible. Once the news started making the rounds that the game would be played Bloomberg jumped into action:
“It’s a great stadium, it would have been a great game but the bottom line is there is not a lot of mass transit. Our police have plenty of other things to do.”
To be sure there are real problems in the New York City Metro area related to Hurricane Sandy. The reality, however, is that most of the city made it through relatively unscathed. Most of the damage and power outages are in New Jersey–but for Bloomberg there are photo opportunities to fabricate and political points to be made. For that reason he’ll stay in ‘crisis mode’ as long as he can.
The NBA’s policy toward game cancellations is that they don’t like to do it. The schedule is pretty tight and making up games can be a logistical headache for everyone concerned. For that reason, the league typically plays games if both teams and three officials can make it to the arena. The league decided not to get into a battle of wills with a power mad Mayor prompting this statement from deputy commissioner Adam Silver:
“Mayor Bloomberg informed us this afternoon that after further analysis of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy that he felt it was in the best interests of the city of New York, the teams and our fans that we postpone the Knicks-Nets game scheduled for Thursday night. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this devastating storm.”
No word yet on games scheduled for the city later this week.