The 2011 NBA draft
the centerpiece of the struggling city's downtown revival, the league announced this week. NBA commissioner David Stern praised the site:
"The Prudential Center is a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose arena that will be a great host for another exciting NBA Draft."
It's such a great arena, in such a great city, the New Jersey Nets are willing to play there for two whole years, before they tear the "New Jersey" off their jerseys and move to a
. Holding the NBA draft in Newark is like having a Thank You, LeBron parade in Cleveland—or it would be, if anyone cared about the Nets, or if Newark had any self-esteem to be wounded.
For all the
, Newark is Newark. Proposed civic motto: "When you can't do any better, try us." How did it land the prize of hosting the draft? Madison Square Garden was tied up in renovations.