PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Can Jay-Z make a Nets cap more famous than a Net can?
The Nets officially moved to New York City Monday, and began selling merchandise emblazoned with a new black and white logo designed by the Brooklyn rapper. The logo features a shield shape that includes "Nets" in thin lettering above a basketball with a "B" in it.
"The Brooklyn Nets logos are another step we've made to usher the organization into a new era," Jay-Z said in a statement. "The boldness of the designs demonstrate the confidence we have in our new direction."
Fans were able to buy T-shirts, caps and other items emblazoned with the new logo at the Modell's across from the Barclay's Arena construction site. The first 100 of them received a voucher they can redeem for two tickets to the Nets opening game at the new arena this fall.
"I've been a fan 35 years. It's been a struggle," said Pete Mandzych, 53, who was born in Brooklyn and now lives on Long Island. "They're in Brooklyn, it's a fresh start."
Mandzych said he got on a 5 a.m. train from Long Island to be one of the first 100 people in line.
"[This will] continue the revitalization of downtown Brooklyn."
The team's website also went black and white, and incorporated the iconic shape of the Brooklyn Bridge and the phrase "Hello Brooklyn," which comes from the Beastie Boys' "B-Boys Bouillabaisse" off the Paul's Boutique album.
The Nets' secondary logo contains the basketball and the "B" surrounded by a black circle that says "Brooklyn" across the top arc and "New York" across the bottom.
The team said their straightforward color design fits to their new home.
"Our black and white colors speak to Brooklyn's strong traditions and grittiness and convey an uncompromising confidence," said Nets CEO Brett Yormark in a statement.
Some fans were already expressing confidence Monday.
Neeraj Patel, 28, bought a couple Nets shirts and said he was excited for the team to compete for the hearts of New Yorkers against the city's famed basketball franchise.
"Growing up a Nets fan I hated the Knicks," said Patel, who grew up in New Jersey and now lives in Gramercy. "I'd love to give the Knicks a run for their money."