What Lockout? Soon-To-Be Brooklyn Nets Are Putting On The Full Court Press

The NBA's self-described "nuclear Winter" is only a few days old and the despair has already started to set in across the league.  From players to owners to fans, there is plenty of finger-pointing and wondering just when professional basketball will be back again.

David Stern crossed one expected bridge on Tuesday when he notified teams that he had cancelled all games through December 15.  Going by the original 2011-12 schedule, that makes 324 total games wiped out, though in reality it just pushes the possible start of the season to the middle of next month.  That is, of course, if the owners and players even speak before now and then.

However, while teams are trying to figure out how they are going to handle a potentially missed season, the New Jersey Nets are living it up as they prepare for their move to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season.  They aren't just sending out press releases or discount offers to season ticket holders, this week they were literally throwing a party.

The festivities kicked off on Tuesday with the debut of the Nets Basketball mobile "Experience" at Brooklyn Borough Hall.  You'd never know judging by the actions of head coach Avery Johnson, GM Billy King and -- of course -- mascot Sly there was any trouble in the world of the NBA.

This unique marketing tool  -- a 40-foot trailer with a built-in 10-foot hoop, video game systems and team store -- was being used to get the people of Brooklyn excited about their soon-to-be neighbors, letting them participate in basketball shooting contests, win free t-shirts and, yes, become a season ticket holder!

It's hard to blame anyone associated with the Nets for being excited.  They are one of five teams that reportedly will lose less money than they would have if the season had been played and have a fancy new Barclays Center waiting for them next season no matter what happens with the 2011-12 season.

Then there is also the assumption that if All-Star Deron Williams (and free agent this summer) will suit up for the Brooklyn Nets or leave a whole lot of cash on the table.  The new CBA is likely to make it much harder for star players to bolt their teams and depending on the limitations of sign-and-trades could remove any incentive for a team like the Nets to be forced into helping Williams leave and get his money -- ala LeBron James and Chris Bosh last season.

So you will have to forgive the New Jersey (for now) Nets if they aren't sitting in their offices crying while they wait out the labor situation to work itself out.  After all, there are more parties to plan.

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