Derrel Johnson, SNYNets.comNEW YORK — I had a chance to catch up with the legendary Bernard Hopkins at a press conference for his upcoming fight against Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud. The fight will take place at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Saturday, March 9, 2013.
Hopkins will be challenging Cloud for the IBF Light Heavyweight Title.
Interestingly enough, Hopkins, who is also known as "the Executioner," was sporting a black Brooklyn Nets cap. That made our conversation pretty easy.
When asked for his opinion on Barclays Center, he endorsed it. “The new arena is great," he said. " I’ve been here not only for a concert but I’ve been here for a game."
The game, obviously, featured the Brooklyn Nets and he had an opinion on them, too. "I think they got a lot of energy and they’ve been winning because of the (Barclays) Center," he said. "I think the motivation and new facility and the people behind them that’s backing them have given them another push to manifest to be one of the young up-and-coming teams."
Hopkins also said that he thinks that Brooklyn "deserves" an NBA team. " Brooklyn deserves it, Brooklyn needs it and they have it and they are going to capitalize on it.”
Indeed, a new arena should be able to provide a home-field advantage and motivatation and push the Nets to new heights. According to Hopkins, that is what Barclays Center has done. Though we are only 22 games into the 41-home schedule, I would tend to agree with Hopkins. There have been 12 sellouts at Nets home games and there are certain to be several more in their inaugural season at the arena.
None of the sellouts were as loud, and probably as important, as the first game against the New York Knicks. During that game, the elongated “BROOK-LYN” chants quickly covered any noise being made by New York Knicks fans in the initial Battle of the Boroughs.
Hopkins, a legend in boxing who has fought all over the world and an executive at Golden Boy Promotions, is a fan of Barclays Center and the energy it brings to the team. Hopefully this will be something that Hopkins, the Nets organization and Nets fans alike can see as their relationships continue to grow with Barclays Center.
Derrel “Jazz” Johnson is a Contributor to SNYNets.com and is the Founder of the Razz and Jazz Sports Blog. You can follow him on Twitter @razzjazzsports