The Brooklyn Nets were victorious this past offseason with attracting free agents, and their practice facility was a significant factor
The summer of 2019 will forever be recognized as the moment superstar players preferred the Brooklyn Nets over the rival Manhattan-based New York Knicks. The two teams share the same city but are run very differently in the front office and geographically spread out facility wise.
Former Nets forward Jared Dudley has never been shy to share his thoughts on anything happening around the league. The current Los Angeles Lakers reserve recently spoke with The Athletic about the practice facility location is a crucial factor in free agency decisions. Dudley also focused on the issues with the New York Knicks facility location in Westchester.
"“I’d get rid of that practice facility in Westchester,” said Dudley, “Nobody wants to live there, nobody wants to commute there. You have to get as close to the city as possible. That’s why Brooklyn got Kevin Durant. I told DeAndre Jordan who told Kevin Durant that the [Nets’] practice facility is two minutes from [Barclays Center]. They didn’t even know that. I lived in the city. It took me 12 minutes to get to the practice facility.”"
"“If you want to be here in Brooklyn, if some players want to live in the city and you can drive 10-15 minutes to practice, or do you want to go all the way to Westchester and take an hour and have a driver? You know what I mean?”"
The Knicks have notoriously had players live around the Westchester practice facility for years, and it’s rarely been brought up as a problem for players. The Nets location is convenient and brand new with rave reviews from players that have suited up for the franchise the last few seasons.
The interesting aspect of the facility locations is that the Knicks could quickly move their site, but it will take the exclusivity away from the players. The far distance away from most fans can be seen as a relaxing escape from the business of New York City.
Dudley makes a great point in regards to travel locations and does give insight to a need to adjust for a new generation of players wanting easy access to the city.