Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced during one of the regular press conferences he's been holding in the aftermath of Sandy that the Knicks and Nets game will not be held on Thursday night at Barclays Center.
The game was to be the season opener for each team as well as the first regular season game in Brooklyn, which made it a pretty big event on the schedule for both teams and for the city. While everyone was looking forward to the spectacle -- as well as the start of the battle for the city's basketball soul -- it was the only decision that the city and NBA could make.
There is way too much uncertainty about the state of the subway system to hold an event drawing tens of thousands of people to Brooklyn even if there weren't also hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers living in darkness as Lower Manhattan and other parts of the city try to dry out and get back on its feet after the storm surges on Monday night. The traffic would be a nightmare and, frankly, there are far more important things for police to be doing than helping people get to a basketball game that can be easily rescheduled.
It was surprising, then, to hear on the heels of that announcement that the New York Marathon will go off as scheduled on Sunday. That's not necessarily the wrong call once Sunday comes around, but, again, city services have far more important things to do than make sure that people can run 26 miles so soon after such a devastating event.
Hopefully, the fact that the city is so sure about the state of things once the marathon rolls around means that there's reason to believe that people in the know see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or at least the dry patch at the end of the tunnel given the circumstances.
The Nets are now scheduled to open up their new arena with a Saturday night game against the Raptors, which is a much less enticing affair. It will still be a big night for the franchise -- assuming things have eased enough to make playing the game feasible -- but the cachet is decidedly lower.
The Knicks have no such problem. If their schedule is unaffected moving forward, they will tip things off against the Heat at the Garden on Friday night. The chances for a win will be lower, but the spotlight will be just as bright.