Jay-Z's Next Blueprint: The Nets Arena

Clock still ticking and Nets still scrambling

If it's Thursday, it must be time for another new design for the proposed Nets arena. Bruce Ratner and company, reeling after they dumped Frank Gehry for a design best described as nondescript airplane hangar, introduced a new design this week that met with an unusual response from the peanut gallery.

They didn't hate it! 

New York Times critic Nicolai Ourousoff said it's "somewhat more promising." For a project that would fit as a sequel to Don Quixote, that qualifies as reason for champagne and caviar. For our money, the building looks like a purse that's been laid on its side from above, but the street level shots do have a strangely appealing clamshell thing going on with windows peering into the arena.

Of course, not all the response was positive. Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, the perennial thorn in Ratner's side, called it "lipstick on a pig." The pig is the general project, which no amount of lipstick is going to help at this point in time. Ratner's grand plan for residential and commercial towers has pretty much been scaled down to ghostly illusions behind the arena, a project that on its own may not be enough to convince New York State's highest court that eminent domain wasn't used to benefit a private company as opposed to the general public.

Throw in the continuing issues with financing and this hasn't stopped being a boondoggle just yet. Still, the Nets are putting on the full-court press. Jay-Z took some time while visiting with David Letterman, video courtesy of Ball Don't Lie, to bang the drum, although his time table is a year shorter than the one Ratner threw out on Wednesday.

His words say optimistic, but his body language says that he may have 99 problems but where the Nets play ain't one. And finding a spot to party with LeBron following games ain't one either, because the King isn't signing up to play with Courtney Lee and Brook Lopez in East Rutherford.

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