The Brooklyn Nets took what essentially could have been a problem-stricken move to the New York borough and made it as silky smooth as Jay-Z’s delivery. But the man with 99 problems didn’t account for a big one.
After making their season debut at the Barclays Centers, and after a brief introduction from their All Star point guard Deron Williams, their new team mascot was revealed. Though it is unsure how involved Jay-Z was with the character design, the Nets’ new mascot doesn’t have the same trademark Shawn Carter style. In fact, BrooklyKnight, the shield-wielding new mascot co-designed by Marvel, shares its cringe-worthy name with more than just Brooklynites. It shares its name with a porn star.
While the concept for the NBA’s first ever superhero looks good on paper―the Nets did release a 32-page comic book in conjunction with Marvel writer Jason Aaron and artist Mike Deodato―it failed to impress fans. After descending from the rafters of the Barclays Center, chatter about the badly executed mascot began to make rounds on the Internet. It also didn’t help that it was introduced in a cheesy fanfare that informed onlooking fans that Brookly was “born from the beating heart of [their] Brooklyn.” Awkward. . .
Marvel and Brooklyn Nets management, who worked together to create the Medieval Times dropout, had nothing but positive words to describe the collaboration. Nets Chairman Christophe Charlier declared that “Marvel Entertainment has outdone itself with its newest Super Hero creation.” He went on to say, “we are honored to have collaborated with the company of the world’s mightiest Super Heroes.” But instead of pats on the back, the people behind BrooklyKnight might need a good hosing down. After already making more than a few pulses throb with the purported Nets’ cheerleader outfits, it appears that Nets management might be a little sex deprived (or depraved) since the mascot shares a name with porn star Brooklyn Night. (We won’t link to her for good reason).
The news is not good for a Brooklyn team that has prided itself on its branding. Jay-Z, one-fifteenth-of-a-percent owner of the basketball franchise, has rose from rags to riches based on brand alone. So he understands that image is everything. And a team mascot who looks a little too much like The Gimp, who at the very least is a little too terrifying for the younger Nets fans, and who shares a name with a professional “actress,” is not good an exercise in good branding. Heck, BrooklyKnight is not even an exercise in good taste―even if he is our “passion given form.”