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Stern: 'New Jersey blew it'

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- NBA commissioner David Stern blames
New Jersey politicians for the Nets' planned move to Brooklyn in
either 2007 or 2008.
"New Jersey blew it," Stern said Thursday of the proposed
move. Speaking during an informal news conference before the Nets
played the Miami Heat in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series
on Thursday night, he added: "We practically begged them, and the
New Jersey politicians did not step up."
Stern conceded that political leaders did not want state
taxpayers saddled with the debt of a new arena.
"That's a fair retort, but you have to make your choice,"
Stern said.
About five years ago, former Nets owner Ray Chambers wanted to
build an arena in Newark to house both the Nets and Devils of the
NHL. The proposal was hampered by weak public support, opposition
from suburban lawmakers and problematic financing.
Chambers and his partners with the YankeeNets sports
conglomerate eventually sold the Nets to real estate developer
Bruce Ratner. He has announced plans to move the team to an arena
he plans to build in downtown Brooklyn.
Jeff Vanderbeek, the new owner of the Devils, recently reached
an agreement with Newark officials to build a $310 million,
18,000-seat arena for his team. The building is scheduled to open
in September 2007.
Both the Nets and Devils currently play at Continental Airlines
Arena in the Meadowlands sports complex.