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A SUITE GROWS IN, UM, MANHATTAN

"OPA!" Getty Images

The New Jersey Nets took one step closer to Brooklyn Thursday, even if the stopover came in the form of a showroom high above midtown. Team brass rolled out a living, breathing life-size version of what the suite experience will look and feel like in a new sales center on the 38th floor of The New York Times building.

The Celtics may have this season's Big Three, but the the Big Three who served as MCs for Thursday night's event—Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Nets owners Bruce Ratner and Jay-Z—brought the one liners with them.

Markowitz "welcomed back" the British as London-based Barclays owns the naming rights for the 18,000 seat venue that will rise at Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards in time for the Nets' 2010-11 season, saying "232 years cures a lot."

Not to be outdone, Jay-Z said he practiced his last-second shot on the courts in Brooklyn growing up, but his game left something to be desired so he sought to make his mark as a rapper and an entrepreneur. "Things seemed to have turned out okay."

As for the suites, of which there will be 130 in all at an average price of $300,000 annually, they were designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, whose most notable structure is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Jay-Z was announced to be the first owner of a "bunker suite," one of 12 "event level" spaces that actually has no direct view of the courts, but is tucked between the home and visting teams locker rooms. At 500-square feet, these suites are larger than many Manhattan apartments. And at $540,000, they're just about as expensive, too. Aside from having a sophisticated décor that rivals trendier dwellings in the city, these suites include private bathrooms, multiple flat panel HD-LCD TVs and even a regulation pool table. Also included are eight courtside seats per suite, ya know, just in case you feel like checking out LeBron in person.