Knicks-Nets opener postponed

NEW YORK -- The highly anticipated regular-season opener Thursday between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks, which also was to be the first NBA regular-season game at the new $1 billion Barclays Center, has been postponed because of the devastation caused by Sandy, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday.

"Mayor Bloomberg informed us this afternoon that after further analysis of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy that he felt it was in the best interests of the city of New York, the teams and our fans that we postpone the Knicks-Nets game scheduled for Thursday night," NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this devastating storm."

A makeup date will be announced at a later time, the NBA said.

"The bottom line is, there just isn't a lot of mass transit and the police have other things to do," said Bloomberg, who noted that he recommended to the NBA that the league postpone the game.

Nets and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said all tickets for the Nets-Knicks game will be honored for the game when it is rescheduled.

"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy," Yormark said in a statement. "We know these are trying times for so many of you and our thoughts are with you."

The NBA had announced Tuesday the game would take place as scheduled. But shutdowns of mass transit posed significant problems for fans trying to attend the game.

The Nets' season opener instead will be Saturday night at Barclays Center against the Toronto Raptors. Bloomberg, who confirmed that game would go on as scheduled, said he's working with the city to provide extra bus service for fans to get to the arena.

Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said Friday's game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden is still on. NBA spokesman Tim Frank later confirmed that in an email.

"We're good to go," Grunwald said.

The NBA said it doesn't anticipate the status of the Knicks-Heat game to change Thursday.

Nets coach Avery Johnson informed his team in the middle of Wednesday's practice at Barclays Center that the game against the Knicks was postponed.

"We're definitely disappointed ... but we realize the seriousness of the situation," Nets point guard Deron Williams said on "SportsCenter." "A lot of people have lost homes and lost loved ones, so in the grand scheme of things, it's really not that important."

All of the Nets' players showed up for Wednesday's practice except rookie backup point guard Tyshawn Taylor, who was stuck at his Hoboken, N.J., apartment building because of flooding in the area. Taylor tweeted Wednesday night that he had safely made it out of Hoboken.

Williams said a lot of the players suffered damage to their houses and cars, and many are still without power.

The Nets were practicing at Barclays Center because their East Rutherford, N.J., training facility is without power and was flooded as well.
It is unknown when the Nets will be able to practice there again.

Barclays Center did not sustain any structural damage, a team spokesman said Wednesday.

Mike Mazzeo and Ian Begley are regular contributors to ESPNNewYork.com.