For all the things that felt different about the Nets' long-awaited Brooklyn debut on Monday, one significant aspect of the game-night experience was decidedly unchanged from last year's farewell campaign in Newark.
The seats, for the most part, were empty.
In fact, when the Nets tipped off their first preseason home game, against the Washington Wizards, the lower bowl at the Barclays Center featured more unoccupied, pristine black leather chairs than full ones.
But unlike the Nets' two interim campaigns at the Prudential Center, and their longer tenure at the Izod Center in East Rutherford before that, the abundant emptiness inside the bowl at the house Jay-Z opened with a string of eight sold-out concerts -- before ceding the stage to Barbra Streisand -- wasn't a function of waning interest in a franchise counting down the days until it could move forward with the rest of its existence.
Instead, the crowd was so absent -- or at the very least, tardy -- with many fans not even ...