Nets Debut New-Look Court Inspired by Brooklyn-Born Artist Basquiat

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving loses control of the ball as he is fouled by Reggie Jackson during the Nets' game against the Clippers at Barclays Center on February 2.

The Brooklyn Nets debuted their City Edition court design Tuesday night as they played host to the Los Angeles Clippers.

In a stark contrast to the white and black features normally seen on the Barclays Center hardwood, the court for Tuesday’s game popped with color and even included crowns — Jean-Michel Basquiat’s signature element — with one painted on each end of the floor.

Gave our canvas a new coat of paint,” the Nets tweeted from their official Twitter account.

Basquiat was a Brooklyn-born street artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican decent who used his paintings to cast light upon social issues before his death in 1988. Some of the themes he explored through his work included income inequality and segregation. Basquiat, who eventually saw his paintings exhibited in galleries across New York, died of a drug overdose at 27. He’s been credited with bringing the African-American and Latino experience into the elite art world. Kevin Durant has counted Basquiat among his inspirations.

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“We are proud to celebrate Basquiat’s enduring legacy this season,” said John Abbamondi, CEO of BSE Global, which operates the Nets, via The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “Basquiat embodies much of what Brooklyn represents, and his creative spirit and passionate voice can still be felt throughout the borough. Today, more than ever, Basquiat matters.”

The Nets’ home court on Tuesday mirrored their Basquiat-inspired uniforms, which they were sporting for the second time this season after having done so for their Christmas game in Boston. The design features “BKLYN Nets” written across the chest in Basquiat’s signature style.

The City Edition uniforms “represent insights and emotion from the court to the upper deck to the cities’ streets,” according to a 2017 release from Nike, “in pursuit of a unique way to capture each team and its city in a way that respects the past and present of the clubs while also positioning them for the future.”


How often will Nets play on Basquiat-inspired court?

The Basquiat-inspired court won’t be a permanent fixture at Barclays Center in 2021, but the Nets will play on it plenty.

Five of the team’s remaining 14 games in the first half of the season are at home.  According to NBA’s Locker Vision, which details all the uniforms and court designs NBA teams will feature throughout the season, four of those five home games will be played on the Basquiat court (including Brooklyn’s next home game on Friday against the Toronto Raptors).

After their 124-120 win over the Clippers on Tuesday, the Nets are 1-0 on the Basquiat court.

Not the first Brooklyn native to be honored by Nets

Basquiat isn’t the first local product the Nets have featured in their City Edition uniforms and court designs.

Last season, the team honored Christopher Wallace, better known as the Notorious B.I.G., by featuring the late rapper’s hometown of Bedford-Stuyvesant. With “BED-STUY” emblazoned across the chest, the Nets’ 2019-20 City Edition uniforms were designed to represent the neighborhood’s history, music, art and culture.

Those uniforms came with a corresponding Biggie Smalls-inspired court design as well.

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