New York turned on itself Monday night, its basketball loyalties divided and contorted and scattered about, its sanity tested and every breath exhausted until one word reverberated in the air.
The chants signaled the start of a new rivalry and the official arrival of the Nets, who ground through four quarters and an overtime to take a 96-89 victory over the Knicks at Barclays Center, in the first N.B.A. game between two New York City teams.
Momentum swung wildly all night, every big play accompanied by a strange blend of competing chants and cheers from a divided crowd. But as the final minutes ticked down, the Nets found their footing and their fans got the final word, a prolonged and emphatic chant: “Broook-lynnn.”
It was only one game, as every Nets player quickly noted, but the atmosphere signaled a permanent change in New York’s basketball ecosystem. It was never like this in New Jersey.