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Posted at 10:33 AM ET, 04/24/2012

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says “good riddance” as Nets flee for Brooklyn


Bill Zarro and his son Milan were in the house for the Nets’ final game in Jersey. (Julio Cortez / AP)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered your basic “don’t let the door hit you on on the seat of your long, baggy shorts on the way out” message to the Nets as the team prepared to play its last game in the Garden State on Monday night.

Christie, speaking at a bill signing in Newark earlier in the day, was asked what his final message would be to the Nets, who are leaving for Brooklyn after 35 years in New Jersey. He had a message, all right.

“My message to the Nets is goodbye,” Christie said. “You don't want to stay here, we don't want you. I'm not going to be in the business of begging people to stay here.”


Nets part owner Jay-Z (right) watched the Nets close it out in Jersey. (Julio Cortez / AP)
The move has been coming for years, since real estate developer Bruce Ratner bought the team in 2004. In 2009, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov became the majority owner and the team’s new Barclays Center in Brooklyn is expected to be ready in the fall.

“That's one of the most beautiful arenas in America they have a chance to play in,” Christie said of the Prudential Center Arena in Newark, the Nets’ home the last two seasons. “It's in one of the country's most vibrant cities and they want to leave here and go to Brooklyn? Good riddance. See you later.”

The Nets went out with a loss, falling 105-87 to the Philadelphia 76ers despite a pregame pep talk from Deron Williams, who may or may not be playing for the team next season.

“Every New Year’s Eve, when I went out to party, I said I’m going out with a bang,” he told his teammates (via the Star-Ledger). “Because it was New Year’s Eve and the next day was New Year’s Day. Tonight is like New Year’s Eve. Let’s really go out with a bang. This is the last time we’re going to play in this building.

“This is the last time the New Jersey Nets are going to be the New Jersey Nets. Tomorrow, we’re going to be the Brooklyn Nets.”

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By  |  10:33 AM ET, 04/24/2012

 
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