BROOKLYN – Daily Beat and SB Nation‘s Nets’ affiliate publication NetsDaily.com are proud to present our first NBA culture review; a tribute to Russian heritage and the atmosphere surrounding the Brooklyn Nets at their home at Barclays Center. The Brooklyn Nets took on the Orlando Magic, who they previously lost to earlier in the season, but sought revenge on their home court last night.
January 21st marked the Nets’ annual salute to an “Evening of Russian Culture”, celebrating Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, along with President of ONEXIM Sports & Entertainment Irina Pavlova, (below) and their passionate heritage. The evening began with the US National Anthem sung by Mikhail Svetlov (Михаил Анатольевич Светлов) [right] from the Metropolitan Opera, a classical music flare from violinist Alex Markov during the halftime festivities, and of course, player introductions in Russian.
Mikhail Svetlov, who performed the national anthem, was previous nominated for a 2003 Grammy Award for a recording of Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat and is the first Russian bass ever to perform the title roles in Don Giovanni and The Flying Dutchman.
The Nets’ evening of Russian Culture was co-sponsored by Stoli Premium Vodka (a Russian vodka company) and Danu Radio 87.7 FM (Brooklyn-based Russian radio station), who have both made a significant presence at Barclays Center since the Nets’ move to Brooklyn in 2012.
Throughout the game, the Brooklyn Nets’ organization incorporated their commitment to both Mr. Prokhorov and Ms. Pavlova’s Russian heritage by spicing up some of the in-game chants with a little Russian flavor. While most NBA home teams chant “defense” while the opposing team is getting into their offensive set, the Brooklyn Nets incorporated the Russian word for defense, “защита” (pronounced Zasheeta) as both an educational and fun way to tap into the Russian language.
Not only does the Russian culture and heritage stem from ownership, but Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko (Андрей Геннадьевич Кириленко) also hails from Russia, particularly the city of Izhevsk (Иже́вск). During the evening of Russian culture, the Brooklyn Nets offered 20% off any Andrei Kirilenko gear purchased at the Nets Store and around the Barclays Center. With an anticipated large Russian crowd at the game, the Nets were prepared to offer a sweet deal on some AK47 gear!
The Brooklyn Nets highlighted the Evening of Russian Culture with a special violin performance from Alex Markov. Markov has received awards from the Paganini International Violin Competition and the Avery Fisher Career Grant throughout his time as a passionate and energetic violinist. Born in Moscow, Russia, Markov studied violin with his father and concert violinist, Albert Markov, and appeared numerous times as a soloist in orchestras as well as performing double concertos with his father. He made his New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall and appeared with Christoph Eschenbach conducting the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall.
Markov stunned the Brooklyn Nets crowd with his use of the electric violin and the dynamic and heart-felt music he played. The crowd definitely enjoyed Markov’s performance as the luminous colors filled the Barclays Center beautifully.
While on the court, the Brooklyn Nets were taking on the Orlando Magic, led by former Net and teammate of Jason Kidd’s, Jacque Vaughn. The Nets, entering last night’s contest, have won seven out of their last eight games and currently sit at the seven seed in a dreadful Eastern Conference. The Nets, over the eight game stretch and including last night’s game, continue to show their commitment to defense by limiting the Magic to just 45% shooting overall.
Net forward/center Andray Blatche was the leading scorer for the Nets, putting up 18 points while shooting 6-11 from the field in 24 minutes of action. Andray Blatche stole the highlight when he drove on Magic power-forward Kyle O’Quinn for a monstrous slam.
The Brooklyn Nets won easily 101-90, continuing to post the best record in the NBA since the turn of the New Year at 8-1. They are back in action on Friday night as they host the Dallas Mavericks.