The Knicks-Nets game that was scheduled for Thursday night at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn has been postponed at Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s request after damage from Hurricane Sandy.
Though the NBA had said Tuesday the game would go on as planned, Bloomberg asked that it be called off, and the league agreed on Wednesday.
‘‘It’s a great stadium, it would have been a great game but the bottom line is there is not a lot of mass transit. Our police have plenty of other things to do,’’ Bloomberg said at a news conference.
Barclays Center sits above the Atlantic Avenue subway station complex, which hosts nine subway lines and a Long Island Rail Road station, and was expanded as part of the $1 billion arena’s construction. The Nets believe that will be a major selling point in drawing fans to the games after they were plagued by poor attendance during their years in New Jersey.
But without knowing what — if any — subways would be available and with city officials still preferring people not drive into New York, the Nets agreed with the decision.
‘‘We’re disappointed that we can’t play, but there’s a lot more important things going on right now, a lot of people displaced from their homes, a lot of people lost loved ones. So in the grand scheme of things, a basketball game really doesn’t mean much right now,’’ Nets point guard Deron Williams said after practice.
The Knicks are now scheduled to open their season at home Friday night against the Miami Heat. The Nets are scheduled to host Toronto on Saturday night. Bloomberg said the city will work with the league to provide extra buses to Saturday’s game if the subways are not yet operational.
The usual NBA policy on the status of a game is to play it if both teams and the three referees can make it to the arena. That wouldn’t have been a problem, one of the reasons the league originally planned to play as scheduled.
However, the league also wanted to be sensitive because it was the Nets’ first game, televised to a national audience on TNT, and didn’t want the big event to be one that was largely empty.
‘‘[It’s] the right thing to do,’’ Nets coach Avery Johnson said.
Harden $80m man
James Harden agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract with the Rockets, who acquired the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in a stunning trade with Oklahoma City on Saturday.
Houston also picked up the options for forwards Marcus Morris and Patrick Patterson for the 2013-14 season.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey called Harden a ‘‘foundational player’’ at his introductory press conference this week. He’ll become the featured player in Houston after three seasons in a supporting role behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City.
Curry gets extension
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry signed a $44 million, four-year contract extension that will keep him with the club through the 2016-17 season. It was the final day Golden State could sign Curry to an extension or he would become a restricted free agent next summer. Curry, 24, missed 40 of 66 games last season and sprained his twice-surgically repaired right ankle again in the preseason, sitting out the final two exhibition games . . . Forward Taj Gibson agreed to a four-year, $38 million contract extension with the Bulls, just before the deadline. The new deal kicks in after this season. A first-round pick in 2009, Gibson is entering his fourth season. He has averaged 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in his career . . . Guard Jrue Holiday signed an extension with the 76ers just before the deadline. A person familiar with the deal told the AP it was for four years and worth at least $41 million. ‘‘I’m ecstatic to continue playing in Philadelphia,’’ Holiday said. ‘‘I’m going to keep putting in the work and pushing myself every day in order to bring a championship to the city and our fans.’’ . . . The chairman of the new Grizzlies’ ownership group says the team will stay in Memphis. The Grizzlies announced that the $377 million sale by Michael Heisley had been finalized to a group led by Robert J. Pera. “The Grizzlies are here to stay,” said Pera. ‘‘We see enormous potential and understand the role the Grizzlies play in bringing Memphians together.” . . . The Grizzlies exercised the fourth-year option on swingman Quincy Pondexter, keeping him through 2013-14 . . . Center Daniel Orton rejoined the Thunder, four days after being cut by the team. He has played in 16 games in two NBA seasons . . . The Bulls appointed Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen senior adviser to president and chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf.