NEW YORK, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The New Jersey Nets will be known as the Brooklyn Nets when they move to their new home in the New York City borough next fall, team officials said Tuesday.
The announcement at the construction site of the new Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn was made by rapper Jay-Z, a part-owner and ambassador for the team, The New York Times reported.
The "Brooklyn" name for the Nets was widely expected even though majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov at one time conducted focus groups aimed at a possible rebranding of the franchise.
"Brooklyn was easy, because we think Brooklyn is the brand," Nets Chief Executive Brett Yormark told the newspaper. "Brooklyn is iconic. It transcends the marketplace. In many respects, it's a global name and reference."
Rumors had circulated the team would drop the "Nets" name with the move to Brooklyn due to the franchise's consistent on-court failure since its entry into the NBA as part of the 1976 merger with the old American Basketball Association.
"Honestly, it was not something that I think ever got seriously considered," former majority owner Bruce Ratner told the Times.
The Nets have reached the playoffs 16 times -- losing in the first round 10 times and reaching the NBA Finals twice, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002 and the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.