There's something about starting over that causes a rift in the philosophy of a franchise. Starting from the top down, the way of thinking changes.
You bury the past, bottom-feeding mentality and build anew as a winning organization.
Awaiting their highly anticipated move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, the Nets have a chance to revitalize themselves as an Eastern Conference powerhouse, and even moreso if star point guard Deron Williams decides to extend his contract.
Now that the relocation is finalized, I can be blunt: the New Jersey fanbase was lacking.
The electricity from the crowd was shot this season, the chants were dry, and the audience never carried the little bit of momentum that the Nets had.
A franchise is only as good as its fans.
But as the best borough in New York and home to endless celebrities, media moguls and hip-hop icons, Brooklyn is going to change the culture of Nets basketball. And with none other than rap genius and businessman Jay-Z as a majority owner of his hometown team, nothing less than success will be accepted.
Oklahoma City laid the pavement for Brooklyn.
With three outstanding draft picks and a few key acquisitions, the Seattle SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became a powerhouse in the West almost overnight.
The Nets have already landed swingman Gerald Wallace and an outstanding rookie prospect in MarShon Brooks to pair with their scoring big men Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries. HoopsHype reported that Gerald Green turned down their multi-year offer at the veteran's minimum, but building a team around that core group is more than a doable task.
In order to land Wallace from the Blazers, the Nets had to give up a conditional first-round pick in this year's strong rookie draft, but the focus in Brooklyn is more about re-signing Deron Williams than anything else.
"We are in a new city and a new building," Williams told Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. "You look at the effect it had on Oklahoma City. ... That's a good example for me, just moving into a new building. You saw it a few years ago when the Mavericks moved from Reunion Arena to a new arena."
"For us, we are moving to a new city, a new state and just a terrific building. So we feel all those things are going to be assets for us in trying to acquire free agents," Williams said.
Once the Nets re-work a contract with their All-Star PG, they'll know exactly how much money they're working with in the offseason. And if they can lure one more key piece, like possibly a Lamar Odom, the Nets could write one of the most compelling, comeback stories of the year.