Brooklyn Nets Still Have 4 Decades of Franchise Futility to Overcome
Mediocrity and underachievement are not uncommon to the franchise of the Brooklyn Nets.
Embarrassing roster moves, coaching changes and off-court scenarios have also been a staple of the Nets' organization ever since the team was founded in 1967.
The team hasn't really shown any consistent amount of success aside from its back-to-back appearances in the NBA Finals in 2001-02 and 2002-03.
The Nets won two championships as the New York Nets when they were in the ABA but have yet to win a championship in the NBA.
Owner Mikhail Prokhorov planned for that to change when he implemented his new set of goals, but the Nets' inconsistent start to this season (20-15) has left many wondering if this team is cut out to compete with the big boys.
But then again, the Nets have never given fans a reason to expect great things. If history means anything, then their early inconsistencies this season should come as no surprise.
If anything, they should be a preview to what we can expect throughout the rest of the season.
Still, there are plenty of other instances where the Nets' efforts proved futile.
9. Vince Carter Gets Traded
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Vince Carter was the Nets' best player from the 2004-05 season to his trade on June 25, 2009.
He was the team's best scorer, personality and was a fan favorite throughout the entirety of his time in New Jersey.
In a cost-cutting move, the Nets chose to ship him off (along with Ryan Anderson) to Orlando for Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee.
Well, that plan backfired.
Clearly, none of the above big names signed with the Nets. The team lacked a big-time scorer and superstar until Deron Williams came aboard via trade during the 2010-11 season.
Chris Douglas-Roberts, a member of the 2009-10 Nets.
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Who would have thought that the Nets would experience some growing pains after dealing Carter?
While most predicted it, none could have predicted New Jersey's putrid start to the 2009-10 season.
From October 28 to December 2, 2009, the Nets did not win a single basketball game. To start the season, New Jersey was an all-time worst 0-18.
To make matters even worse, the Nets tied the record for the worst start to a season (over 50 games) at 4-46. This wasn't just an NBA record, though. It tied the record set between the NBA, MLB and NHL.
The entire season proved to be an embarrassment. The team won just 12 games and was the laughing stock of the NBA.
For many franchises, this would be the most futile moment—not for the Nets.
7. Larry Brown Ditches Nets for Kansas
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The Nets were on their way to a playoff berth during the 1982-83 season.
That didn't stop head coach Larry Brown from leaving the team with just two weeks left in the season to accept the head coaching job at the University of Kansas.
Was the franchise that dysfunctional that Brown couldn't wait for the end of the season to accept a position as a head coach in college?
To make matters worse, the Nets were swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the New York Knicks, a team who had a lower seed.
The 49-33 record compiled by the team that season was not bad at all, but the way the season ended was sorry to say the least.
6. The Rollie Massimino Debacle
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Coming off a National Championship in 1985 with Villanova, Rollie Massimino interviewed for the coaching vacancy with the Nets.
He got the job, and the Nets scheduled a press conference to announce his hiring.
Massimino decided at the last minute that he made the wrong choice, forcing the team to cancel the press conference and begin its search for another coach.
Dave Wohl eventually earned himself the job.
That didn't provide any sort of longevity, though, as the team would go through five head coaches over the next eight seasons—Wohl, Bob MacKinnon, Willis Reed, Bill Fitch and Chuck Daly.
The team didn't have a winning season until Daly took over.
5. Jason Kidd Gets Heckled by His Wife
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Bad things seem to happen to the Nets, and this embarrassing moment is no different.
Before a game on December 27, 2006, Jason Kidd's then-wife Joumana sent their eight-year-old son into the Net's locker room to retrieve Kidd's cell phone.
Apparently, Joumana did not like what she found.
After finding several questionable contacts on the phone, Joumana subsequently took to her seat and began to heckle her husband for the remainder of the game.
There's no doubt that Kidd was able to hear those insults either, as Joumana was sitting courtside.
Kidd and Joumana filed for divorce in January of 2007.
4. Rick Barry Leaves
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Rick Barry led the Nets to the ABA Finals in 1972.
Just a year later, Barry lost a court case that resulted in a big change in the futures of three parties—Barry, the Nets and the Golden State Warriors.
The ruling in the court case was that Barry had to return to the NBA to honor his contract with the Warriors.
Barry went on to accomplish great things in the NBA and was rewarded with a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Like I said earlier, bad things seem to happen to the Nets. This was purely a matter of being unlucky, but there's no doubting the fact that the Nets would have loved to keep Barry for at least a few more seasons.
3. Jayson Williams Breaks His Leg
Fresh off signing a massive six-year, $86 million contract with the Nets, Jayson Williams broke his leg when he collided into his teammate, Stephon Marbury.
Williams was forced to retire just a few months later, ending what was expected to be an extremely promising career.
He was a prolific rebounder in the NBA prior to the injury, compiling consecutive seasons of 13.5 rebounds or more for the Nets in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
While he wasn't the biggest offensive threat, the Nets expected him to be a catalyst on the team for the life of his contract. Instead, he contributed absolutely nothing after signing his new deal.
2. The Nets Get Outbid
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Does the name Lew Alcindor ring any bells?
What about the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? While many know that they are the same person, the most casual of fans may not be aware.
The Nets could have had Abdul-Jabbar in 1969 when he entered the draft out of UCLA.
The Nets were in the bidding for the No. 1 overall pick against the Milwaukee Bucks. Unfortunately for them, the Bucks were the highest bidder.
While it's unknown as to whether or not Abdul-Jabbar would have ended up with the Los Angeles Lakers had he started with the Nets, it's obvious that the Nets and their fans would have loved to even have him for a short period of time.
1. Dr. J for Sale
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Great players seem to have a tendency to find their way off the Nets, and this final situation is no different. This is the single most futile moment in Nets' history.
When the NBA agreed to take on four teams from the ABA, the Nets had to pay an admission fee of $8 million to finalize the move.
Well, the Nets didn't exactly have that money at the time.
Their genius solution? To make a long story short, Julius Erving became a Philadelphia 76er, and the Nets became $3 million richer and an NBA franchise.
Erving, one of the best players of all time, led the ABA in scoring twice with the Nets and finished out a Hall of Fame career in 1986-87 with Philadelphia.
Keeping Erving would have been ideal, but futility prevailed in this one.