After starting the season 0-16, the New Jersey Nets have fired head coach Lawrence Frank who was the longest tenured coach in the Eastern Conference. While nobody wants to be unemployed in this economy, at least Frank won't be the one coaching when the Nets match the all-time worst start against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday Night, replacement coach Tom Barrise has earned that honor.
The atrocious start of the Nets is perfectly symbolic of the NBA's New York State of Mind. Combined, the Knicks and Nets are 3-29 this year as the two teams gear up for the summer of 2010.
Not since 1998 have the Nets and Knicks both finished above .500—as a reference, John Calipari was the coach in NJ and Jeff Van Gundy in NY. ... Between then and now New Jersey did make two NBA Finals appearances when the East was especially week although they were never a feared franchise.
Further east, the Knicks have been the butt of all jokes since the new millennium.
Is it really Frank's fault the Nets haven't won a game? What about the part when NJ traded away Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, Jason Kidd, and Ryan Anderson in the past two years?
Mike D'Antoni is safe in New York because he is a part of the 2010 plan, but the Knicks three wins is hardly more spectacular than the Nets' season considering NJ has been without Devin Harris and Yi Jianlian for a majority of the season.
The reputation of the New York/New Jersey area is that you have to be tough to make it, and if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. NYC is considered point guard heaven and even the basketball capital of the world to some.
How sad is it that professional basketball in the New York Metro Area has essentially packed it up for two seasons in hopes that the big free-agency splash of 2010 will save everything?
For the record, I do believe that the Nets will get LeBron James and possibly Chris Bosh. I also believe the Knicks will be able to get someone whether it's Dwyane Wade, Amar'e Stoudemire, or even a Rudy Gay.
That being said, putting all of their eggs in one basket has basically told fans to hibernate for 100-plus games and wake-up next fall.
The successful franchises in the NBA are so because they play for the now, they don't build for the future.
If the Nets or Knicks cannot get the players they want, are they going to overpay players just to spend? Are they going to wait until 2011?
From Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel to Nas and Jay-Z, great musicians have been telling the world about the mindset that it takes to make it in The Big Apple. The 1976 ABA Finals were the last time a New York team won a basketball championship, it's time to take a note from the local baseball and football teams because playing for the future only results in failure in the present.