Playing for the Brooklyn Nets should be just as meaningful as playing for the New York Knicks. Unfortunately, it isn’t — yet.
The Brooklyn Nets had the worst record in the NBA in 2017 at 20-62 and have been an even bigger laughingstock than their city next door neighbors, the New York Knicks, the past three years.
The Nets don’t have any stars on their roster. They also don’t have the first overall pick in the upcoming draft (due to the infamous Nets-Celtics trade in 2013) and don’t seem to have any sense of direction. The Nets are simply putrid, and, because of that, they have been forgotten.
Quite simply, we ignore the Nets when talking about New York City sports teams.
How often do you hear about how badly the Jets need a quarterback?
What’s going on with Odell Beckham and the New York Giants that tickles the city’s fancy?
The Mets and their promising pitching staff (if the guys can stay healthy) registers with New York sports fans more.
Discussing the Rangers and Islanders is more enticing than talking about the failures of the Nets.
And when it comes to dominating the headlines in Gotham, we all know the Yankees and Knicks overshadow everyone else.
So, where do the lowly Nets fit in the conversation of relevancy amongst the eight New York professional sports teams in the four big sports?
Dead last, as far as I can see. However, I get the feeling that the Brooklyn Nets should be on par with those other franchises in terms of being important and mattering.
My point is, players should take a grander look at playing for the Nets.
They play in a top-notch, well-designed arena in the Barclays Center right in the heart of Brooklyn. We hear so much about the players wanting to play for the Knicks that they seem to forget the Barclays Center is only 41 minutes from Madison Square Garden, so they would almost be playing in the city.
I can remember the buzz and excitement from the NBA and New York sports scene heading into the Nets first season in Brooklyn during 2012-2013. Everyone wanted to see what the new uniforms looked like. The anticipation of the opening of the Barclays Center had Brooklyn in a state of mania.
While the Knicks rule Manhattan, the Nets have had the borough of Brooklyn all to themselves.
If players are drawn to the Knicks, and everything the well-versed economic, financial and affluent side of Manhattan represents, they should be just as attracted to Brooklyn too.
The city offers various aspects of American culture and has a rich history in theater, literature, arts, cinema, technology, diversity, choices of unique food and not to mention a hotbed for hip-hop music.
Unfortunately, the Nets lack any form of notable basketball history compared to the Knicks.
Other than the two Finals they went to in 2002 and 2003, the team hasn’t won a title since 1976 when they were still in the ABA. Since their move, the Nets have done their best to build an identity separate from the city’s other teams.
Now if they could only pick up some wins in the process, the Nets will be on their way.