|New Jersey Nets|
|History|| New Jersey Americans |
New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
|Arena||Continental Airlines Arena|
|City||East Rutherford, New Jersey|
|Team Colors||Dark Blue, White, Red, and Silver|
|Head Coach||Lawrence Frank|
|Championships|| ABA: 2 (1974, 1976) |
|Conference Titles||2 (2002, 2003)|
|Division Titles|| ABA: 1 (1974) |
NBA: 4 (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006)
- Teaneck Armory (1967-1968)
- Long Island Arena (1968-1969)
- Island Garden (1969-1971)
- Nassau Coliseum (1971-1977)
- Louis Brown Athletic Center (1977-1981)
- Continental Airlines Arena (formerly Brendan Byrne Arena)(1981-present)
Franchise history 編輯
1967 to 1976 - The ABA Years 編輯
The franchise was established in 1967 as part of the American Basketball Association. Originally called the New Jersey Americans, the team played its first season in the Teaneck (N.J.) Armory, before changing its name and location (to Long Island) to become the New York Nets. The team was renamed to "Nets" to rhyme with two other professional sports team in New York: the New York Mets and New York Jets.
In 1972, two years after the acquisition of star Rick Barry, the Nets advanced to the ABA finals. However, they could not overcome the Indiana Pacers and lost the series four games to two. Barry left after that postseason, sending the Nets into rebuilding mode. The 1972 - 1973 season was one of disappointment, as the Nets only won 30 games. In the 1973 offseason, however, the Nets acquired Julius Erving, known as "Dr. J" from the Virginia Squires.1973-1974, with Erving, the Nets dramatically improved their record, ending the season with 55 victories. After Erving was voted the ABA's MVP, the Nets advanced in the playoffs and won their first title, defeating the Utah Stars in the 1974 ABA Finals. The following season they won 58 games in the regular season, but were eliminated, four games to one, by the Spirits of St. Louis in the first round of the 1975 ABA playoffs. The team rebounded in the 1975-1976 season, with Erving leading them to a successful 55-win season; he also was named MVP again that year. After a grueling series with the Denver Nuggets, the Nets won the last ABA championship series in six games, giving them their second championship in three years.
1976 to 1980 - Move to the NBA and to New Jersey 編輯
During the summer of 1976, the ABA and NBA merged. As part of the merger agreement, four teams from the ABA -- including the Nets -- joined the NBA. However, in addition to the $3 million they paid to join the NBA, the Nets had to pay the New York Knicks $4.8 million for "invading" the Knicks' NBA territory. This left Boe short for cash, and he was forced to sell Erving to the Philadelphia 76ers for $3 million, ending a highly successful period in their history. The Nets finished their first season in the NBA with the worst record in the league at 22-60.Meadowlands Sports Complex, they played four seasons at the Louis Brown Athletic Center on the campus of Rutgers University, known at that time as the Rutgers Athletic Center. In 1978, Boe sold the team to a group of seven local businessmen (led by Joe Taub and Alan Cohen) who became known as the "Secaucus Seven". The first four years in New Jersey were disappointing, as the Nets suffered through four consecutive losing seasons.
The 1980s 編輯
The team moved into the Brendan Byrne Arena (now known as Continental Airlines Arena) in 1981 and experienced modest success with four consecutive winning seasons. In 1982-1983, while coached by Larry Brown, the Nets were having their best season since joining the NBA. However, Brown accepted the head coaching job at the University of Kansas during the last month of the season and was relieved of his coaching duties. The Nets would never recover from the coaching change and would lose in the first round of the playoffs.
In the 1983-1984 season, the Nets fielded what was believed to be their best team since joining the league. Led by Darryl Dawkins, Buck Williams, Otis Birdsong, and Micheal Ray Richardson, the team won their first NBA playoff series, defeating the defending champion 76ers in the first round of the 1984 playoffs before falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals in six games.
Injuries plagued the team during the 1984-1985 season, but the Nets still managed to win 42 games before being eliminated from the 1985 playoffs by the Detroit Pistons in three games. The Nets would not qualify for the playoffs for the next seven seasons (1991-1992) and would not have a winning record for eight (1992-1993).
The 1990s 編輯
During the early 1990s the Nets began to improve behind a core of young players, as New Jersey drafted Derrick Coleman and Kenny Anderson and acquired the late Drazen Petrovic in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite a losing record during the 1991-1992 season, the Nets qualified for the playoffs, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, three games to one.
The team improved significantly in 1992-1993, led by the trio of Coleman, Petrovic and Anderson and new head coach Chuck Daly. However, injuries to both Anderson and Petrovic toward the end of the season sent the team into a 1-10 slump to end the regular season. The Nets finished the season at 43-39 and were seeded sixth in the Eastern Conference and faced the Cavaliers again in the first round. With Anderson recovered from a broken hand and Petrovic playing on an injured knee, the Nets lost a tough five-game series. However, the optimism of a team jelling was destroyed on June 7, when Petrovic was killed in an automobile accident in Germany at the age of 28.
Depite the devastaing loss of Petrovic, the Nets managed to win 45 games during the 1993-1994 season, losing to the New York Knicks the first round of the 1994 NBA Playoffs, three games to one. Daly resigned as head coach after the season and was replaced by Butch Beard.
The team struggled through the rest of the decade. During the mid-1990s the NBA's main image problem was that of the selfish, immature athlete and if one wanted to see a team that embodied that image, all one had to do was look at the Nets. In 1995, Coleman was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the poster child of the selfish NBA player, but with Anderson, Benoit Benjamin, Dwayne Schintzius and Chris Morris also on the roster, there were plenty of candidates for SI to choose from. The team's image was so poor that in an effort to shed its losing image, management considered renaming the team "Swamp Dragons" in 1995, but rejected the idea. In both the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons, the Nets finished with identical 30-52 records.
In an effort to start anew, Coleman and Anderson were both traded during the 1995-96 season and John Calipari replaced Beard as head coach at the end of the season. Kerry Kittles was selected in the 1996 NBA Draft and midway through the 1996-97 season, the team traded for Sam Cassell. After a 26-56 win-loss season, the Nets made a major draft-day trade in June 1997, acquiring Keith Van Horn, Lucious Harris and two other players for Tim Thomas. The only player from the early 1990s that the Nets retained was Jayson Williams, who was developing into a rebounding specialist.
The 1997-98 season was a lone bright spot for the Nets in the late 1990s. The team played well under Calipari, winning 43 games and qualifying for the playoffs on the last day of the season. The Nets were seeded eighth in the Eastern Conference and lost to the Chicago Bulls in the 1998 playoffs in three straight games.
The "Secaucus Seven" sold the team in 1998 to local real estate developers, who the next year signed an agreement with New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to form YankeeNets, a holding company that would own the two teams along with increasing leverage in future broadcast contracts by negotiating together. After getting offers from numerous broadcast partners, including what was their current rights holder Cablevision, YankeeNets decided to launch a new regional sports television called YES Network.
The 1998-99 season was delayed for three months due to an owners' lockout of the players. When the abbreviated 50-game season began, the Nets were a fashionable choice by experts as a surprise team. However, Cassell was injured in the first game and the team started poorly. With the Nets underachieving at 3-15, the Nets traded Cassell to the Bucks, while the Nets acquired Stephon Marbury from the Minnesota Timberwolves. After two more losses, Calipari was fired as head coach with the team at 3-17. The team never recovered from its poor start to finish at 16-34. With the Nets already eliminated from playoff contention in April, Marbury collided with Williams in a game against the Atlanta Hawks -- Williams broke his tibia and would never play in the NBA again.
The 2000s 編輯
In 2000, the Nets hired as the team president Rod Thorn, a longtime NBA executive best known for drafting Michael Jordan while he was the Bulls' general manager. Immediately, he began to assemble the components of the most talented team since the ABA champions of the mid-1970s. He started by hiring Byron Scott as coach. With the first pick in the 2000 Draft, the Nets selected Kenyon Martin from the University of Cincinnati. On the night of the 2001 Draft, they traded the rights to their first round selection (Eddie Griffin) to the Houston Rockets for their draft selections -- Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong.
Just after the 2001 draft, Thorn made his boldest move. He traded all-star Marbury to the Phoenix Suns for another all-star point guard Jason Kidd. The move gave the team something it had been lacking for practically its entire NBA existence, a floor leader who also made his teammates better.
That season, the Nets had their best season in their NBA history. The team won its first Atlantic Division title, finishing the regular season at 52-30 and were seeded first in Eastern Conference and faced Indiana in the first round of the 2002 NBA Playoffs.
After losing the first game at home, the Nets then went on to win the next two games, before losing game four on the road. In front of a sellout crowd, the Nets played one of the more memorable games in NBA Playoff history in game five. The Nets led by nine points with five minutes remaining in regulation, however Reggie Miller made a 35-foot three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime (it should be noted that replays later showed that Miller's shot was actually after the buzzer and therefore shouldn't have counted). After Miller sent the game into double-overtime with a driving dunk, the Nets pulled away for a 120-109 victory.
In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, they defeated the Charlotte Hornets four games to one to advance to the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time facing the Boston Celtics. After winning game one versus the Celtics, the Nets lost game two at home. In game three, the Nets led by 21 points going into the final period, but a tremendous Celtic comeback gave the Celtics a 94-90 victory and a 2-1 series lead. In game four played on Memorial Day afternoon in Boston, the Nets led most of the way but once again the Celtics found a way to tie the game with a minute remaining. However, in this game the Nets made enough plays at the end of the game to win it - Harris made two free throws with 6.6 seconds left and when Paul Pierce missed two free throws that would have tied the game with 1 second left, the series was tied at two games each. In game five, the Nets went on a 20-1 run early in the fourth period to coast to a 103-92 victory and a 3-2 lead in the series. In game 6, the Nets trailed by 10 at halftime, but rallied in the second half to take the lead. Van Horn's three pointer off a Kittles pass with 50 seconds left in the game clinched the Nets first Eastern Conference Championship, four games to two.
Before the 2002-03 season, the Nets traded Van Horn to obtain Dikembe Mutombo from the 76ers. The move to improve the team did not work out as Mutombo sat out most of the season with a wrist injury. Despite Mutombo's absence, the Nets finished with a 49-33 record and repeated as Atlantic Division champs. In the 2003 NBA Playoffs, the Nets won their second consecutive Eastern Conference championship. They defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs four games to two, then swept the Celtics and Detroit Pistons in consecutive series to advance to the 2003 NBA Finals, this time facing the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs. They split the first four games in the series, but the Nets played erratically in a Game 5 loss at home to go down in the series three games to two. In Game 6, the Nets led the Spurs by 10 points on the road with 10 minutes remaining, but the Spurs went on a 19-0 run to take the title in six games.
In 2004, The Nets again won the Atlantic Division title, and after sweeping the crosstown rival Knicks in the first round, their run of conference championships was halted in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the eventual NBA champion Detroit Pistons. After the teams split the first four games, each one large routs at home, the Nets took Game 5 in Detroit in triple-overtime, only to fall short in Game 6 in New Jersey. The Pistons won Game 7 in a rout and took the series 4 games to 3. Jason Kidd, playing on an injured knee that eventually required surgery after the season, was held scoreless in Game 7.
After the season, the Nets were forced to trade Kerry Kittles and Kenyon Martin, to the Clippers and Nuggets respectively. However, after a disappointing start to the 2004-05 season, the Nets acquired disgruntled star Vince Carter from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Mourning, who was predictably released by the Raptors (and subsequently rejoined the Miami Heat), Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and draft picks. Teamed with Kidd, Carter rallied the team from being more than 10 games out of the playoffs to gain the final seed in the Eastern Conference. However, the Nets could not overcome O'Neal again and were swept by the Heat in the First Round of the 2005 NBA Playoffs.
During the offseason of 2005, the Nets actively pursued a starting-quality power forward to fill that void after drafting Antoine Wright, a 6' 7" swingman because all the talented power forwards were taken in the draft.
Eventually settling on Shareef Abdur-Rahim, they actively courted him and gained his approval even though they could only offer him the mid-level exception. In order to get him a larger, more lucrative contract, the Nets pursued a sign-and-trade with Portland. There, negotiations hit a snag because Portland demanded a first-round draft pick, which the Nets adamantly refused to part with. Eventually, the Nets agreed to give Portland a protected first-round pick and their trade exception acquired from the Kerry Kittles trade. This allowed the Nets to keep their mid-level exception for signing other players. However, Thorn decided to void the Abdur-Rahim trade when he failed his physical examination because of a pre-existing knee injury. To fill Abdur-Rahim's slot on the roster, the Nets acquired Marc Jackson from the Sixers.
They used part of the remaining mid-level exception to re-sign Clifford Robinson for two years in response to Brian Scalabrine's departure. A back-up to Kidd was also sought and they actively courted free agents such as Keyon Dooling before turning their attention to talented, but aggravating (at times) Jeff McInnis, whom they eventually signed.
The Nets started the 2005-06 season slowly, struggling to a 9-12 record in their first 21 games. However, behind strong play by Carter, Kidd & Jefferson the team won their next 10 games (their final 8 games in December and first two games in January) to surge to top of the division. After the winning streak, the Nets returned to their earlier mediocre play (winning only 13 of their next 29 games), but starting on March 12 the Nets won their next 14 games in a row - the longest winning streak in the NBA this season and matching the franchise record set in 2004. The streak ended on April 8, 2006 when the Nets loss to the Cavaliers 108-102 at home. They set a team record with 20 road victories this seaon.
The Nets finished the 2005-06 regular season with a 49-33 record. They clinched their 4th Atlantic Division championship in the last five seasons and the 3rd seed the Eastern Conference playoffs, playing the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs. They defeated the Pacers and advanced to the second round where they played the Heat, in a rematch of 2005's first round Eastern Conference loss. Again, the Nets lost the best-of-seven series 4-1 to the Heat.
The Nets have announced they will introduce a red alternate jersey for the 2006-07 season (in the past their alternate jersey was grey).
Planned Relocation to Brooklyn 編輯
In 2004, after failing to secure a deal for a new arena in Newark, New Jersey, YankeeNets sold the franchise to a group headed by real estate developer Bruce Ratner. In 2005 the Nets announced plans to move the team back to New York, this time locating the team in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Downtown Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Nets Arena is the center of an extensive redevelopment project in Atlantic Yards being built by Ratner's real estate development company. Ironically, the site of the arena is the same site that Walter O'Malley wanted to use for a new stadium for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the early 1950s. The plan was rejected and resulted in the team's relocation to Los Angeles in 1958. The Nets would be the first major professional sports team to play their games in Brooklyn since the departure of the Dodgers.
The arena is in the final planning stages and if approved, the Nets would move across the Hudson River for the 2008-2009 season. However, delays in the project make a move in 2008 unlikely. A February 10, 2006 article in the Newark Star-Ledger reported that the team and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority are in negotiations in regards to a new lease to keep the team in the Meadowlands until the Brooklyn arena is completed.
In the event the Brooklyn arena project is rejected, the Star-Ledger article stated that Net management has indicated that staying in the Meadowlands is their top alternative to the Brooklyn arena.
If the Nets ultimately do not move to Brooklyn, it is unknown if Ratner would continue to own the team in New Jersey or put the team up for sale, since the arena project was the main reason he bought the team.
Players of note 編輯
- Nate Archibald - played one season with Nets, 1976-77, the last season on Long Island
- Rick Barry - played for the Nets only while the team was a member of the ABA
- Julius Erving - played for the Nets only while the team was a member of the ABA
- Drazen Petrovic - played 3 seasons for the Nets, died in a car accident after Nets were eliminated from 1993 NBA Playoffs
Not to be forgotten:編輯
- Kenny Anderson
- Derrick Coleman
- Kendall Gill
- Armon Gilliam
- Larry Kenon
- Kerry Kittles
- Stephon Marbury
- Kenyon Martin
- Brian Scalabrine
- Keith Van Horn
- Jayson Williams
- 3 - Drazen Petrovic, G, 1990-93
- 4 - Wendell Ladner, F, 1974-75
- 23 - John Williamson, G, 1973-80
- 25 - Bill Melchionni, G, 1969-76
- 32 - Julius Erving, F, 1973-76
- 52 - Buck Williams, F, 1981-89
Coaches and others 編輯
Not to be forgotten:編輯
- Nets Talk
- New Jersey Nets official web site
- New Jersey Nets coverage from InsideHoops.com
- Nets Daily - Your source to all the Nets in the news.
- Joe Nets Fan - Nets fan site with custom illistrations and great articles.
- Nets Interactive - Nets fan site with great forums for fan interaction and home to the best Nets' flash intro on the internet
- NY Sports Day
- "Going Hard" by M Bars