We Don’t Want Them!!!
Not sure if anyone else cares or even noticed, but today was an extremely disappointing day for me. First, some background of my basketball fandom. I grew up in the 90’s rooting against the Knicks. I liked Jordan, Reggie, Zo and those match-ups in the 90’s were the best. The Knicks were competitive and the games were classic. Those Knicks were fun to watch. Ewing, Oakley, Houston, Sprewell. As the decade turned, rooting against the Knicks was no longer as much fun. In order to enjoy that activity as a fan, the Knicks would have had to win every now and then just to keep me honest. They didn’t. At all. It became too easy to root against them that towards the end of the decade I decided that it was time to support them. It was too pathetic. I also loved Carmelo in college and in Denver so last year when they got him, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and support them.
At some point, as the Knicks started to suck, I decided that I needed a team to root for, as rooting against the Knicks had become too boring. I adopted the New Jersey Nets. Their home games were closer to where I lived, I had a nice ticket hook-up (thanks Bryan) and they won. Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson, Kenyon Martin and company made it exciting to be a Nets fan. They went to back to back championships, and even though they lost both of them, at least they got there. Eventually they tried to get the big attraction, brought in Vince Carter and their success was history. They have been miserable pretty much ever since. The Knicks have managed to be worse in the same period of time, but not by much. I’m not by any means a die-hard Nets fan, but it’s been a pretty disappointing recent couple of years.
Then the Nets announce that they are moving to Brooklyn. Jay-Z is part owner. They go out last year under the radar and trade for arguably the best PG in the NBA, Deron Williams. The team still kept losing, but at least their was hope. Things were starting to look up. Living in New York, I was rather excited for the city to have a second team. If any one city has the capacity to support two teams filled with stars, this is it. Up until today, it appeared that the Nets might actually have a chance to land the best center in the game, as Dwight Howard said he wanted out of Orlando and placed the Nets on his s short list of teams he wanted to go to. Then he changed his mind and said he wanted to stay the rest of the year, but he would opt out in July and become a free agent. The Magic said if he wouldn’t commit past this year and next, they were going to trade him against his newest wishes. The entire situation was really unclear, but as the smoke was clearing, it looked like the future Brooklyn Nets would have a new Super Star to compliment Deron Williams.
When I read the news this morning that Howard decided to waive his option and will stay in Orlando for the next two years, it was pretty shattering. Deron Williams will be a free agent this year and all indication are that since the Nets couldn’t secure an additional star, Williams will most likely head to Dallas, his hometown. As a result, the Nets are moving into their new city next year with no stars. Their most popular player is Kris Humphries, and unfortunately his fame is not for the right reasons. Brooklyn wants a professional team in the worst way, but not necessarily a losing team. One decision by Dwight Howard changed the entire outlook of Brooklyn’s basketball future. Instead of bringing in two stars and fielding an instant title contender for the next 5-7 years, the Nets will continue to be the joke that most of New Jersey won’t even miss.