No Jersey Pride

Posted: March 17, 2012 by Keith Stone in basketball, NBA
Tags: , , , , , ,

Our token Nets fan, Rory, had a few things to say about the team’s moves at the trade deadline:

Beware the Ides of March. Suitable for Julius Caesar, and now suitable for Nets fans. On Thursday, the Nets were dealt two crushing blows. The first was Dwight reversing on his reversal of his first reversal, and choosing to stay with Orlando. While upsetting as it may be for the Nets fans, it is more easy to come to terms with. I thoroughly approved of the “all in for Dwight” strategy the whole time, and cannot fault the Nets management for choosing the path they did. In this scenario, the Nets were acting as the big bad “villain” team, like the Miami Heat or New York Yankees, and trying to steal a star away from a small town. The Nets went through this before with Kenyon Martin (although the ownership of the Nets were being cheap and did not want to pay him), so a small part of me is happy for Orlando that they got to retain their beloved star.

And yes, I know there are still more rumors that this will all happen again next year. Just stop. Fool me once (LeBron), shame on you. Fool me twice (Carmelo), shame on me. Fool me three or more times, well, what would be the appropriate amount of shame? Tattooing a scarlet “NJ” on my chest?

What really ground my gears was the Nets trade for Gerald Wallace. Losing Okur? No biggie. Losing ex-Knick superstar Shawne Williams? Whatever. But losing the Nets first round pick (top 3 protected)? Are you kidding me?!? Aside from Deron Williams, this was the Nets biggest trade asset. And all they got to show for it was Gerald Wallace? This is unacceptable. Billy King defended his decision on WFAN yesterday, and here were his pathetic excuses for this boneheaded decision:

1. The Nets had scouted the draft, and determined that there were only three immediate impact players in this year’s draft, which is why it was only top three protected.

Wow, good job Nets scouts! Without even watching the NCAA tournament, going through pre-draft workouts, and knowing who is going to declare for the draft, you are already set on your top three. Even more impressive, you know that no other team will make a mistake, and that all three prospects will be picked first, second and third. And with your proven track record (Terrence Williams, Damian James, Jordan Williams), I have no reason to doubt you!

(In case you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic.)

2. The draft is random. Carlos Boozer went in the second round, for Pete’s sake!

This was an actual argument he made. He equated trading a lottery pick to trading a second round pick. This is insane. But it gets worse.

3. The Nets are currently slotted to draft 6th, and they won’t go lower than that. The acquisition of Gerald Wallace will move them up, so the draft pick won’t be that high.

At the time I’m writing this, the Nets are 15-29, scheduled to play Orlando tonight, and have ONE win more than the team slotted to pick 4th. This is an insanely cocky thing to say for a team that’s battled injuries all year long. The nerve of this guy to think that it is a given that the Nets won’t get worse.

Not only that, but Gerald Wallace has a player option for next season, worth $11.5M. Many people think he won’t opt out, but if I’m him, I know opting out will cause the Nets to freak out, and he can get a long-term deal. Bottom line: the draft pick should have been top 10 protected (hell, even top 5 would’ve made it debatable).

As of right now, the Nets have only three players guaranteed to be on the team next year: MarShon Brooks, Anthony Morrow, and Johan Petro. They could potentially have no first round picks if Houston misses the playoffs. They have not won a playoff game in 5 years, halfway to the 11 year mark currently held by the New York Men’s Pants. One could say that they are halfway there, and they are also living on a prayer. Yes, everything could break the Nets way – they could get a top three pick, Deron could choose to stay, etc. But I’d watch this video, and just replace “single” with “Nets fan.”

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