Archive for the ‘Nets’ Category

There’s no greater honor an athlete can receive in team sports than having his number retired. It represents doing something so special for the franchise that no other player could ever hope to duplicate it. Deron Williams needed 15 games to earn the achievement for Beşiktaş of the Turkish Basketball League, where he was playing during the NBA lockout. With the labor issue resolved, Williams was set to return to the Nets but his adopted team decided to give him one last over-the-top send-off after he averaged 21.8 points and 6.5 assists for them in the span of a few months.

If Brian Scalabrine ever wanted to get his number retired, he better head out to Turkey. Despite his limited credentials, Deron Williams isn’t the only player to have his jersey raised to the rafters by a team he didn’t exactly do much for. Michael Jordan had his #23 retired by the Miami Heat after averaging 0.0 points for them in 0 career games. Fan up, Miami!

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a piece on Grantland about the scam Bruce Ratner pulled on New York to get his massive development built in Brooklyn under the guise of moving the Nets and helping the community. It’s been under-the-radar for a long time but I think this is the most informative article I’ve read about the subject. Even our own resident Nets fan, Rory, said, “Ratner being an asshole is nothing new.” Make sure to check it out.

“I must break you.”

Mikhail Prokhorov, the owner of the New Jersey Nets, recently stepped down as the head of Russia’s Right Cause political party and alleged that the Russian government manipulated the group after assurances to the contrary. Prokhorov claims that the government forced him to include members to the party that were actually loyal to the ruling group and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. By coming out publicly with these assertions, Prokhorov could be in dangerous territory. After oil baron Mikhail Khodorkovsky spoke out against Putin, he was thrown in jail.

It’s nice that Proky wants to expose the corruption in the Russian government, but he’s a little naive. Russian corruption is as inevitable as gravity or the Mets embarrassing themselves. If he really wants to do something, he should come to America and end the NBA lockout. The owners are stupid but they’re not corrupt. If Proky gave Robert Sarver a Drago-style stare down, the salary cap would be softer than a baby’s ass. Gotta have your priorities straight. Either that or go jetskiing with hookers.

Bloomberg Businessweek

As if the Barclays Center hasn’t had enough problems in the past with local resentment, plan delays, hurried redesigns, financial shortcomings, broken promises, and even rampant illegal parking, the construction site of the Nets’ new arena has sent rats scurrying about the neighborhood. Of course rats are running away from the Barclays Center. They don’t want to see the Nets play as much as the next guy.

Nets minority owner and developer, Bruce Ratner, has been offering rat-proof garbage cans to local residents but that’s been about as helpful as signing Anthony Morrow. Rats are still invading people’s homes and cars (gross) but at least cats are happy.

The Atlantic Yards plan has been plagued since Day 1. It’s all been part of a complex scheme for Ratner to build residential and office towers in the area and purchase the land for cheap, but it’s been nothing but bad for people who live in the area. Did anyone really want the Nets to move to Brooklyn? It’s not the second coming of the Dodgers. They should stay in Newark.

NY Daily News

Everything But Nets

Posted: April 8, 2011 by Keith Stone in Knicks, Nets, Proky, rants, Yinka Dare

The thing about little brothers is that it’s important to make sure they know their place. When he thinks he’s the man because he just got a driver’s license, hook up with his girlfriend. Tonight, Carmelo is going to make a sex tape with Kim Kardashian. It’s not that I hate the Nets. They’re just inferior and will always be whether they play in Long Island, Piscataway, the Meadowlands, Newark, Seaside Heights, or Brooklyn.

It’s not that their name ends in “-ets.” It’s that they changed it purposely to rhyme with the Mets and Jets. Anytime you’re doing something to copy the Mets and Jets, you might have a problem. Their relevance and legitimacy was done from that moment forward. Yeah, I know the Knicks are named after a piece of clothing. But really, you should have been in the city in the 1600’s. They were all the rage.

While true that the two teams have never played an extremely meaningful game (although Bernard King dropped a franchise-record 60 points on the Nets on Christmas Day 1984), the Knicks have had a major impact on the Nets’ history. In 1976, when the Nets were entering the NBA, the Knicks forced them to pay $4.8 million for entering their territory. The Nets couldn’t afford it and were forced to sell Dr. J. And so, the Knicks deprived the Nets of one of the greatest players the game has ever seen and banished them to the cellar for years.

Even when the Nets were successful and went to the Finals, it was during one of the weakest periods in the NBA, especially the East. The Nets got the 1-seed in 2002 with 52 wins! It was the most wins in franchise history! Three teams have that many in the Eastern Conference this year and there’s still a week left.

Who did the Nets have to go up against during their glory years? Allen Iverson? Paul Pierce? Baron Davis? Scary. The Knicks had Jordan, Bird, the Bad Boys, Shaq, and Alonzo Mourning. Sorry we couldn’t defend homecourt against the ’93 Bulls. Kenyon Martin would have pissed his pants going toe-to-toe with Oak, Mase, and the X-Man. Throw that Knick team in the early 00’s and there wouldn’t be enough room at MSG to hang all the banners.

Our teams actually had personality. It’s not that we think John Starks is the best player alive but he went from stocking shelves in a supermarket in Oklahoma to dunking over Horace Grant and Michael Jordan in a matter of a few years. What could you say about the Nets? Jason Kidd beat his wife. Keith Van Horn was white. Kerry Kittles’s dad danced with the cheerleaders. K-Mart had lips tattooed on his neck.

We might not be the smartest basketball fans. We are smart but the Warriors do have a lot of Asian fans. I would have to say, however, that we’re the most appreciative fans. We see the nuances of the game and let our guys know that their hard work is recognized because New Yorkers are hard-working people. We’d rather see somebody dive out of bounds to save the ball than a spectacular dunk. People from New Jersey are just New Yorkers that can’t handle the hustle and bustle (™Clyde Frazier). They’d rather catch a T-shirt during a timeout than anything.

That’s why I was shocked to hear the Garden is a homecourt disadvantage. Our teams weren’t always better than our opponents but the fans consistently make our guys play better than they’re capable of playing. There’s no way the 4-point play happens if the crowd doesn’t keep it close with deafening chants of “DEEEEEEE-FENSE” throughout the closing minutes.

There’s a myth that the Knicks, especially Patrick Ewing, always choked it up at home. There’s a ton of memorable clutch moments to prove otherwise. Ewing coming back from a sprained ankle to take the Bulls to a Game 7 in ’92. The Dunk. Ewing’s putback to send the Knicks to the ’94 Finals. Ewing’s Game 5 winner in the ’95 Semis. Ewing blocking Tim Hardaway’s last-second shot to put the Knicks up 3-1 in ’97 Semis. The 4-point play. Allan Houston going bonkers to send the Knicks to the ’99 Finals after LJ went down. The list goes on and on. The ’99 Knicks started Chris Fucking Dudley at center in the Finals and they still managed to win a game against the Spurs at the Garden. This was a Spurs team that started David Robinson and Tim Duncan and swept really good Lakers and Blazers teams. I can’t think of a single memorable Nets moment besides going to overtime in Game 5 against the Pacers in ’02 and that was in the first round.

If anything, the Knicks’ problem has been poor timing while the Nets picked exactly the right opportunity to peak. A lot of good it did them. Within a few years, Jason Kidd forced his way out of town and they were challenging for the NBA’s all-time worst record. Their owner used the team to leverage his way to a very, very shady real estate deal in Brooklyn and then sold them to an even shadier guy. At least we know what we’re getting in Jim Dolan. And his music really isn’t that bad. I have to say that his band is the best jazz group I’ve ever seen on YouTube. Proky couldn’t get any free agents and then signed Travis Outlaw to the worst deal of the summer. The only thing more pathetic was the lame billboard they put up on 8th Ave. And Brett Yormark is a douchebag. I just hope for their sake Deron Williams chooses to re-sign. He’d look awfully good in orange and blue. Luckily, the YES Network is actually televising tonight’s Knicks-Nets “game.” I will admit they have the best play-by-play guy in the biz.

Since I am a Knicks fan, which means I’m very classy, I would like to wish the Nets the best of luck in this year’s draft lottery. As for tonight, Melo, and Kim K, it’s just…

[Editor’s note: The Knicks defeated the Nets 116-93]

>Shove It Up Your Knickhole

Posted: April 5, 2011 by Keith Stone in Isiah, JD and the Straight Shot, Knicks, Nets, rants


The dominant headline of this NBA season has clearly been the Miami Heat. They have become the team people love to hate, as articles about them crying generate more attention than the actual game. However, I would not mind seeing the Miami Cheat taking home the title. Nor would I mind the Los Angeles Fakers, nor the Boston…um…let’s go with Smelltics


Because that means that the Knicks didn’t win.

When it comes to local sports team rivalries, the animosity between Nets and Knicks fans is quite bizarre. Reasonably, these two fanbases have little reason to hate each other. They’ve played in two first round playoff series in 35 years. When one team was up, the other team was down – they basically switch roles every decade. I can’t even recall one game you would call “classic” between the two franchises. So why the insults, the chest-thumping, the vile-spewing, and the all-in-all non-well-wishingness?

Basically, the New York sports landscape is shaped by the big brother/little brother relationship. The Yankees and the Mets. The Giants and the Jets. Unfortunately, this also extends to the Knicks and the Nets. However, the Knicks have been the Cooper Manning of older brothers. Since the Nets entered the NBA, the Knicks have won two Eastern Conference titles, and three division titles, while the Nets have two Eastern Conference titles as well, but four division titles. Granted, the Knicks won two NBA titles, but they were during a time when the NBA talent level was diluted by the ABA, where, interestingly enough, the Nets won two championships as well. Granted, I’ll admit the Knicks did have many more memorable playoff series in their 90’s run than the Nets had in the 00’s, but I can pride myself as a Nets fan to say that they never lost a series in which they had homecourt advantage.

So where does this “big brother” attitude come from? The Yankees and the Giants dominate their respective little siblings in titles; their fanbases have earned their arrogance and cockiness. Unless the prerequisite for being the “little brother” is that your team name ends in “-ets”, there is little distinguishing the two teams.

That’s is the main crux of my Knicks hate-itude – a completely undeserved bravado, a false sense being one of the NBA’s storied franchises, a fucktastic douchebagicity. However, as I may be bombarded after this post by Knicks fans wearing Carmelo Anthony jerseys they hastily made with the number “15” because they aren’t true fans who know their own franchise’s history, let me get a few more shots in.

I’ve heard Bill Simmons comment a few time that Knicks fans are the “smartest basketball fans.” Sure. The most objective Knicks fan I found ranks John Starks as one of the top 10 players of all time, rather than the top 5. And to watch them defend Patrick Ewing’s career is like hearing a six-year-old explain how Santa Claus delivers presents all over the world in one night.

I also freely admit that the Continental Arena/Izod Center is the dumpiest place on Earth, and Madison Square Garden is a legendary arena. However, let’s be honest – it is not known for great Knicks performances. When you think of MSG, you think of other team’s players destroying the Knicks – Reggie Miller, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James. To me, it looks like there is a homecourt disadvantage when playing in the Garden. That must be why the Knicks are struggling so much at the end of this season (either that or they suck).

But, it isn’t all hate. I love Clyde Frazier’s vocabulary. I love JD & the Straight Shot. But most of all, I love Isiah Thomas. For four and a half glorious years, he brought me some of the greatest stories and highlights in sports history (and partially distracted me from the terrible job Rod Thorn was doing). And it looks like Isiah will be back for more. This season has been a dark cloud for Knicks-haters, but fear not – Isiah is our silver lining.

Keith Stone’s Rebuttal

>Fat Kid Loves Nets

Posted: March 15, 2011 by Keith Stone in fat kids, Nets


The Nets won their fifth straight game today with a 88-79 victory over the Celtics. Nobody was happier than this kid. I wonder if he could beat Shaq in an eating contest.