Brooklyn Nets: NYC’s Latest Dysfunctional Franchise

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    Updated: July 13, 2014
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    New York City is my home, and I love this city more than any other place I’ve ever been to. And of course when you’re from a certain city, most if not all of your sports loyalties are with the local teams. One of the teams I root for is the Brooklyn Nets. And within the last year, the Brooklyn Nets have proudly staked their claim for the latest laughing-stock/dysfunctional franchise within the 5 boroughs of this city. Being dysfunctional seems to be the Nets secondary plan because their primary plan for success shows they have no direction and are genuinely moving ass-backwards. The worst thing about the Nets situation, it’s not going to get better any time soon. The are in line with a string of other poorly run NYC franchises.


    Nets Throw Their Hat Into The NYC Dysfunction Sweepstakes…


    There are a lot of poorly run franchises in New York City. The Knicks, Mets and Jets (who are actually in New Jersey) have all been dumpster fires for years. The Jets have prided themselves on winning the back pages of all the major New York City newspapers by making splashy yet stupid decision like bringing in Brett Favre and Tim Tebow. The Brett Favre experiment was at least somewhat about football because Favre still had some game left in the tank. The Tebow addition on the other hand was idiotic and was done purely for publicity reasons.

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    The Tebow debacle back-fired epicly and Jets have continued on in anonymity and mediocrity compared to their NYC rivals the NY Giants. While the Giants have won two Super Bowls at the expense of a New England Patriots team who has tortured the Jets for years, the Jets just keep chugging along and haven’t won a championship since Joe Namath in the 1960’s. No idea where the Jets go from here but that team is not a true contender and no one knows when they will be. Then we come to the Mets who are far worse than the Jets because at least the Jets are interesting and fun to watch for everything involving their chaos.

    The Mets have been terrible for years and between paying for players who can’t stay healthy like Johan Santana and Jose Reyes, and getting taken in Bernie Maddoff’s Ponzi Scheme, nothing seems to go right for the Amazins. The only think they’ve accomplished worth noting is building a new stadium way out in Queens that’s actually amazing. I’ve been to Citi Field on numerous occasions. But if the stadium is the best thing to happen to the franchise in years, then the rest is self-explanatory.

    Finally we have the Nets cross-town basketball rival the New York Knicks. As heralded as the Knicks are in this city, they haven’t won a championship since the early 1970’s, and during the 2000’s the Knicks were horrible. Isaih Thomas was the Knicks GM and he was making terrible acquisitions for guys like Stephon Marbury and Stevie Francis, while owner James Dolan was trading away key players and draft picks to franchises still reaping the benefits of terrible Knicks decision-making. The Knicks missed the post season for a decade then traded for NBA star Carmelo Anthony. But even in the trade for Anthony, Dolan traded away the Knicks assets that could have helped Carmelo, Even with Carmelo as their star, the Knicks never got past the second round of the playoffs.

    This past season the Knicks missed the playoffs completely and they looked like the same old Knicks. That is until the Knicks brought in Phil Jackson. Jackson seems to already be doing little things for the franchise to try to turn them into a good team around Carmelo. Between contract dumps and trades, and re-signing Melo, the Knicks may actually be headed in the right direction, finally. Now that’s what scary about the Nets situation. They’ve become the most dysfunctional basketball team in New York, and that’s saying something.


    The Nets Have Dropped The Ball On Numerous Occasions… 

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    After the Nets season was over I wrote a piece on Deron Williams and the 6 picks involving Deron that will hamper the franchise for years to come. Take a look at that piece if you love laughing at terrible front office decision, but if you don’t want to get angry as a Nets fan then don’t read it, trust me. Building the franchise around Brook Lopez and Deron Williams looked great on paper, but after years of injuries and poor form on the court, the foundation that the Nets were built on has been crumbling for years. Brook Lopez has foot issues similar to what put former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming into early retirement.

    Lopez when healthy is one of the best offensive big-men in the NBA. But again, he has to stay healthy. Lopez played 5 games in the 2011-2012 season, and in 2013-2014 he played 17. Hopefully he can stay healthy but the Nets still owe Lopez $30 million over the next two seasons. The Nets owe Deron Williams $60 million over the next three seasons, and they owe Joe Johnson $48 million over the next two seasons. That’s a lot of money on two players who have terrible below the knees injury issues (Deron’s ankles and Brook’s foot) and a 33-year old iso-player who’s no longer in his prime.

    Then there’s the latest news that Paul Pierce is not re-signing with the Nets. Pierce is moving to Washington DC and playing for the Wizards so he can team up with John Wall and Bradley Beal. The Nets traded away three 1st round drafted picks, unprotected draft picks mind you, for the services of Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Pierce is gone and Garnett is owed $12 million for this upcoming season. Garnett is running on fumes at this point and he’s not worth anymore than the mid-level exception at best. But he’s making starter money which is counting against the Nets cap and luxury tax bill.

    The reason the Nets let Pierce go is because by paying Pierce the $9-10 million he wanted over the next two seasons, the Nets would have been hit massively with taxes from the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Keep in mind the Nets just traded for point guard Jarrett Jack from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Essentially Billy King chose to pay Jack rather than pay Paul Pierce. Mind-blowing. But having to make money for Pierce and other signings shouldn’t have come as a surprise to Billy Kings and the Nets. The repeater tax has always been known. And Billy King knew that re-signing Paul Pierce would cost the team millions.

    Yet they still trade away three draft picks for Pierce and KG. I’m not sure if the Pierce and KG trade is the worst trade in NBA history, but it certainly has to be the worst trade in recent NBA history. Three first round picks for a player who is no longer with the franchise and another player that can retire at any time or possibly accept a buy out for the team. And to add to the fun, the Jason Kidd fiasco made the organization look like Romper Room.

    Hiring Kidd to begin with was a terrible decision. I’ve written on multiple occasions the Nets should have went after Lionel Hollins last summer, but just like the Jets, the Nets management wanted a splashy addition to the team. That Splashy addition demoted his assistant Lawrence Frank, made a terrible decision before the playoffs to play the Toronto Raptors first so the Nets could play the Miami Heat second, then tried to hostile take-over the franchise after the season.

    Maybe Kidd saw the writing on the wall and decided to either take-over and become an executive, or go someplace else with less scrutiny where he could be an exec. and enjoy running a franchise. Either way Kidd is who he is, and he left the Nets holding the bag. The only good thing that’s happened to the Nets in recent memory is hiring Lionel Hollins whom they should have hired in the first place. With Hollins the Nets get a seasoned coach that garners respect from players and get the most out of his rosters. Unfortunately his roster is full of question marks. This Nets team is nowhere near as good as the Memphis Grizzlies team Hollins took to the Western Conference Finals just two seasons ago. Hollins is a really good coach but he’s not a miracle worker. He will do what he can to excel but between injury prone players, age, and just overall lack of elite talent, the Nets are what they are. 

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    The Nets are starting to smarten up by not paying money for Pierce and paying an absurd amount of money in taxes for his contract, but they are using their brains far too late. Everything happening now was a reality the Nets knew they could be facing when they made the trade with Boston. Billy King and Mikhail Prokhorov with their big dreams put the Nets in this mess, and I have no idea how they’re going to get the Nets out of it. Congratulations on your induction into the New York City dysfunctional sports franchise social club Nets. The others have been waiting for you.

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