The New Jersey Nets were one of the most successful clubs in the National Basketball Association around the turn of the century. They came close to winning the championship two years in a row but were defeated in the NBA Finals in the end.
The New Jersey Nets franchise was at its pinnacle at the time. However, the club won two championships in its early years, when it was known as the New York Nets.
The franchise, now known as the Brooklyn Nets, has never even come close to making the playoffs.
The History of Brooklyn Nets
Arthur J. Brown, a trucking mogul, founded the first franchise in 1967. The team was planned to be called the New York Americans, and its home building would have been the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan, but the new club was forced to select a different location due to pressure from the New York Knicks.
It was tough to locate a new venue in New York because many were already occupied and some didn’t want to inconvenience the Knicks.
In Teaneck, New Jersey, the team was renamed the New Jersey Americans. Their first year in the ABA was a triumph. There have been 36 victories and 42 defeats.
Although the squad failed not to make the playoffs, the fact that they won over half of their games in their inaugural season was encouraging. The franchise continued to thrive in the ABA for another eight years.
During those eight years, the club, then known as the New York Nets, reached three ABA Finals, winning two of them because of Julius Erving’s outstanding play. After nine seasons in the ABA, the ABA and NBA merged in the summer of 1976.
Four ABA clubs, including the Nets, joined the NBA as part of the merger deal.
Before the season, the Nets traded two selections for guard Nate Archibald, but things did not go smoothly. The NBA ordered the Nets to pay the Knicks an extra $4.8 million for “invading” the New York region.
The squad was short on funds after paying $3.2 million to enter the NBA. Julius Erving, the Nets’ franchise player, was sold to the Philadelphia 76ers for $3 million dollars.
Archibald’s first season in the NBA was a flop, especially when he fractured his foot. The Nets ended with the league’s worst record.
Because of the low turnout statistics, which were caused in part by the departure of the franchise player, Julius Erving, plus the fact that New York already had a Knicks team, the club was forced to return to New Jersey.
Even yet, there were stumbling blocks. The Knicks have vowed to veto the move since it would encroach on their coveted New Jersey territorial rights.
The Nets attacked the Knicks, and once the litigation was settled, the Nets paid the Knicks $4 million to purchase the franchise’s relocation rights. With the formal transfer to New Jersey, the team was renamed the New Jersey Devils.
For the following 30 years, it was known as the Nets. New Jersey’s initial four years were difficult. The club failed to win even half of their games, but with a 37-45 record, they made the 1979 NBA playoffs, where they were eliminated in round one.
The New Jersey Nets made considerable strides during the 1981-1982 season.
The squad relocated to a new arena in Meadowland and recruited Larry Brown as their new head coach. The squad was in good shape, and they advanced to the 1982 NBA playoffs, where they were eliminated in the first round once more.
The 1982-1983 NBA season was the finest in team history, but the last months were a disaster.
While still guiding the Nets, the team had a record of 47 wins and 29 defeats.
Larry Brown has accepted the position of head coach at Kansas University. The incident occurred just six games before the season’s finish. Brown was suspended, and Bill Blair was given command of the team. However, the harm had already been done.
The Nets have won only two of their previous six games and have been eliminated from the playoffs in the first round. After a poor conclusion to the 1982-83 season, the New Jersey Nets rebounded.
Darryl Dawkins, Buck Williams, and Micheal Ray Richardson were all key contributors. They made the playoffs, knocking out the defending NBA champion Philadelphia 76ers in the first round, but lost in the second round to the Milwaukee Bucks. For the next two seasons, the New Jersey Nets would enter the playoffs but would be ousted in the first round.
Towards the end of the 1980s, the club had a terrible time. Not only would they have to contend with critical player injuries, but one of their top scorers, Michael Ray Richardson, would be suspended for the third time in the league for failing a drug test.
All of these difficulties contributed to one of the worst eras in the Nets’ history. The Nets would miss the playoffs every year for the following five seasons, winning no more than 26 games in the regular season. The beginning of the 1990s seemed optimistic once more.
Derrick Coleman was selected first overall in the 1990 NBA draught by the Nets, who subsequently traded for Drazen Petrovic and selected Kenny Anderson with the second overall choice in the 1991 NBA draught.
The Nets began to win once more. They won at least 40 games in the regular season for the next three years but were always eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
Drazen Petrovic, one of the finest Nets players, was killed in a car accident after the 1993 season. The squad was never able to recover. After that, the Nets won 45 games in the next season, but it was all downhill from there. On his road to becoming the Ultimate NBA Criminal, Coleman began to get into trouble.
The Nets regressed after trading Coleman and Anderson. Only one playoff participation, a first-round defeat, and four head coach changes in seven seasons.
Start of the 2000s
The start of the new millennium was the finest time in the history of the New Jersey Nets. Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins, and Brandon Armstrong were acquired by the Nets on the night of the NBA draught in 2001.
The day following the draught, the Nets acquired Jason Kidd, who would become the much-needed leader for the organization. The finest season in Nets history occurred in 2001-2002.
They concluded the regular season with 52 victories, but in comparison to previous seasons, they fared well in the playoffs. The NBA Finals were won by the New Jersey Nets. Unfortunately, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and the Los Angeles Lakers overpowered them in the finals. The Lakers won the NBA title by sweeping the Nets.
2012: A New Phase for Nets
The franchise relocated to Brooklyn and was renamed the Brooklyn Nets on April 30, 2012.
The Nets added all-star shooting guard Joe Johnson and re-signed Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace to support their all-star point guard Deron Williams. The Nets won 49 games but were eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs, prompting the trade.
The series wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t exactly what everyone had hoped for. Brook Lopez only appeared in 17 matches before undergoing foot surgery.
In 2015, the Nets entered the playoffs despite having a losing record, however, they were promptly defeated in round one.
The next year, the Nets were able to correct all of their errors. The reconstruction work has begun. The Brooklyn Nets have won 21, 20, and 28 games in the previous three seasons. With 408 wins and 1988 defeats, the club has a 41.5 percent winning percentage.