The Brooklyn Nets are an NBA team based in the New York City borough, Brooklyn, NY. The Nets play on Eastern Conference, and on the Atlantic Division. Brooklyn has only recently been housing the team. The team was based in New Jersey from 1977 to 2012, when it moved to New York City. When switching cities, the Nets naturally switched arenas. The team plays in one of the most modern and best looking arenas in the NBA, the Barclays Center. Although the team has had some pretty successful playoff appearances while in Brooklyn, they haven't repeated yet the success the team had while playing in New Jersey. Although having never won an NBA title, the Nets have three ABA titles back in the 1970's.
The team owner is Joseph Tsai, who recently acquired the team and Barclays Center from russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who was one of the main people involved in moving the team to Brooklyn. Tsai paid a record-breaking 2.35 billion dollars for both assets. The high numbers exemplify the financial impact of being a team in a big market such as New York. Although having recent tough years, there are good reasons to believe that the nets have a promising future that it is not far away. The team has made smart draft decisions lately, and head coach Kenny Atkinson's staff has excelled at developing young players. In addition the team's front office has a very good reputation amongst players and executives in the NBA, and so Brooklyn has become an attractive destination for coveted free agents. The Nets are also present in the G-League through their affiliate, the Long Island Nets.
The franchise has moved around quite a bit in history, when the Nets were founded in 1967, they were named the New Jersey Americans. The Americans were one of founding ABA franchises, and it would continue to play in it until the league merged with the NBA in the 1970's. In their first season the Americans' would make it to the playoffs but end up being forfeiting their last game, as they failed to provide a suitable arena for the playoff game to be played. After that, the team moved to Long Island, where they could find a suitable arena to play, which would provide more stability to the team. Together with the move came a new name, the New York Nets, which rhymed with two local teams, the Jets and the Mets, professional football and baseball teams respectively. Moving to New York, the Nets had a real shot of drafting Lew Alcindor (who would become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), one of the best players in history. However, he opted to sign with a team from the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks. Regardless of that, in the very near future the New York Nets would have a competitive team, and some very talented players.
The Nets had been successful in the early 1970's with star scorer Rick Barry and famed head coach Lou Carnesecca. They had made it to the ABA finals for the first time in 1972, being defeated by the Indiana Pacers. In the following year, Carnesecca would go back to coaching college basketball, and Barry would sign with the rival league, the NBA. That way the Nets found themselves in a bad moment, without real chances of repeating the recent success. Or so it seemed. Truly, the year after Barry and Carnesecca left the team was not successful, however in 1974 the Nets were able to sign one of the best scorers in history, Julius Erving, Dr. J. Erving would be voted the ABA's MVP in 1974, and boost the New York Nets for their second ever ABA finals. This time, the Nets finished on top, they defeated the Utah Stars to secure the franchise's first ABA title.
Julius Erving kept being the best player in the league, and the Nets seemed to be doing each time better. Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said about the ABA itself. The league was struggling financially, and many of its teams were folding. 1976 was the year the ABA would end up merging with the NBA. But before that happened, Julius Erving and the Nets would play through their second ABA title in three years, and are forever marked in history as the team that won the last ABA championship ever.
The New York Nets would be one of four ABA teams allowed to join the NBA. The move would transform the franchise from one of the best teams in the ABA to one of the worst in the NBA. The move to the NBA came with a heavy fee that had to be paid. IN addition, the NBA was forcing the team to pay a large amount to the New York Knicks for "invading" their territory. All that monetary burden forced the team to trade away their star player, three time ABA MVP Julius Erving, who would end up winning the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers. Without Erving, the franchise would struggle in their first years in the NBA, and would end up moving to New Jersey after their first season.
After playing their first seasons at the Rutgers gym, the now New Jersey Nets gained their brand new house in New Jersey in 1982, the Brendan Byrne Arena. Although not being with the new arena and the team steadily improving, attendance went up. This period can be considered to be the team's first successful stretch in the NBA, as they made it to the playoffs for five years straight, from 1982 to 1986, always being competitive and having an exciting team on the court. Nonetheless, the frequent changes in coaching did not allow the team to actually compete for a trophy, and 1986 would be the last time in a while that the New Jersey Nets would see the playoffs.
The end of the 1980's was not kind to the New Jersey Nets. The team had one of the worst records in the league, which would lead to the first pick in the 1990 draft. The franchise selected Derrick Coleman, a do-it-all forward out of Syracuse University. Coleman would have an immediate impact on the Nets, winning the Rookie of The Year Award. In addition, the front office would hire two time NBA champion head coach Chuck Daly to command the team, and also traded for Croatian shooting guard Drazen Petrovic. Drazen did not have much playing time in his previous team, the Portland Trail Blazers. When arriving in New Jersey he would develop into a talented scorer with a promising future. Coleman and Petrovic made the franchise's future look bright, and gave Nets fans something to be excited about. Sadly, Drazen Petrovic would die in a car crash in Germany in 1993. He was at the peak of his career. Without Petrovic, the team managed to stay rather competitive, making the playoffs during the 1990's as Derrick Coleman played each time better. Unfortunately the team could never reach what was expected of them.
The New Jersey Nets had moved to the NBA in 1976, and still hadn't managed to repeat the successful teams they had in the ABA. In 2001 the team's front office traded three of its role players for all star point guard Jason Kidd. Along with Kidd, Kenny Kittles and Richard Jefferson would made valuable contributions to the team, and the Nets would finally see themselves contending for a title in the NBA. On their first season in New Jersey, this new core was already able to take the team all the way to the NBA finals for the first time in history, where they would be defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers, who won their third title in a row. The team would make the finals the following season again, but lose to the San Antonio Spurs. In the following years, the Nets' front office would trade around some of the players who contributed to the success in the early 2000's. In one of those trades, New Jersey brought All Star guard Vince Carter from the Toronto Raptors, in which seemed to make the Nets even more competitive than before. Unable to reach the finals again, Kidd and Carter would eventually be traded out of New Jersey, ending the Nets' most successful decade in the NBA.
A couple of years before the team had been acquired by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, and a group of investors that included famed rapper Jay-Z. The new ownership planned to revolutionize the Nets franchise, and above all, move it from New Jersey. In 2012, with the conclusion of the Barclays Center, the team left Jersey after 35 years, and moved back into New York, more specifically to Brooklyn. The team's colors and visual identity also changed, making the Nets into a completely new franchise. The new ownership group had a "win now" mentality, and were in a hurry to be successful in their new home. The Brooklyn Nets then executed many trades to bring celebrated payers to Brooklyn. The team's front office traded for players like Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce, many of whom were past the prime of their careers. Although Brooklyn would find moderate success with this core, the trade negatively impacted the franchise for years to come. The said players naturally aged, and were not able to contribute as much as before. That way, the Nets struggled a lot, and had no draft picks to plan a rebuild.
2019 was a history changing year for the Brooklyn Nets. Without draft picks, the team had to rebuild itself in another way. The team hired General Manager Sean Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson in the previous years. The team's front office build a reputation for itself of being very competent and having a good eye for young talent, and the coaching staff excelled and developing young players. With that, the Nets rose in the league as a very respectable franchise, who albeit having made some not so smart moves in the recent past, were over that and were ready to be the team of the future. That would prove to be true during the 2019 free agency, where the Nets were able to sign both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, two of the best players in the league, who had never played together in the NBA. Although quite shocking to have such talented players playing together, it was really not that big of a surprise to see both players signing with the Nets, as the team had become a very attractive free agent destination.
Take a look at the jerseys retired by the Brooklyn Nets franchise:
These jerseys have different styles depending on which era the player played for the Nets