As of this morning, the New Jersey Nets are no more. Now, after seven years of planning, they’re officially the Brooklyn Nets with a couple of logos and a new black-and-white color scheme. I’m no huge fan of either of the logos — they both look like default logos for a created video game team, the fonts are too thin and boring, and the B basketball looks like something from a high school team — but I do like what they’re doing with their marketing. And when I say that, I mean that I like that they’re putting a bunch of rap lyrics on their t-shirts.

Just on this first photo you see a callback to two Beastie Boys songs (or, I guess, one mediocre Jay-Z song), a covert shoutout to M.O.P. and a reference to a great song Jay-Z did with Notorious B.I.G. Between these shirts and Jay-Z being the owner, it’s pretty obvious the Nets are trying to position themselves as hip-hop’s favorite team. I have a hard time believing the rap world at large will buy in to cheering for a legendarily terrible team, but at least they’re shooting for a new identity.

And as you can see, this rap marketing permeates the team’s first official offerings.

This is what happens when Jay-Z is your owner. People pick up a thread like that and run with it until there is a basketball logo listening to headphones that spell out the name of the team you like. On the other hand, you might also get lyrics from “Juicy,” so it’s not all bad.

In fact, some of the hood imagery actually looks awesome on a t-shirt.

This is the clear winner of all the Nets shirts that have just become available. Is it weird that the NBA would sell a t-shirt that possibly alludes to gang murders? Definitely, but it looks great. Even better if you can find a way to scrub off the logo on the bottom.

As for the rest of the standard NBA gear, it ranges from good to c’mon son.

The first two shirts are nice. Plain colors, big Brooklyns, no tacked-on Nets logo — good stuff. I’m down with the draft cap too. Like I said earlier, it reminds me of the Starter hats we all wore in 4th grade, which is fine by me. That white B basketball t-shirt though? That’s the shirt you catch in the crowd that is way too big and you only use for pickup basketball. No likey. I really hope the secondary logo isn’t used very much in the uniforms.

Most of the stuff you see here is available at the Nets’ online shop. The plain black-and-white look is growing on me, but I can’t help thinking that every shirt would be made better by taking off the Nets logo, or at the very least, only using the one that is just the outline of the shield. That basketball just kills things for me. Then again, Jay-Z could wear one of these under a Givenchy sweatshirt and it’ll be the coolest thing you could possibly own, so what do I know.

Comments (33)

  1. Could the B also stand for Boring. What a let down.

  2. I don’t see the M.O.P. reference.

  3. Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate!

  4. ‘cuz Brooklyn is the borough.

  5. If you put their logo on the back of a jacket and made it some funky colors… I’d wear it. Course 8-Ball did it first.

  6. It looks like the same quickie design as the Thunder’s “I guess we’re OKC now?” unis, minus colors by Frito-Lay.

  7. This is the “gangsta” way… Black hoodies and tims

  8. Nets made the finals 2002-2003. that shit was awesome. I saw them open a game hitting their first 18 shots of the game using perfect ball movement,court spacing and chemistry. Never seen anything like it…ever. Of course then they brought in Vince Carter, and Kenyon Martin somehow thought he was a franchise, and Kidd took off for Dallas.

    Legendarily horrible, true. But possibly a competitive center away from a championship.

  9. The all black shield on the Hello Brooklyn shirt looks good to me. That should be the official logo.

  10. I’ll wait to pass judgment until I see the jerseys. I hate everything about the Thunder’s team aesthetic except the jerseys. Simplicity wins in that department. Obviously that’s what the Nets are going for now. As long as they do not have pinstripes or those thick shoulders (like the Suns… I hate my team’s jerseys). I just don’t understand the trend toward the more tight fitting jerseys with the wide shoulder like the Clippers and Lakers are doing now. It’s like teams don’t realize that jerseys should look good and be comfortable for the fans, not the players. Looks fine on teevy on athletic freaks, but not on some 5′ 9″ hooligan like me.

  11. The word Brooklyn alone makes all those things look good.

  12. I thought they were gonna change their name when they moved too?

  13. Teams like the Warriors and Wizards went back to their roots and brought back their old school color schemes. Nets should have done the same. They have a great history with Dr. J in the ABA, they should have embraced that and went with red, white, and blue 70′s style design.

  14. Just a gangster, I suppose

  15. I wish these apes would hip hop across the ocean back to Africa

  16. Brooklyn doesn’t seem like a real word to me anymore.

  17. I don’t know how they do things in Brooklyn, but it should be “No Sleep ‘Til” not “No Sleep Till”. A “till” is where you keep the money in a shop front.

  18. Did someone give them permission to steal my team’s colors? It’s a Copy Cat Life, for you. (See what I did there?)

  19. Looks like a 12 year old is learning how to use Photoshop. How much did those crappy logo’s set them back? Graphic designers all over NYC are laughing their Asses off.

  20. The shoes on the telephone wire is an OBVIOUS Like Mike reference.

  21. It looks to me like they wanted a logo that looks like it’s from the 30s or 40s and they nailed it. It looks like they wanted to go all the way back to where the Dodgers left off when they moved away and pick the thread up from there. I like the ball with the B on it on that level.

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