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.