Trey Kerby

Trey Kerby

Trey Kerby is the editor of The Basketball Jones and the newest member of the team. He's also the only non-Canadian. In the past, he's been the bro behind The Blowtorch and was editor of Yahoo! Sports' Ball Don't Lie. He likes pizza more than anyone else likes anything.

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derrick-and-dwayne

Justin Tinsley is a sportswriter who’s written for The Sports Fan Journal and The Smoking Section.

There’s pride in accomplishment, but pain in missed opportunities. The artists formerly known as the New Jersey Nets have both.

Head to any location where legit hoops conversations normally take place. The barbershop, where every barber and/or customer is the next coming of Hubie Brown. Or the bar, where the old-school WWF-equivalent to “hell in the cell”-type debates happen. Wherever the location, ask people to name their greatest “What If?” NBA team of the ‘90s. Chances are the most common answers revolve around the Shaq/Penny-led Orlando Magic and the Gary Payton/Shawn Kemp-era Seattle SuperSonics. Both choices come with their heavy share of logic, yet there’s one team largely dubbed an outcast. Who remembers the complicated story of the 1993-94 New Jersey Nets?

On the surface, the squad is immortalized largely for the tragic death of Drazen Petrovic following a car accident on June 7, 1993. And in a sense, it is the most important factor in realizing why the team derailed. Digging below the surface, however, finds a unit marred by lack of trust, mismanagement of talent and several additional storylines that have since been tossed to the wayside in the two decades since.

Let’s break down the known facts surrounding the 1992-93 squad:

  • These Nets went 43-39, good for third in the Atlantic Division.
  • They lost their first round matchup against Cleveland 3-2, in a series many figured would be a sweep by the Cavs prior to Game 1.
  • Of the team’s three best players -– Petrovic, Derrick Coleman and Kenny Anderson  — the oldest was 28.
  • Chuck Daly was the head coach.
  • Both Drazen and Coleman made the All-NBA third team.

The team was beginning to find its own identity apart from being type-casted as the Knicks’ sideshow act in Jersey. They experienced the bumps and bruises teams need when acquiring that playoff grit all championship-caliber teams would need in future seasons. Everything appeared to be on the up and up. Then, the season ended.

For as bright as the immediate future held for the Nets, it was equally as murky, if not more. Then second-year guard out of Michigan Rumeal Robinson revealed in May 1993, “I’m outta here. I can’t take this anymore. I’m leaving. There are other teams that will treat me right.” He didn’t want to return to being Kenny Anderson’s back up once he recovered from a wrist injury that shortened his ’92-’93 campaign.

Another hurdle in the road presented itself in the form of Derrick Coleman’s contract negotiations. The New York Times dubbed Coleman as the most important player to his team not named Michael Jordan during the second half of the ’92-’93 season, where he averaged 20.7 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Larry Nance dubbed him the game’s best power forward, high praise coming from a guy who was an All-Star power forward ahead of D.C. during that very season. Chuck Daly saw him as a top five-or-six player in the league. Coleman wanted compensation, and while no one knew it at the time, his demands ultimately prove to be a first class ticket out of Jersey.

And yet, here’s the nugget that’s so often forgotten — Drazen Petrovic was very serious about not returning to the Nets for the ’93-’94 season. It’s the reason why Coleman was reluctant to sign a long-term extension that summer. He wanted to see what general manager Willis Reed and the Nets would do with Petro and fellow free agent Chris Dudley.

“Nothing has changed,” said Petrovic weeks before his death on a phone conversation from his mother’s house in Zagreb, Croatia. “I still want to see all the options I have, but I’m not coming back to the Nets. This is the place where I would be most happy. This is my home.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Slick animation about a guy who wants to win a medal for his home country in an Olympics that takes place in his home country? Yes, please. This is awesome.

(via Reddit)

kevin-metta-new-york-adventure

In the summer of 2013, Kevin Garnett and Metta World Peace both made their way to New York basketball teams. What happened next is a story fit for the funny pages. Now thanks to illustrator Brad Beatson, we get a look at Kevin & Metta’s New York Adventures. Previously, a day at the Barclays Center.

Metta: Kevin, we’re gonna be late. Let’s go man!
Kevin: Just one second.
Metta: What’s takin’ you so long man, it’s not like you have any ha– wait. What’s this?

Bathroom-Note

Metta: Haha, Kevin, is this serious? You’re crazy man, let’s go.
Kevin: Everything I do is serious.

KG and Metta hurry down to the lobby to meet up with J.R. Smith.

J.R. Smith: Let’s go fellas, we’re gonna be late.

JR-Armored-Truck

Kevin: What in the hell?
Metta: Dibs on the third row!
J.R.: Sorry man, that belongs to Iman now.

Shumpert-Controlled

Read the rest of this entry »

Probably the most depressing thing about the Lakers unveiling their new “Hollywood Nights” black jerseys that are really just a slightly modified on-court version of a Nike faux retro dealie from a few years back, is that seeing this actually enables me, a 29-year-old virile man, to legitimately pull off the whole “In my day” thing. Because seriously, in my day, the Lakers only had two jerseys: purple and gold. There weren’t all these silly white Sunday jerseys or jerseys with sleeves or jerseys with sleeves AND Noche Latina word marks, and there certainly weren’t black alternate jerseys. I mean, the Lakers went from 1966 to 2001 without regularly wearing anything that wasn’t actually their colors, but now they’re just a regular jersey factory like any other team.

And if I really wanted to sell this curmudgeonly old man bit, I’d definitely mention that in my day the Lakers never begged a free agent to stay, then failed, and never ever unveiled a jersey on Instagram. I have the requisite grey hairs to pull this off, so don’t test me.

In this corner, weighing in at probably 15 lbs. and standing nearly two feet tall … a monkey Dan Gadzuric found while on vacation last summer.

— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) August 22, 2013

And in this corner, weighing in at around 50 lbs. I’m guessing and standing about knee-height if you’re next to it, Corey Brewer’s pet goat that he’s had since he was a kid.

It’s a classic cute-off, wherein you pick which combination of bro and animal is the cutest. And while it’s hard to argue against a monkey’s sustained and well-established cute factor, I’m going goat here, which won’t surprise anyone who’s followed my internet basketball career since the jump. And yeah, I did have a stuffed Djali from the Disney version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” that I used when putting my name in for a table at a restaurant when I was like 12 years old, but I don’t think that makes my opinion any less valid. Goats 4 lyfe.

Leave your opinion in the comments. Just make sure you pick the goat.

(via Seth Rosenthal/BDL)

sleeved-summer-league-jerseys

By now, you probably know that the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most storied and successful of all the NBA franchises, are going to be going YMCA mode by wearing short-sleeved jerseys for a number of games this season. And while I’m already on record as hating the idea of turning one of the league’s best looks (the gold home uniforms) — which have already been messed with once, with the creation of a white alternate that is nice but not a classic like the gold — in to a short-sleeved white t-shirt that will occasionally say “Los Lakers,” even that news is less distressing than this tidbit that Dave McMenamin dropped in to his ESPN report on the Lakers’ sleevers:

According to a league source, adidas has mocked up short-sleeve alternative jerseys for all 10 teams playing on Christmas Day.

All it takes is a quick pop over to NBA.com to figure these teams out — this Christmas, we’ve got games between the Bulls and Nets, Thunder and Knicks, Heat and Lakers, Rockets and Spurs, and Clippers and Warriors. If you were trying to sell short-sleeved jerseys, putting them on every single one of this season’s most important teams during one of the league’s major events seems like a sound strategy. And considering that the Warriors and Lakers are already confirmed to be wearing the sleevers and considering that Dwight Howard is always partial to a shirt that will showcase his guns and considering that the league has pulled a day-long uniform overhaul as recently as last year, it’s pretty easy to imagine a world where you open up Christmas presents with your family, then turn on the games only to hear your uncle say, “Is everybody wearing t-shirts?” Yes Scott, they are.

Of course, just because these mockups exist, that doesn’t mean that every team is going to go through with wearing them. Though, given the facts laid out before us, I think we can all agree it wouldn’t be that surprising for such a thing to happen. So start getting ready now, just so you can be prepared for a day full of awesome basketball games played in jerseys you wish the teams weren’t wearing. This will take some getting used to. Good thing we have four months.

 

rasheed-wallace-laugh

It’s been more than five years since Rasheed Wallace went to an NBA All-Star Game, mostly because he’s retired and the last few seasons of his career weren’t exactly a numbers fest, but also a little bit because he so detested the exhibition contest and the free time of his that it wasted that he would just spend the whole weekend trying to make lefthanded threes and other various trick shots. Little did we know, he was simply preparing for a life of coaching once his playing days were done.

From Pistons.com:

Andre Drummond soaks up a little knowledge from Rasheed Wallace every day they spend together. One of the most searing lessons so far: Don’t engage him in a game of H-O-R-S-E.

“I played with him the other day – it wasn’t fun,” Drummond grinned after a Monday workout. What did coach Wallace throw at his prodigy?

“Everything. The little side corner shot with his feet against the out-of-bounds line. The shot from the track line (that runs behind the basket), over the hoop, made it in. And then the two-ball thing. He’s a natural. I don’t know why I did it to myself. I have no idea why I did it.”

This is what happens when you spend your entire life in a gym — you just end up figuring out how to make all those silly shots you shoot at the end of practice. Beating Andre “37 Percent from the Line” Drummond in a game of H-O-R-S-E might not be the greatest accomplishment, but it’s still pretty great to hear that Rasheed Wallace is passing down his most important secrets to a kid who was two years old when Sheed played his first NBA game. This is probably the exact reason why the Pistons hired him as an assistant coach, for his trick shot acumen.

And while it might not be surprising that Rasheed Wallace would still be really good at H-O-R-S-E less than a season after having played in actual games for the Knicks, it’s equally as not surprising as this hilarious fact that Drummond also shared.

Rasheed didn’t pitch a shutout, though.

“I got him with a couple of things. He can’t dunk still, so I had to do some things he couldn’t do.”

Sounds about right. Rasheed Wallace is very good at silly trick shots but can’t dunk, despite the fact that he doesn’t seem to have shrunk since his playing days — which were last season, remember, which means the 2012-13 Knicks employed two separate players who were so old that they were able to immediately enter the coaching ranks the second their playing careers were through — when he was listed at 6-foot-10. For as Sheed-y as it seems that Rasheed Wallace would still have the H-O-R-S-E gift, it’s exactly as Sheed-y that he already can’t dunk.

I’m sure the broken foot had something to do with it, but still. Less than a year ago, Sheed threw one down against the best defense in basketball, and now he’s outwitting a 20-year-old with dad shots because he can’t dunk. Nothing has ever made more sense to me in my life.

(via Beyond the Buzzer)