Archive for the ‘New Jersey Nets’ Category

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.”

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This just goes to show you that with clever editing, every NBA player has a highlight tape somewhere in their archives. Like if you really tried, you could find enough clips of Chris Quinn doing cool stuff to make a decent two minute compilation. Sure, they might not have Stacey King going bonkers the whole time, but that’s up to you to decide if that’s a good thing or not.

(via PBT)

Ladies and gentlemen, a post from our very own Leigh Ellis

It seems we’ve lost one of the good guys to the broadcast booth, as Brian Scalabrine announced yesterday that he’ll be doing color commentary for 11 Boston Celtics games this season. It’s too bad because that means there’ll be no more of this highlight reel stuff or diss raps from the burly redhead.

In basketball — like most pro sports — it’s not always about the guy who scores the most points or grabs the most rebounds. Every team needs a glue guy, the teammate coaches love to refer to as a great locker room guy. He’s the one who always sees the positive in any situation, and more importantly, he’s always first off the bench to high-five his teammates as they come off the floor, regardless of the score or situation in the game.

And nobody did that better than Scal. Hell, the Bulls basically paid him $2.5-million to do that for the last two seasons. Not a bad way to earn a living.

So while Scal might not be remembered as the most athletic player to grace the NBA hardwood, he still forged an 11-year career and even picked up a Championship along the way.

As we say farewell to Scal, here is a compilation of some of his best shots as captured through the lens of Getty Images.

Original Headband Scal

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Last we heard from Kris Humphries, he was getting a huge contract and zinging Kanye West all on the same day, making it possibly the very best day in Humphries’ life. That was just two weeks ago and Hump has done a nice job of staying out of the news and enjoying his resounding victory over his new rival. It was the best of times.

But then he had to go and give an interview about style to JCK Magazine and then it was the worst of times.

JCK: How do you describe your personal style off the basketball court?

Humphries: My style is definitely unique. I would say I’m a progressive and polished hipster. When it comes to suiting up, I would say I’m the perfect representation of London-meets-Milan.

Just when you thought Kris Humphries had turned the corner and was leaving Totaljokesville, he pulls a fierce U-turn and puts down some money on a 30-year mortgage in the Whoopswind subdivision. It is like he is incapable of not sounding like a terrible reality show at all times.

On the other hand, it seems like embracing douchebaggery is going pretty well for Kris Humphries, so that’s nice.

(via Nets Daily/SB Nation)

Between posting his American Express black card online, getting a tattoo of a five dollar bill on his throat and getting a frickin’ ATM installed in his kitchen, it is almost like DeShawn Stevenson would like everyone to know that he has made more than $25 million in his career. In no way does that explain why he’s dressed like penniless jazz musician, but that seems to be the message he’s sending.

(via Nets Are Scorching)

You’ve probably seen the new Brooklyn Nets logo that’s been floating around the internet for the past few days. And you’ve maybe even seen the Photoshopped picture of Jay-Z wearing the new Nets logo on a t-shirt like he would ever consider wearing something like that to a concert. You are hip to what this kind of stuff is going to look like on various clothing items.

But now, finally, we get a chance to see what this new logo actually looks like on fan gear, thanks to a couple of retailers who accidentally put their memorabilia out before the official announcement this coming Monday. The results are pretty underwhelming.

As you can see, the Nets are definitely going with the oft-rumored black/white color scheme (with maybe a little gold thrown in here and there), which makes sense when you consider that Jay-Z was heavily involved in the branding and he’s Mr. All-Black Everything. The hat on the basketball kills me. It’s like, “Yeah, one of our owners is a rapper so we’re down with the streets.” The no vowels Brooklyn is also super trendy and super Brooklyn. It’s going to get so many reblogs.

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Kris Humphries started dating Kim Kardashian. Her special powers helped him have the best season of his career. He married her. She divorced him. She started dating Kanye West. Kanye dissed Kris in a song. Now you are all caught up in the high school drama that has made Kris Humphries the most hated man in the NBA, for the dumbest reasons you can imagine.

Now, because he wants justice, Kris Humphries will be taking news of Kanye and Kim’s relationship to court to prove Kim set him up and also because we are clearly watching a piece of performance art where a family of ostensible humans tries to literally become a soap opera. From RadarOnline:

Kris Humphries wants to know if his soon-to-be-ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s relationship with music mogul Kanye West is just another a publicity stunt, but not because the NBA star wants to know for personal reasons, rather, to aide his ongoing divorce case with the reality star, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned. [...]

Humphries’ divorce attorneys plan on grilling Kim about her new relationship during the potential upcoming divorce trial that the NBA star is pushing for.

“The crux of Kris’ case for annulment is that Kim married him under fraudulent pretenses and did it for her reality show. Team Humphries wants to know if producers of the Kardashian reality shows were in contact with Kanye West prior to the new couple dating or going public with their relationship and what those conversations consisted of,” a source close to the situation tells RadarOnline.com. “When did Kim develop romantic feelings for Kanye and why after publicly stating she wouldn’t feature any future romantic relationships on her reality shows, did she do a complete 360?”

First things first — “Did she do a complete 360?” Ha. Yes she did, Jason Kidd. Nice math skills.

Second things second — At what point do we feel bad for Kris Humphries that he cannot seem to stop the flood of embarrassing Kardashian-related news? Yeah, if you marry a Kardashian, you should probably expect people to know every single thing you ever do ever. But geez, Kris Humphries isn’t even married to Kim anymore and he can’t help doing things that make you slap yourself in the face.

Kris Humphries is a legitimately good basketball player. He’s fourth in the NBA in rebounding, leads the Nets in blocks and is fourth on the team in scoring, but most people know him as the guy who can’t fathom that a Kardashian would do something as a publicity stunt. It’s not a good look. I know there’s probably a legal reason for wanting an annulment, but the longer this court case drags on, the longer people are going to remember he was married to Kim Kardashian. Just chill, man.