Who wants a Piece of them?
Brooklyn’s new look Nets
By: Chris Mannix
When I first looked at the box of Sports Illustrated magazines to pick out the first magazine I would feature, I thought it would be tough to pick one. However, once I started digging there was Jason Kidd and Deron Williams staring up at me. Sorry to any Nets fans, but you can’t help but laugh at the nose dive that organization has took after such high expectations. Let’s dive into this…
This magazine released in October of 2013 as a double issue previewing the upcoming NBA season. The Brooklyn Nets (formerly New Jersey Nets) expectations were at an all-time high. Just the season before, the Nets signed their franchise player Deron Williams to a 5 year 98.7 million dollar deal and signed all-star Joe Johnson in free agency. Along with that, they went out and hired former Nets Phenom Jason Kidd.
This was not the only big move the Nets made that off season. The Nets decided to make one of the biggest head scratching trades in NBA history.
The Nets went out and got three veteran pieces Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry from the Celtics. I can see the reason why they did it. A new team with new parts looking for a championship, so you go out and bring in three former champions. What was the problem? What they gave up for this move.
The Nets shipped Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans and Marshon Brooks. AlONG WITH the nets 2014, 2016, and 2018, first round picks with the right to swap the 2017 pick. All to a division rival in the Boston Celtics. All those coveted first round picks and role players for 3 vets all past their prime.
Either way the Nets were moving into 2013 in their new arena and new location.
So here is a quick rundown of how this worked out…
2013 (We may have something here)
Nets go 44-38 win first playoff series (vs. the Raptors) then lose in 5 games to the Miami Heat.
2014 (Wait, what?)
Nets fall to 38-44 but sneak into the playoffs only to get bounced in the first round to the Atlanta Hawks.
The nets also decided this season to trade head coach Jason Kidd to the Bucks for their 2015 and 2019 second round picks.
2015 (Dumpster fire)
Nets boast a 21-61 record and waive both Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. Billy King the team GM reisgns, and the new head coach Lionel Hollins is fired. Oh, and they traded Kevin Garnett to Minnesota for Thaddeus Young.
Well that escalated quickly…
Looking at where these players are today are equally as hilarious as the teams results over those 3 seasons.
Brooke Lopez is currently the Center for the LA Lakers.
Deron Williams… Who the hell knows. He played last season for the Cavaliers but was terrible. In the 5 games against Golden State in the finals he averaged around 12 minutes a game. In those 12 minutes he averaged 1 point, 1 turnover, 1 assist, and 1.6 rebounds… That performance has landed him a spot a home where he is currently a free agent.
Kevin Garnett has been enjoying his retirement by mentoring young players and running a segment called area 21.
Jason Kidd continues to coach the Milwaukee Bucks along with some of the most talented young players in the league (Giannis Antetokumpo, and Jabari Parker) eyeing a playoff bid this season.
Paul Pierce also is enjoying retirement and works with ESPN as a basketball analysis.
Lastly, Joe Johnson is playing for the Utah Jazz living out his final NBA years.
So looking back, we can all collectively say this was a failure of biblical proportions. Even today the nets are still struggling to figure something out. Which is understandable due to the careless giving away of future picks.
Oh, we cant leave out who those picks have turned out to be!
2014 1st round -- James Young (Kentucky) Currently in the G League
2016 1st round – Jaylen Brown (California) Currently averaging around 15/1/6 for the Boston Celtics
2017 1st round – Traded to the 76ers for Markelle Fultz (Washington) currently averaging 6/2/2 Celtics traded down for Jayson Tatum (Duke) currently averaging 13/1.5/5
2018 1st round – Currently held by the Cleveland Cavaliers used as a piece of a trade to acquire Kyrie Irving.
Funny to look back on this and all that has happened here with the Nets, Deron Williams and company. Biggest beneficiaries? My Boston Celtics!
Works Cited (I think this is how you're supposed to do this)
Mannix, Chris. “Who Wants A Piece Of Them.” Sports Illustrated , 28 Oct. 2013, pp. 72–76.