This has been the introduction given by the Nets starting roster that you most likely have seen at bus stops throughout Brooklyn, even making its way into Knickerbocker territory in subway stops and on billboards throughout Manhattan. While I question the appeal of the secondary information accompanying the players (Really, Gerald Wallace? Off-season fisherman?), it's a simple and effective way of getting these names out there and reminding the residents of Brooklyn, both natives and transplants alike, that there is about to be a sports team in the borough.
This is exciting for a number of reasons. I grew up watching the New Jersey Nets, so as a former New Jerseyian myself (R.I.P. ), I'm glad to see that the Nets have followed my move and declared Brooklyn as their new home. The move itself is no big surprise. The Nets have essentially been trying to move to NYC since they first joined the NBA, but the fact that it's finally happening has all of a sudden brought the Nets back into relevance. Even making it to back-to-back finals in '02 and '03 could not do that.
From a purely basketball standpoint, the Nets have desperately needed this change as well. The post-Jason Kidd era has been marred with injuries, the worst start to a season in NBA history (0-18), Johan Petro, and with Brooklyn always looming, there was a tepid attitude permeating those final games in Newark – a longing among both Nets players and fans to clean the slate and begin anew.
Brooklyn will certainly provide that opportunity. They have a new roster (say what you will about Joe Johnson's gargantuan contract, but the guy can play), an all-star point guard who validated the Nets' move to Brooklyn by re-signing, an impressive new stadium, and fantastically revamped branding (thanks Jay-Z, it's good to know how much influence owning 0.0007% of a team can get you).
But that is only half the battle. They still have to go out and win, and that's not something the Nets have been all that good at. Now, being a Nets fan isn't quite as taxing on one's soul as being a Mets fan (DISCLAIMER: I'm not one. I leave that perpetual torture to the rest of my family), but it certainly comes with its own set of baggage. Watching the last few seasons has been particularly draining (here's some stellar basketball for ya), but the one thing that's kept me cautiously optimistic has been the prospect of a new start for the Nets. I think that is something Deron, Brook "Batman's Biggest Fan" Lopez and the rest of the roster have been awaiting as well.
Once the season starts, this blog will be focused on the Nets' individual and team gameplay, and the overarching playoff push to see which team gets to lose to the Miami Heat. I encourage conversation and feedback throughout. I've spent the last year heckling Nets bloggers on Twitter (@mgelberg) and I hope other Nets fans (and Knicks sympathizers) can continue the fun. There's a lot to look forward to in this inaugural season for the Brooklyn Nets (still looks cool seeing that), and I'm excited to share my thoughts, frustrations, and enthusiasm as the games get underway.