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Stepping onto the court each night in front of their fans in their new hometown of Brooklyn, NY the Nets have adapted a new style and attitude to match their location. The move has not exactly been a smooth transition, however.
It all started back in 1967 with the founding of the New Jersey Americans in the ABA. Later renamed the New York Nets and then moving to the NBA, the teams seemed to finally settle on the moniker of New Jersey Nets from 1977 to 2012.
In 2012, team owner Mikhail Prokhorov made good on his efforts to move the team to Brooklyn and the Nets, once again, packed up and moved back to New York. Moving into the Barclays Center seemed to be the change of scenery that the team needed, as they made the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
They would lose in the first round, but return to the playoffs again in the 2013-14 under new head coach Jason Kidd. Moving directly from NBA player to NBA coach, Kidd had his pulse on the team and led them to the Eastern Conference semi-finals. His abrupt departure for the Milwaukee Bucks opened up a spot for Lionel Hollins. Under his leadership the Nets returned to the playoffs for a third straight year.
This kind of inconsistency will eventually catch up with a team, however, and the team began to go downhill. Kenny Atkinson was hired in April of 2016 to turn the team around, but this has proved to be no easy task. Clearly in the middle of a rebuild, this franchise is struggling to create a culture of winning and togetherness that will bond the team and see them through the tumultuous schedule of an NBA season.
Every team needs a star player to be the center of their franchise. Brooklyn made the decision to trade for D’Angelo Russell and make him just that. Coming over from the Lakers, Russell had an immediate impact on the court before going down with a knee injury. Returning to the team, he finished the year strong and has given fans a reason to think the better times could be ahead. A host of other moves completed the roster with players such as Spencer Dinwiddle, Caris, LeVert, and Jose Harris. Jarrett Allen, Shabazz Napier, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson also contribute for the squad.
The Nets used the NBA draft to pick up Dzanan Musa in the first round and then Rodions Kurucs in the second round. Revitalizing their lineup through talented youth is a must for this club. Expect more changes for the Brooklyn Nets on the horizon, particularly if their level of play does not improve.
Inspiration for the current team can be found by looking to the past of this franchise. The rafters of the Barclays Center are a monument to great basketball players in the past for this organization. Among the retired numbers are Drazen Petrovic, John Williamson, Bill Melchionni, Buck Williams, Jason Kidd, and Julius “Dr. J.” Erving. For more information about the history of the Brooklyn Nets as well as information pertaining to the current team please click here.