| Brooklyn Nets HISTORY
Arena: Barclays Center
Ownership: Mikhail Prokhorov, principal (80%)
Bruce Ratner, minority
Division Championships: 4 NBA Atlantic(02,03,04,06)
2 ABA (74,75)
NBA Titles: NONE
ABA Titles: 2 (74,76)
Playoffs: 19 NBA
Why the Nets?
The New Jersey Americans were charter members of the ABA in 1967. The team moved to Commack, N.Y., the following year and changed its name to New York Nets, after one of the most important parts of the basketball game -- the net.
Also, Nets rhymed with other New York sports franchises, baseball's Mets and football's Jets. Before joining the NBA in 1977, the team returned to the Garden State, kept its nickname and became the New Jersey Nets
Looking for a Home:
The Nets have always been in the same geographic area their entire history, yet they have almost become the nomads of the NBA. Since 1967 the Nets have moved 8 times in and around the New York metropolitan area.
They began as the New Jersey Americans in Teaneck, New Jersey during their first ABA season. The following season they moved to Commack, New York and the season after that to West Hempstead, New York. They have also been located in Uniondale, NY and Piscataway, East Rutherford and Newark, New Jersey before moving to Brooklyn
By contrast the other NBA teams with state names in their name, Golden State, Indiana, Minnesota, and Utah, have not left their established cities; though the Warriors did play a season in San Jose while arena renovations were underway.
On Valentines day of 1975 the Nets and San Diego Conquistadors played arguably the greatest game in ABA history. Nets star Julius "Dr. J" Erving scored a career and ABA high 63 points in that game on an ABA record 25 of 46 shooting.
The home underdog Conquistadors would win the 4 over-time thriller 176-166. The game is the highest scoring game in ABA history and would be the second highest scoring game in NBA history. The 176 points put up by the Conquistadors would also be the 3rd most ever scored, the 166 by the Nets would be tied for 8th.
The tragedy of Wendell Ladner:
Wendell Ladner was acquired by the Nets near the end of their ABA days. He was described by teammate Julius Erving as "wanting to be Burt Reynolds with a basketball". He was a wacky teammate who always made jokes and eased tension in the locker room. Ladner died at the age of 26 in the June 24, 1975, crash of Eastern Air Lines Flight 66. He was identified by medical examiners because he was wearing his ABA championship ring. For many years, the Nets listed his name and number in their list of retired numbers, though Ladner's No. 4 did not hang in the rafters with the other retired numbers. His number was also given to Rick Mahorn during his tenure with the Nets. In October 2013, a New York Daily News article explained that the number was never formally retired. However, out of respect to Ladner, Nets trainer Fritz Massmann had not issued No. 4 to other players for 17 years after Ladner's death.
In one of the greatest oddities in NBA history, four players played for both teams during the same NBA game. This happened because there was a protest of a game played between the Nets and 76ers on November 8, 1978 and the replay of the game was done March 23, 1979 and in the meantime the Nets and 76ers had made a trade that sent Harvey Catchings and Ralph Simpson from Philadelphia to New Jersey and Eric Money and Al Skinner from the Nets to the 76ers.
This is the only time in NBA history where players started a game with one team and finished it with another. There have been several instances where games were replayed and players played who were not on the teams originally due to injures, suspensions and trades.
On January 7, 2002 the Nets signed Anthony Johnson of the Mobile Revelers marking the first time that a NBA team had called up a D-league player for a ten day contract.
The story of the New Jersey Swamp Dragons|
For most of their history the Nets have been one of the most maligned teams in the NBA. They've been the eastern conferences version of the Clippers. A team who habitually loses and does so many stupid things that it becomes comical. And if comedy is what you like that the tale of the New Jersey Swamp Dragons is for you. Swamp Dragons? What the .... are the Swamp Dragons? what is a Swamp Dragon? In the summer of 1994 the New Jersey Nets considered rebranding their franchise the Swamp Dragons. Complete Article
To fully understand this you have to go back to the early 1990s. The league had just experienced its first full explosion into American society and pop culture. The 1980s had been great for the NBA, it added 5 new teams, and the Magic-Bird rivalry had driven fans to the arenas like nothing before.
New Jersey Americans during their first season.
Dr J goes against Utah's Gerald Govan.
Julius Erving vs St. Louis near the end of the ABA.