Thursday, March 21, 2013
165-296; that's the combined record over the past 5-plus seasons it's taken to bring the Nets within only 2 victories of guaranteeing a .500 or better season. That's nothing short of an eternity in between moments of joy and sanity, for the dwindling group of original New Jersey Nets fans out there.
When Vince, Richard, and Jason left the Garden State to pursue other endeavors, the majority of the fan base jumped ship. All of that is completely understandable, when you consider the following: your local franchise plays in arguably the least aesthetically pleasing arena in the country, the franchise present a G rated product stuck in the early 90's, and chooses to play a starting 5 consisting of Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, Jarvis Hayes, Yi Jianlian, and a very raw rookie in Brook Lopez. The days were certainly as long as they were dark for the final 5 seasons in the Garden State.
Well, it seems as if we've finally reached the other side of the rainbow; and it happens to be in Brooklyn. A new roster is in place, along with a new image, and most importantly a new sense of confidence. Who knew? Money really can buy happiness! (sarcasm). With the teams last victory, the magic number to reach the ever-elusive post-season has come to only 2. The last time the franchise saw the playoffs was in 2007. To put perspective on the situation, George W. Bush still had a little less than two years left in his second term, and the nation was losing its collective mind because gas hit an all-time high of $3.07 for self-serve; if only.
Regardless, I still try to look for the silver lining in it all. "What's that?" you may ask. It's the true understanding of the word victory. Without a doubt, a win is a win, in all of its glory; but after enduring the downward spiral that the team has recently pulled out of, no "W" goes unheralded. It really doesn't matter if it's a win against the Bobcats in the November, or our most recent on the road in Dallas, the "little things" now come with a certain sense of higher appreciation.
After all of this, it is still somewhat bittersweet. Sure, the Nets are going to make the playoffs, likely as a 3-5 seed, and have come a long way from the struggles in the Meadowlands. However, they're further from home, now belong to someone else, and will never associate with the "good" times which brought us all to love them. In an eerie metaphoric way, it's sort of like giving up a child for adoption; they now have a better life, more opportunities for success, and better financial backing. At this point, the New Jersey fans can only observe what they once called their own, from a distance, and hope for the best with a keen sense of admiration.
The two caps above represent a drastic change; a transition from a woeful franchise on its last legs, to a blossoming New York powerhouse, with a hipster undertone. All there is to do is remember the past while ambitiously waiting on the future. The left, reflects the franchises tenure in New Jersey, specifically from 1997-2012, that features a navy blue brim and crown, with the now throwback shield logo on the front, and an NBA logo with according color-way on the back. The cap on the right features the new branding of the team, with a black crown and brim, and the new modern shield logo front and center. On the back, the cap features the word "BROOKLYN" in white, in the current team font.
The cap on the left is likely gone forever. Sorry, but there's not much I can do about that. However, the one on the right, along with other Nets caps, can be found HERE. Until next time...