Since 1967, the Brooklyn Nets have been a major part of the National Basketball Associations history. From the teams inception in 1967 as the New Jersey Americans through to the modern era, the Brooklyn Nets have been home to some of the NBAs biggest names and stories. This blog post will explore the teams past and present, its current roster, and its upcoming events. So without further ado, lets take a look at the history of the Brooklyn Nets.
The Brooklyn Nets' Beginnings as the New Jersey Americans
The Brooklyn Nets began their life as the New Jersey Americans in 1967 when they joined the American Basketball Association as one of the league's inaugural teams. The team played their home games at Teaneck Armory in Teaneck, New Jersey and were coached by Clarence Gaines, the first African American coach in the ABA.
The team was led by star forward and future Hall of Famer Rick Barry, who was coming off his sensational rookie season in the NBA. Barry would ultimately lead the Americans to the ABA championship in their first season in the league. The Americans were one of the more successful teams in the ABA during their four-year stint, advancing to the ABA Finals three times.
For the 1972-73 season, the Americans moved to Long Island and were renamed the New York Nets. The next year, the team moved to Nassau Coliseum and began a period of success, winning the ABA championship in 1974 and 1976. During this time, the Nets were led by the dynamic duo of Julius Erving and Brian Taylor, who both went on to have Hall of Fame careers.
The Move to the NBA and the Renaming of the Nets
In 1977, the Nets joined the National Basketball Association after the NBA-ABA merger. As part of the merger, the team was forced to change its name, as the NBA already had a team called the New York Nets. The team was thus renamed the New Jersey Nets and began playing their home games at the Byrne Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
In 1981, the team made their first big free agent acquisition, signing three-time NBA MVP Moses Malone away from the Houston Rockets. Malone would lead the Nets to the playoffs in 1982 and 1983, but the team failed to make any deep playoff runs. After several unsuccessful seasons, the team moved back to New York in 2012 and was officially renamed the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets Today and Their Rising Star in Kyrie Irving.
Today, the Brooklyn Nets are one of the most storied franchises in the NBA. The team has had a successful past few years, making the playoffs in each of the last four seasons. The Nets have also had their fair share of stars, from Jason Kidd to Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter.
However, perhaps the brightest star on the Nets today is All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. In 2019, Irving signed with the Nets in free agency and has since become the team's leading scorer and one of the league’s best point guards. Irving is a six-time All-Star and the 2014 NBA Finals MVP, and his presence has been invaluable to the Nets, as they are now considered a true contender in the Eastern Conference.
Upcoming Events and the Brooklyn Nets
As the NBA continues to navigate the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19, the Brooklyn Nets remain optimistic and look forward to the upcoming 2021-22 season. In the meantime, the team is still active and fans can check out the latest happenings through the Nets' official website.
The Nets are also taking part in several events throughout the year, including the NBA G League Expansion Draft and the NBA draft. The team will also be playing several exhibition games and taking part in other events throughout the rest of the season, details of which can be found on the Nets' website.
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As we look back at the history and present day successes of the Brooklyn Nets, it's clear that the team has been an important part of the NBA since 1967. The team has had an impressive run of stars in this time, and all signs point to the trend continuing for years to come. The current roster of stars, led by Kyrie Irving, has the Nets on the cusp of becoming a true powerhouse of the Eastern Conference.
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