Brooklyn Nets Details
The Nets franchise began in 1967 as a founding member of the ABA—an upstart league that formed to compete with the NBA. The team played its first season as the New Jersey Americans but moved to New York the next year and became the New York Nets. The Nets were absorbed into the NBA after the ABA folded in 1976. They played one NBA season in New York and moved to New Jersey in 1977. The Nets would play in New Jersey for 35 years before moving to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in 2012.
The Nets won two titles as part of the ABA. Julius Erving, one of the most famous players to begin his pro career in the ABA, was the most valuable player in the playoffs during both title runs. The Nets were the ABA’s last champion, winning the 1976 title before the league merged with the NBA. Because of NBA expansion fees, the team could no longer afford to keep Erving, and his contract was bought by the Sixers before the Nets began to play in the NBA. Nevertheless, Erving’s number 32 is retired by the team for his contributions to their ABA success.
The Nets have not won a championship as an NBA team. They came closest in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. Point guard Jason Kidd’s arrival in the 2001 season was instrumental in reversing the Nets’ fortunes and making them a team that could compete for an NBA title. With Kidd at the helm, the Nets were Eastern Conference champions for two consecutive years. When the team moved to Brooklyn, the now-retired Kidd returned as a coach, and the team made the playoffs during both of his years as their coach.
In recent years, the Nets have struggled. They missed the playoffs the last two seasons and won only 20 games last year. They will rely on players like Jeremy Lin and youngsters like D’Angelo Russell and Archie Goodwin as they try to turn things around for the 2017-18 season.