The Brooklyn Nets are an American professional basketball team based in the New York borough of Brooklyn. The Nets compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. They play their home games at the Barclays Center. They are one of two NBA teams located in New York City: the other being the New York Knicks, who play at Madison Square Garden in the borough of Manhattan.
The Nets have a detailed history, established in 1967 as a franchise of the American Basketball Association (ABA), the NBA’s rival league. They played as the New Jersey Americans in their first season before relocating to Long Island in 1968 and becoming the New York Nets. The Nets were massively successful, winning two ABA championships (1974 and 1976) before the ABA merged with the NBA in 1976.
In 1977, the team returned to New Jersey and played as the New Jersey Nets from 1977 to 2012, where they made the NBA Finals in consecutive seasons (in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons). In 2012, the team moved to Barclays Center and became the Brooklyn Nets.
Greatest Coaches and Players in Brooklyn Nets History
The Nets have 17 players, coaches, and contributors featured in the Basketball Hall of Fame and have retired six jersey numbers. Kevin Loughery is the only Nets head coach in history to lead the team to a championship; a feat he achieved twice as the head coach of the New York Nets when they won the ABA championship in 1974 and 1976.
Their greatest ever player is their former number 32, Julius Erving, commonly known as Dr. J. Erving was the Playoffs Most Valuable Player (MVP) for both of the Nets championships in 1974 and 1976.
He was also a three-time ABA regular season MVP from 1974-1976. Dr. J wasn’t just a serial winner on the court with the Nets, he popularised the modern style of playing above the rim and paved the way for many who came after him.
He was the star attraction of the ABA and went on to become an NBA champion and MVP with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd led the Nets to two consecutive Finals appearances, losing both years to the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs. Kidd spent seven years with the Nets and is their all-time leader in assists and steals and is second in minutes played.
The Brooklyn Era of the Brooklyn Nets: 2012-Present
Their relocation to Brooklyn in 2012 came with struggles and that transferred onto the court. The Brooklyn Nets made the playoffs three years in a row, before another three years of winning fewer than 30 games each season.
A return to the playoffs last season precipitated a franchise-defining summer where the Nets acquired All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Despite Durant being out for the upcoming 2019/20 NBA season with an injury, his return next year will provide the Brooklyn Nets their first-ever window of championship contention since the early 2000s with Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets.
While Dr. J will forever remain the greatest ever player to play for the Nets franchise, when Kevin Durant pulls on his jersey for the first time, he could be classed as the most talented player to ever play for the Nets.