Everyone ones the story of the trade from 2014. Brooklyn traded for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from Boston to try and win a championship. They received these players in exchange for the Nets first round draft picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018, and they also swapped their pick with the Celtics for the 2017 draft.
Obviously, at the time, both parties were happy. The Nets felt like the could contend for a championship, and the Celtics turned their aging talent into draft picks. Now fast forward a few years. The Nets were one of the worst teams in the NBA through the years after the draft, and the Celtics added players such as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown with the picks they got from the Nets.
People thought that it would a decade for the Nets to even be relevant again. But, thanks to general manager Sean Marks, and head coach Kenny Atkinson, the Nets are way ahead of schedule on their rebuild. The Nets have a nice young core that includes D’Angelo Russell, Caris Levert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Jarrett Allen. And they finally have their draft picks back, and they have enough cap space for two max contracts this off-season.
With the Nets making the playoffs this season for the first time since 2015, they are finally getting some much-deserved recognition. The staff and players in Brooklyn have established a fantastic culture that is fun to watch, on and off the court. I think players are starting to look at Brooklyn and think, “that looks like a fun team to play for.” As a matter of fact, they are such a fun team, that someone made a three-minute video just showing their best bench reactions from this season which can be seen below. This brings me onto my next topic, which is why do people always think that the big name players want to play for the Knicks in New York rather than the Nets. Last time I checked, Brooklyn is also part of New York.
But wait, “the Knicks play at Madison Square Garden, that means that all the big name players want to play there.” Sorry, but the last big-name player to play for the Knicks that didn’t get drafted by them was Melo, and he didn’t even stay there the rest of his career.
But, “the Knicks are getting Zion, so everyone will want to team up with him because he is going to be amazing.” Zion could very well be amazing, but it is no guarantee that the Knicks are getting him, no matter how much Knicks fans say they are going to get him. The NBA does a draft lottery, and the Knicks have a 14% chance to get the number one overall pick, the same as two other teams. So it is far from a guarantee.
I guess I’m just trying to say that I think its time that the Nets are no longer the “little brother” to the Knicks. I know that the Knicks have been there longer, and have the history over the Nets. But right now, I firmly believe that the Nets have a better future than the Knicks. The Nets made a playoff team without any of their draft picks from the last four years and got money to bring in a couple of big names this off-season. It is finally time for a new King of NYC basketball, and I can finally say that I don’t think it will be the Knicks.