By Jan Hubbard
While the NBA and its player union continue to send out conflicting murmurs of reaching a new collective bargaining agreement – progress has been made; the season could start on time; no progress has been made; time is the enemy – there was basketball news recently when the New Jersey Nets announced they would be the Brooklyn Nets when they move from NJ in 2012.
That decision, of course, makes total sense. Who can forget the storied history of the Nets, who have been in the NBA 40 years and have made the playoffs an impressive 16 times? In 10 of those memorable playoff years, they managed to lose in the first round but, hey, the good news is they were swept in the first round only seven of those 10 losing years. In the other three, they managed to win a game or two. If part-owner Jay-Z had been as successful with music and business and the Nets have been with that nickname, he’d have been a one-hit wonder.
I once wrote a column stating the reasons the Nets should have changed their name to the New York Renaissance – Rens for short. The Rens were the first African-American touring team in the 1920s and are in the Hall of Fame. The Nets would have likely had to purchase the copyright on the nickname, but it could have been done.
Having lived in the NY area for 14 years, I do understand the concept of Brooklyn pride and the Brooklyn Nets name does have a bit of a ring to it. But the name is like the history of the Nets – it could have been much better.