Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Final Buzzer for the New Jersey Nets

Last night, the Nets said goodbye to New Jersey with a 105-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers -- the team to whom they were forced to sell Julius Erving before they were allowed into the league, let alone before they ever played a regular-season game in the Garden State.

The Nets actually outscored the Sixers in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, but faded in the 4th. MarShon Brooks scored 18 to lead the team in their last Jersey game.

With the victory, the Sixers clinched a Playoff berth. That's nice... (rolleyes)

A halftime ceremony honored former Nets, including Derrick Coleman, Michael Ray Richardson, Kenny Anderson, Darryl Dawkins, Albert King, Todd MacCulloch and Kerry Kittles.

Video messages from former Nets players and coaches -- including Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Kenyon Martin -- were played throughout the contest, while the stands were filled with fans wearing Nets jerseys both new and old.

There were 18,711 fans at the Prudential Center -- a sellout. The crowd chanted "Let's Go Nets" and "Dee-fense" for the tilt's entire 48 minutes, and it gave an appreciative round of applause as the game ended and the Nets' final seconds in New Jersey wound down.

On Thursday night, the Nets play their final game as the New Jersey Nets, away to the Toronto Raptors.

But last night's final score was a very final final.

The first Nets home game was a 111-103 loss to the New Orleans Jazz (who became the Utah Jazz in 1979) at the Rutgers Athletic Center (which became the Louis Brown Athletic Center in 1986) in Piscataway.

New Jersey Nets, born October 21, 1977, died April 23, 2012. Age 34.

Time of death, 9:55 PM. Cause of death: Murder, stabbed in the back by Bruce Ratner. Wound mortal, but death took 8 years.

NBA Eastern Conference Champions 2002 and 2003. NBA Atlantic Division Champions 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.

But they could have been so much more.

Requiescat in pace.

No comments: