I've been following the nets ever since 1995 when I attended a nets game vs. the bulls. Jordan just came out of retirement still wearing jersey no.45 and I was sitting right behind the Bulls bench as a happy kid who just got his ultimate birthday gift. I was always very active in sports playing REC and PAL basketball, Soccer, and later on moving onto HS Varsity basketball. But as a kid growing up in the 80's and 90's, I really didn't follow a specific team, the nets were only on a paid subscription TV channel, the Knicks were my dad's fav team which automatically ruled them out as my team from the start, and the Bulls who were on TV religiously were from Chicago and seemed distant to me.
When I got to the Meadowlands wearing a Starter Charlotte Hornets jacket, I couldn't help but feel exasperated by the size of the joint. You can say what you want about Continental/Izod center but for a kid, any stadium is like walking into a fortress or a gigantic space shuttle. For me at least, it didn't matter if the game was sold out or not, how dirty the arena was, or if Bernard King was signing autographs 4 feet away from me, I was there to enjoy the game.
The Bulls won that game by 10 plus points while Jordan had his usual 30-34 points with some great looking fade away jumpers, smooth drives to the basket, and 2 alley oops dunks (1 from pippen and the other from Toni Kukoc). Now, I wasn't cheering for any team that night but it made me fall in love with LIVE basketball. Ever since that experience I just kept going back to nets games whenever I could. I even sold my Super Nintendo at Funco Land to help pay for my ticket to a Nets Vs Magic game that my friend was going to. Eventually, almost like destiny I started to root for the New Jersey Nets. A team my home state could compete with the obnoxious fans in the city of Boston, the snobs in Philadelphia, and the evil city of New York. A team, like me, that calls New Jersey home.
I'm a New Jersey resident and a proud New Jersey nets fan, it might seem like I'll be able to cheer for Brooklyn but after next year, its their team now. I like the ring that BROOKLYN yells out, but once you go there- forget it. As some girl from Brooklyn, whom I met at a bar in Hoboken New Jersey put it, "its the worst place in the world". Brooklyn Nets, I really don't see myself being proud of that. I'll probably still go to a couple of games per year, but for me at least its back to loving the NBA, no more New Jersey Nets.