There’s no doubt that being a Nets fan has been difficult for the last decade or so. I've been following the team since the early-90’s and there were essentially two seasons where the Nets showed any signs of being championship contenders. In a matter of months management is putting together a team that will potentially compete every year and some people complain like we're back to 12-70.
Be thankful for what you have, not what you don't have.1. An owner who cares. He is heavily invested in this team, at least with his wallet. That's good enough for me.
2. A coach the players like. Whether you like him or not is irrelevant. His players were constantly injured and quite frankly not very talented to begin with last year. Do you think Phil Jackson would have won a title with that team? If the Nets don’t make the playoffs this year then by all means, fire him.
3. A brand new arena. Not much that needs to be said here. We all know it will be amazing.
4. Petro is gone forever. Many spoke of wanting to drop contracts for cap space, especially someone as overpaid as Johan Petro. Billy King did that. Yes, Joe Johnson's contract is huge, but he is a talented player. The kind of talent D-Will wanted to be surrounded with. The only reason to have cap space is to sign talent.
5. At least four all-star caliber players. Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, and Brook Lopez. When is the last time we had this much talent in our starting lineup? We need to find someone to plug into the PF slot. Maybe Teletovic is that guy. Maybe he's not. I don't know and neither do you. For some reason fans tend to think they know better than the men who do this for a living. Send the Nets your credentials and ask for a job.
6. Dwight Howard? This is a big unknown. Quite frankly, I'm already happy with the way things have gone and don't really care. Sometimes I think we might be better off NOT making this trade. Either way, I think the fact that he wants to play here says a lot. I'll support this team one way or another.
All of this and more, and some people can’t find a way to be optimistic. Granted, injuries last season plagued this team like no other, but do you really expect them to go from missing the playoffs one season to becoming NBA Champions in the next? The playoffs are not played on paper. The Heat, Thunder, Bulls (as demonstrated last season) and mostly every other team are all one injury away from NOT being contenders.
The Nets team we open Barclays with will be a perennial playoff team in the East. Once you make the Playoffs, anything can happen. I want them to win an NBA Championship as much as all of you but worst case scenario: we have an exciting new team to be proud of.