John Hollinger, at the beginning of his latest all-nighter on the meaning of life and basketball, tweeted something that while said jokingly cannot be easily dismissed. "The Jersey Boy in me is beaming with pride that somebody demanded a trade to NJ. Zip it about the Brooklyn thing and let me enjoy this," wrote Hollinger.
Indeed. Recent events, no matter how they turn out (and we are DESPERATELY hoping for the best) are a seismic shift for this franchise. The combination of (yes) Brooklyn, a lot of Mikhail Prokhorov, a little of Jay-Z, Deron Williams and professionalism in the front office has made the Nets a preferred landing spot for any free agent in the NBA,including Dwight Howard, the second best player in basketball.
In the last week, two of the top ten players in the NBA, two Olympic gold medalists, two likely Hall of Famers have spoken glowingly about the organization (D-Will) or asked for a trade to the team (Howard). It may not happen quickly. There may be reverses and disappointments, the Knicks may win some games but something very significant changed this week. These are not the same old Nets.