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Tortured past, quirky present follows Nets into Brooklyn

Chris Chambers

As the Nets take their final (watery) steps into Brooklyn this week, the Post's Fred Kerber and Tim Bontemps look at the team's tortured past and quirky present. Kerber, who's covered the Nets (and Knicks) forever, has the better material.

He writes of a team, particularly in the 1980's and 1990's, who went from coach to coach and from one weird player to another. He hits all the memorable scenes, like sneaker writing by Chris Morris ("Trade Me...Please) and Stephon Marbury ("33 All Alone") but adds some others, like how when John Calipari told the media he believed a church sermon was meant for him, Jayson Williams remarked, "Did he tell ya he dipped his hand in the holy water and it started boiling?"

The current team is just not made for such controversy, but Bontemps does his best, citing the quirkiness associated with each of the team's key personnel, like Brook Lopez's well-known penchant for comic books and Kris Humphries' championship swimming as a youth. His best tidbit: how Jerry Stackhouse has performed the National Anthem three times before NBA games during his career — twice in Dallas during the regular season, and once in Milwaukee during the 2010 playoffs. How tame is that? Definitely not the same old Nets!