That "L" in the headline is the roman numeral for 50, like "XLVI" stood for 46 Sunday in Indianapolis. Anyway, the next five weeks promise to be among the most riveting in Nets history with the return of Brook Lopez, Marshon Brooks, Mehmet Okur and DeShawn Stevenson from injury; the possibility of Deron Williams being named to the All-Star Game; election day for Mikhail Prokhorov and the culmination of trade rumors regarding Dwight Howard on March 15.
But first, expect news out of Brooklyn, with the Nets' move officially underway. The team business offices will be headed from East Rutherford to Brooklyn in a few weeks and rumors (and a hint on the Barclays Center Facebook page) have the Nets revealing their new colors and logo very soon.
February - Brooklyn Nets will reportedly unveil their new colors and logo, but NOT their new uniform. Also, in February, the business side of the team will move from PNY Center in East Rutherford and Barclays Center Showroom in Manhattan to Bruce Ratner's 15 Metro Tech in Brooklyn, one stop north of Barclays Center on the subway.
February 6 - 10-day contracts can be signed (Nets currently have 15 players on their roster); first of five games that Nets will dress in retro New York Nets uniforms. They will play the Bulls that night. Other dates for the "Hardwood Classic" uniforms: February 11 vs. the Spurs; February 15 vs. the Grizzlies; February 22 vs. the Magic and March 7 vs. the Clippers.
February 7 - Non-guaranteed deals become fully guaranteed on February 10, but teams have to make decisions by Tuesday to clear waivers by the 10th. Keith Bogans is starting Monday night, so it's doubtful he will lose any sleep.
February 9 - All-Star reserves to be announced. Will Deron Williams be the first Net since Devin Harris in 2009 named to the mid-season classic?
February 22 - First day Mehmet Okur can be traded in multi-player deal. He can traded one-for-one at any time.
February 26 - NBA All-Star Game in Orlando. Pundits doubt the Magic want to see Howard in another team's uniform during All-Star weekend. However, what's the alternative? Having the All-Star Game dominated by trade talks? Choose your poison, Richard DeVos.
March 1 - First day teams can trade players they signed as free agents in 2011. For the Nets, that's Shelden Williams, Shawne Williams, Kris Humphries and DeShawn Stevenson.
March 4 - Russian Presidential Election. Mikhail Prokhorov vs. Vladimir Putin. Prokhorov unlikely to win (or make the run-off if Putin doesn't get 50 percent of the vote). If he wins, or if Putin appoints him prime minister, which is, surprisingly, more likely, Prokhorov has said he will put his Nets shares in a "blind trust", with independent trustees in charge of major decisions.
March 15 - NBA trade deadline, 6 p.m. ET
March 16 - Nets travel to Orlando.
March 23 - Last day to sign a player and have him be playoff-eligible
March 25 - Should Mikhail Prokhorov finish second to Vladimir Putin (and Putin get less than 50 percent of the vote on March 4), this would be the date of the runoff.
April 23 - Last regular season home game for the Nets in New Jersey, 7:30 at Prudential Center vs. the 76ers
April 26 - Regular season ends with Nets vs Raptors. in Toronto, last game for the New Jersey Nets unless they make the playoffs.
May 23 - Earliest completion date for exterior skin at Barclays Center
June 28 - NBA Draft in Newark. Number of picks currently owned by the Brooklyn Nets (and by this point they will be be the Brooklyn Nets): three, their own and the Rockets' (lottery-protected) first round picks plus the Heat's second round pick, which could very well be the last pick in the draft.
July 1 - Teams can contact free agents. For those thinking tours of the Barclays Center might be in order that week, the arena should be looking a lot like the finished product, with the scoreboard and other LED installation nearly complete and seating almost all in place.
July 11 - Teams can begin signing free agents.
July 27 – August 12 - 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Deron Williams likely to be only Net playing at the Olympics. France did not offer Johan Petro a slot on Les Bleus, its Olympic team. Mehmet Okur hasn't played for Turkey's "12 Giant Men" since the 2007 World Championships.
August 30 - Expected completion date for Barclays Center. Might slip a few days. Expect a couple of shakeout events in early September. Moved back from August 27.
September 28 - Opening Night, Barclays Center. Jay-Z will open the arena with a series of concerts.
October 2 - First sporting event at Barclays, a preseason NHL game between the Islanders and Devils.
October 17 - Arena construction documents list this date as first preseason game at the arena.
October 31 - Opening Night for the Brooklyn Nets, according to those same documents. Arena officials note that this is simply a target date, not set in stone.