Amidst all the previews of the NBA Finals —still FOUR days away— you won’t find any like Fred Kerber’s in Sunday’s Post. Kerber takes a whimsical look at how the Nets and the Knicks, winners for 51 games between them, have helped the Warriors and Cavs make it to the promised land.
Kerber breaks down both rosters, finding gems (and some not so gemmy) that the two conference champs found on the streets of New York. We’re not doing the Knicks. Never.
The Cavs are loaded with ex-Nets, including Deron Williams, Richard Jefferson, and the immortal Dahntay Jones, who was cut by Lionel Hollins in 2015 and has since become a LeBron James favorite. Kerber also includes Kyle Korver, whose tenure with the Nets was limited to seeing his name put up on the Draft Board in 2003 then whisked off to Philly for “cash considerations.”
Of RJ, Kerber writes...
Jefferson ranks in the Nets’ career top 10 in 17 categories, including points (fourth), assists (seventh), games, (ninth) and rebounds (10th).
In fact, this is Jefferson’s fourth NBA Finals, two with the Nets a the beginning of his career and now twice near the end. He has one ring, from last season’s Finals.
Korver, he writes, “was picked just before Toronto took Remon van de Hare. Yeah, that Remon van de Hare. The Nets got $125,000 for the pick and used some of it on a copy machine.” He also notes accurately that the Nets “seemingly have tried to reacquire him ever since.” Remember when Deron Williams, his teammate in Utah and now Cleveland posted a photoshopped image of Korver in a Nets uniform? We did.
On the other side of the court, we’re not talking about bit players with Nets backgrounds, but serious pieces, led by Shawn Livingston, whose career was resurrected by Jason Kidd in 2013. (Billy King wanted Jamaal Tinsley for the D-WIll back up role. Kidd fought for Livingston.)
As Kerber writes, Livingston was too good.
Too bad he didn’t stink a little: Livingston played so well with the Nets, they couldn’t afford him as a free agent. He signed with the Warriors.
Perhaps the most intriguing loss for the Nets was Draymond Green. Like Korver, he was taken initially with a Nets second pick.
Green went 35th in the 2012 second round with a pick the Warriors got, along with Troy Murphy, from the Nets in a 2011 trade for Brandon Wright and Dan Gadzuric. The Nets’ first rounder that year? For Gerald Wallace, it went to the Blazers who took … Damian Lillard.
Don’t feel bad, Nets fans: Green essentially going for Wright and Gadzuric is not the worst trade ever. See, the Nets once got Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce …
And if you think that Green pick was luck, think again. The Warriors actually had a plan, starting with the trade. A better plan than the Nets, obviously.
- How Knicks and Nets unwittingly created the NBA juggernauts - Fred Kerber - New York Post