Everyone seems to be doing all-decade teams so we decided to do something a little different. We chose the top 10 MOMENTS of the decade. And why not? It was a momentous decade for the Nets with huge changes to the franchise, both good and bad.
So here ya go...
May 10, 2010 - Mikhail Prokhorov officially takes over the Nets from Bruce Ratner. Prokhorov, at the time the richest owner in professional sports, had agreed to buy the team (for what turned out to be a song) the previous September, but declined to complete the deal until Ratner cleared up all the legal issues besetting the move to Brooklyn.
Within days, Prokhorov held an introductory press conference, watched as the Nets lost the overall No. 1 pick to the Wizards in the Draft Lottery and was featured on “60 Minutes.” Oh yeah, he promised a championship in five years.
February 23, 2011 - One day after losing Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks, the Nets shock the NBA by acquiring Deron Williams, then seen by many as the the best point guard in the world, for a couple of first round picks, Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, etc., etc. Pundits give the trade an A++++ grade.
The Nets have a star for the move to Brooklyn, then nearly 18 months away.
July 2, 2012 - Nets trade for Joe Johnson, hoping to make the Deron Williams - Joe Johnson tandem “Brooklyn’s Backcourt”... a term they trademarked days later. The Nets give up five marginal players, a Rockets first rounder and, as we later revealed, swap picks in 2014 and 2015.
Hours after the deal is completed, the Nets surprise DWill with the news in a meeting set up to discuss his new contract. He signs for $100 million the next day. The Nets ultimately buy out both players, DWill was stretched on July 10, 2015, saving $7 million, and Johnson, who was waived on February 25, 2016, saving $3 million.
November 2, 2012 - The Nets officially mark their move to Brooklyn with a 107-100 win over the Raptors in their first game at Barclays Center, which Avery Johnson calls the Taj Mahal of NBA arenas. The Nets debut had to wait until Superstorm Sandy passed over New York, postponing Opening Night vs. the Knicks.
The Nets win 49 games that season, tied for second most in franchise history.
June 27, 2013 - The worst trade in NBA history goes down. The Nets acquire Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. If you need to be reminded, the Nets gave up first round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018. In addition, Boston got the rights to swap first-round picks in 2017. None of the picks were unprotected and resulted in the Nets losing out on Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Colin Sexton. Terry is gone within months, Pierce at the end of his first year, Garnett in the middle of his second year.
The trade takes place a couple of weeks after the Nets hire Jason Kidd as their new head coach.
February 18, 2016 - Within 24 hours, the Nets open their new practice facility, the HSS Training Center, and hire Sean Marks as GM. Big day. Marks beats out Bryan Colangelo, Geshon Rosas and Artūras Karnišovas for the job. In typical Nets fashion, there was a hold-up. Ownership initially low-balled Marks, then assistant GM of the Spurs, and for a while it looked like things might not work out. But it did and we are all the better for it.
Marks then hires Hawks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson as Nets head coach, completing the transition from Billy King and Lionel Hollins to the Markinson era. After eight head coaches in seven years, Atkinson will go on to be the longest serving head coach or manager in New York professional sports.
December 8, 2016 - The Nets sign Spencer Dinwiddie to a three-year, non-guaranteed deal. Not a big deal at the time. The big news that week was the Nets offer sheet to Donatas Montiejunas and Caris LeVert’s debut as an NBA player. Not only did it work out beyond anyone’s imagination. It became a symbol of what the Nets can do in developing players. The Nets had Dinwiddie No. 1 on their rankings of G League players that week. He was No. 7 in the league’s official rankings.
June 20, 2017 - Brook Lopez, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, is traded to the Lakers along with the 27th pick in the 2017 Draft (which turned into Kyle Kuzma) for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov. DLo becomes an All-Star in Brooklyn after being tossed on the trash heap by the Lakers, another development milestone. The Nets ultimately make the playoffs with Russell at the point.
June 30, 2019 - The “clean sweep,” as Woj so famously put it. Within an hour of the opening of free agency, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, owners of a combined three NBA rings, three Olympic gold medals and 17 all-star honors, sign with the Nets, KD in a sign-and-trade that sends D’Angelo Russell to Golden State. The basketball world is rocked. There is weeping and gnashing of teeth at 33rd and 7th. Nets also sign Garrett Temple.
September 18, 2010 - Joe Tsai, co-founder of Alibaba, closes on $3.4 billion acquisition of Nets, Barclays Center, the highest price ever paid for an NBA franchise. The Chinese billionaire becomes the second richest owner in the league, behind only Steve Ballmer of the Clippers.
Within weeks, Tsai becomes embroiled in the battle between Chinese authorities and the NBA over Rocket GM Daryl Morey’s tweet about Hong Kong.
We could have added a few others, like DWill’s franchise record 57 points vs. Charlotte on March 4, 2012 or Dwightmares I through V or Paul Pierce’s block on Kyle Lowry in Game 7 of the first round playoffs on May 4, 2014 or Brook Lopez becoming the all-time leading scorer in franchise history on April 10, 2017 or Jeremy Lin announcing he’s signing with the Nets on July 1, 2016 or the Draft Night trade in June 2016 that gave the Nets the rights to Caris LeVert or the G League expansion via the Long Island Nets on November 6, 2015. Or, or, or...
Did we miss anything?