The world is different today. Today is the day after the Brooklyn Nets’ future changed forever. Sports historians will point to Thursday, June 6th 2019 as the pivot point that shifted the Nets trajectory from a fun, enjoyable but ultimately unsatisfying team into a multi-championship winning dynasty guided by the supreme talents of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
Did you ever see Terminator 2: Judgement Day? You should, it is good. The level of import that is the Allen Crabbe trade in regards to the future of basketball is similar to when Skynet sent back the T-1000 to 1995 in Los Angeles to kill young John Connor, to snuff out any hopes for a future human uprising. Yes, getting rid of Allen Crabbe and his contract is as important as the future of the human civilization.
Because trading Mr. Crabbe and his $18 million a year salary, the Nets have opened up a series of tantalizing free agent possibilities, that previous to June 6th 2019, were not available. Whereas before, the best the Nets could hope for was pairing Kyrie Irving with D’Angelo Russell. Exciting, intriguing, but again likely not enough. Now if Nets fans squint not all that hard into the future, they will be able to see the increasingly likely scenario of Kyrie + KD to BK.
What makes these lucid dreams even more sweet is the suffering the fan base has had to endure over the past half decade. The smoldering heap that was the Brooklyn Nets after the trade-that-shall-not-be-named left a crater equal to the comet that killed the dinosaurs. Hope? No. That word simply had no meaning for Nets fans after said trade. Elementary school teachers in Brooklyn wouldn’t even teach the word hope in class to avoid upsetting a generation of children, who would learn the word’s meaning and realize it wasn’t an attainable feeling for them.
Tanking provides a small comfort, comfort that does exist though, for fan bases across the NBA. Tanking presents the chance of lottery balls banging into each other at quite the right trajectory that a combination of those lottery balls catapults a team to the top of the draft board. Nets fans were not even allowed to experience that comfort. In fact, that comfort normally afforded to fans turned into a slow-drip torture device. The lottery balls that should have been bouncing for Brooklyn bounced instead for Boston, leading to a bubbling dynasty in Beantown.
But now as we land here on the Free Agent Summer of 2019, one that was supposed to preceded by the Boston Celtics being led to an NBA championship by their electric young leader in Kyrie Irving, acquired through assets derived from the trade-that-shall-not-be-named, it is the team on the other end of that equation, your Brooklyn Nets, who can stare out in front of them with a brighter future. That future was made possible by a hundred small moves Sean Marks and Nets management made together. It finally came into focus though on June 6th 2019 after Allen Crabbe and his salary were castaway to Atlanta.
Here’s a podcast about that trade: