Hey Brooklyn, Welcome To The NBA

Image by: Erik Cleves Kristensen
By Thomas Stone

It has been an up and down season for the Brooklyn Nets so far. Their good fortune was supposed to start when they moved to Brooklyn before the start of 2012 NBA season, shedding their old name (New Jersey Nets) and hometown in the process.

The new-old Nets have a sparkling new arena called the Barclays Center, a couple of new players, and dreams of playoff success in their future.

The Nets even unveiled a new set of uniforms, complete with a black and white color scheme.

There is also the presence of hip-hop king Jay-Z, who owns a minority stake in the team. Jay-Z, whose real name is Sean Carter, opened the Barclays Center with a set of concerts to celebrate the Nets arrival in his home borough of Brooklyn.

Hoop Dreams, Reality Bites

But even with the company of hometown hero Jay-Z, things haven’t turned out the way many had hoped. Now that the dust has settled and that new basketball team smell worn off, the daily grind of NBA reality has taken over the storyline, and now Brooklyn is just another middle-of-the-road basketball team.

Or could it be worse than that?

Just last week, the Nets dismissed head coach Avery Johnson after Brooklyn lost five of their last six games. They were limping toward a .500 record, something not good enough for billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov. So he decided to fire Johnson before things got out of control.

Now the Nets are depending on assistant coach (and familiar face among NBA watchers) P.J. Carlesimo to lead the way to the promised land.

For fans … the owners … this isn’t the way they thought the storybook season should go.

Brooklyn is off to just a 16-14 start with a little more than half of the season remaining to get things turned around. If not, expect a lot of upheaval of players and coaches in the off-season.