Top 50 Brooklyn Nets

The formation of the Brooklyn Nets began in 1967 as the New York Americans, a charter member of the American Basketball Association and it was an ugly beginning.  The team bounced around in different venues in the New York and New Jersey area and they did not find a lot of wins, but they toughed it out and survived the early years; something that not every team in the ABA was able to do.  After a few years of suffering and a name change to the Nets, they acquired Julius Erving from the Virginia Squires before the 1973-74 Season.  The Squires were hard-up and needed the cash back from that deal, but it was the just the tonic that the Nets needed to turn everything around.

“Dr. J” was named the ABA MVP in his first season in New York, and he would repeat that again in the next two seasons.  As you would imagine, this led to the Nets winning the ABA Championship in 1974 and 1976 and with Erving as their Center and best player, they were expected to have success when they merged with the NBA.

Or so they thought.

The NBA subjected them to an unexpected $4.8 million dollar penalty for invading the New York Knicks “territory”.  This decimated their payroll and they were no longer able to pay Erving what they promised him, leading to Erving refusing to report.  The domino effect resulted in Erving being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for cash, and the Nets were awful for years.

The Nets moved officially to state of New Jersey for the 1977-78 campaign and they were now the New Jersey Nets and for the next twenty seasons they were average at best.  The acquisition of Jason Kidd made them a contender and they would make the NBA Finals for the first time in 2002, and appear again in 2003, but would lose on both occasions.  They would make the playoffs the next four seasons but would then falter.  In 2013, under new owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, they went all in trading for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce but they gave up too many picks and Garnett and Pierce were far too old to make a difference.

Prior to that trade, they moved back to New York, specifically Brooklyn and have been challenging the Knicks for ownership of the market.  After hitting rock bottom, they are a team on the rise as of this writing.


This list is up to the end of the 2018-19 regular season.

Note: Basketball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

When Jason Kidd was traded from the Phoenix Suns to the New Jersey Nets in a megatrade he was already established as the best Point Guard in the NBA, a mantle he kept in his few seasons with his new team.  Kidd transformed the Nets into a contender as they went from missing the playoffs to going to the NBA Finals.  Kidd missed out on being the MVP (which he probably should have won) but…
Jason Kidd might be the man we named the best all-time Brooklyn Net but that does not necessarily mean we think he was the greatest player to ever suit up for the organization. That man is Julius Erving.
In terms of duration, Buck Williams is the top of the Nets food chain as he is the franchise leader in Games Played, Minutes Played and is also the leader in Rebounds and is second all-time in Points.  This isn’t a bad way to start discussing Buck Williams and his time with the New Jersey Nets.
Brook Lopez was the tenth overall pick in the 2008 Draft and he proved immediately to be an excellent choice for the New Jersey Nets.  The former Stanford Cardinal finished third in Rookie of the Year voting and in his fifth year he was an All Star.  The Center was played nine seasons for the Nets where he was often the team’s main scorer and he would have four campaigns where he exceeded 20 Points…
Vince Carter forced his way out of Toronto where he put the Raptors on the map and the landing point of “Air Canada” would be New Jersey. 
Arriving to New Jersey as a draft day trade. Richard Jefferson would become an integral part of the Nets back-to-back appearances in the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003.  The Small Forward would gradually grow his skills and at one time he was among the best mid-range shooters in the NBA.  Jefferson would twice go over 22 Points per Game (2004-05 & 2007-08) and over his seven seasons as a Net he had a PPG…
The starting Power Forward for the New Jersey Nets for the first five years of the 1990’s, Derrick Coleman got off to about his good a start as you would hope for when you draft a player number one overall like the Nets did in 1990.  As a rookie, Coleman won the Rookie of the Year Award with a double-double average of 18.4 Points and 10.3 Rebounds per Game.  In Coleman’s third season he reached…
Drafted 8th Overall in 1996, Kerry Kittles has a good rookie season averaging 16.4 Points per Game, which he improved to 17.2 as an NBA sophomore.  He regressed the seasons after and he would have to sit out the 2000/01 season due to a knee injury.  Upon his return the Nets were an improved team with the addition of Jason Kidd and he would help them go to two straight NBA Finals proving himself to…
Nicknamed the “Whopper” (which is enough for us to rank him alone) Billy Paultz was a 7th Round Draft Pick in the NBA and he opted instead to go to the ABA where he was a welcome surprise.
A former Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year at Duke, Mike Gminski was drafted 7th overall in 1980 by the New Jersey Nets.  The “Big G” was used off the bench in the first four seasons but would take over the starting Center role for the team in the 1984/85 campaign.  Gminski would be in the top 20 in Offensive Rebounds (if we count the season he was traded midway to Philadelphia) as a…
Chris Morris played the first seven seasons of his career in the National Basketball Association with the New Jersey Nets after playing for Auburn where he was a two-time First Team SEC Selection.  Morris was drafted fourth overall in 1988 where the Small Forward started nearly 80 percent of the games he played in for the Nets.  Averaging a shade under 30 Minutes per Game, Morris would showoff dunking skills and he had three seasons…
So many players made their way to the Nets with lofty expectations and Deron Williams was pegged by some to be the next coming of Jason Kidd.  That didn’t happen but D-Will did show Nets fans on occasion that he was capable of being the best Point Guard in the NBA.
Michael Ray Richardson was traded from the Golden State Warriors late in the 1982/83 Season and the then two time All Star would put up solid stats for his new team.  Richardson would lead the Nets in 1984 to their first playoff series win (over the Philadelphia 76ers) in the NBA and his 1984/85 season would see him put up a career high 20.1 Points per Game and he would win the Steals Title with…
There is a lot of fair criticism that can be thrown the way of Stephon Marbury in regards to his career in the National Basketball Association, but many of that occurred after he left New Jersey and it was as a Net where he put up his best statistical numbers.
Kenny Anderson grew up in New York and it was a homecoming of sorts when he was drafted second overall in 1991 out of Georgia Tech.  Anderson secured himself as the Nets’ starting Point Guard in his second year in the NBA and in his third year, he was named an All Star while having a career high of 18.8 Points and 9.6 Assists per Game.  Anderson would play 304 Games for the Nets with…