Garden State Greatness in the World of Sports
New Jersey is known for many things including the iconic Atlantic City and its fabulous hotel and casino operations, world-famous sports teams, and NJs mind-boggling population density. From an sports and entertainment perspective, the Garden State stands proud. It is home to New York's finest – not the police officers – the New York Jets and the New York Giants – NFL titans. These teams play for the Empire State, but their stadium is located in East Rutherford New Jersey, at MetLife Stadium. Interestingly enough, according to 888sport’s Brett Chatz, the New York Jets and the New York Giants are the only NFL teams to share a stadium since 1984. Granted, the LA Chargers will be sharing a stadium with the LA Rams from 2020 onwards, at the SoFi stadium in California.
The New Jersey Devils Stun the Crowds at the NHL
The best New Jersey Devils Teams of all time are pretty easy to identify. They're the ones who won the Stanley Cup, back in 1994/5, 1999/2000, and again in 2002/3. As the quintessential picture of perfection, these New Jersey Devils teams went hell for leather and brought home the ultimate prize in the NHL. Their first Stanley Cup victory took place under the management of coach J. Lemaire. Fast forward to 1999/2000. The New Jersey Devils again performed superbly under coaches L. Robinson and R. Ftorek, winning their second cup. The last time the New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup was back in 2002/3. That year, it was coach P. Burns who led the team to victory in a spectacular way. The New Jersey Devils are without doubt one of the best exports to emerge from the state. They are currently ranked at #14 in the Eastern Conference (2019/2020) with plenty of opportunities to move up the ranks in coming seasons.
The New York Giants and the New York Jets Playing Out of Jersey
No sport captivates the attention of fans more than the NFL. The other 3 major sports in the US include MLB, NBA, and NHL, in that order. True to form, New York's NFL prospects – the Giants and the Jets have cemented their place in history among fans. What many folks outside of New York and New Jersey don't know is that both these NFL teams are based in the Garden State. According to NFL power rankings (2019 regular season), the New York Giants in the NFC East are in third place, and the New York Jets in the AFC East are also in third place. Both of these teams have their home base at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants have won 4 NFL Championships, in 1956, 1938, 1934, 1927. They also won 4 Super Bowls, in 2012, 2008, 1991, and 1987. The New York Jets have just 1 NFL Championship to their credit, when they beat the Baltimore Colts 16-7, back in 1969.
The Brooklyn Nets Playing Out of New Jersey
The Brooklyn Nets were once known as the New Jersey Nets, and this NBA team certainly made waves in the basketball arena. The best Brooklyn Nets players include the likes of: Jason Kidd, Julius Erving, Buck Williams, Drazen Petrovic, Brook Lopez, Richard Jefferson, Rick Barry, John Williamson, Keith Van Horn, Kerry Kittles, andKenyon Martin, among others. Some of their best performances ever took place in the following years:
- 1973/4– the Brooklyn Nets delivered a 55-29 win/loss performance in the ABA. Legendary players, Larry Kenon and Julius Erving starred.
- 1975/6- the 1976 Slam Dunk contest with none other than Julius Irving a.k.a. Dr J won the hearts of fans the world over. He was named the ABA Most Valuable Player, and was appointed to the ABA First Team. In that year, the Brooklyn S came in second with a 55-29 record in the ABA.
- 2002/3– during the season, the Brooklyn Nets had the best defensive rating in the league. Richard Jefferson stepped in, replacing Van Horn. Just two games were lost during the play-offs in the Eastern conference, as the Brooklyn Nets made it to the NBA Finals. In 2002, their win percentage was .634, and in 2003 their win percentage was .598.
- 2001/2– in this year, Jason Kidd spearheaded the Nets towards greatness as they reached the NBA finals. While the Lakers dominated, the Nets showed their grit. The Eastern conference team could not possibly hope to compete with the Western Conference team, but their regular-season winnings got them to the finals.
These New Jersey teams have left an indelible impression on the sports world. Many of these teams are etched into the annals of history in the NHL Hall of Fame, the NBA Hall of Fame, and the NFL Hall of Fame. It's been some time since a team from New Jersey lifted a championship trophy, but they've done it before and they can certainly do it again!