by mustached BrooklynFans.com executive producer Pete Tenney (@PeteTenney)
The future is not what Brooklyn hoops fans had hoped. The present is far from a sweet Jersey swan song.
Might as well throw Nets fans some insane dunks to get them through this time.
2007 dunk champion Gerald Green just signed a contract to stay with the team for the remainder of the season, after GM Billy King and coach Avery Johnson gave him a couple 10-day agreements to try a return to the NBA. The 6’8″ jumpingjack came into the league in 2005 as one of the last high school players to be drafted (the NBA now requires at least one year of college).
Green’s freakish athleticism never turned into consistent production, and he bounced around from Boston to Minnesota to Houston to Dallas … before trying to find hoops happiness overseas.
Now the Nets need a reason to smile, and Green needs an NBA stage to get the crowd on their feet, and the two need each other. New Jersey has been dreadful at home (5-16) and the fans can use all the added entertainment they can get right now. The team won’t be getting Dwight Howard, so they probably don’t have much chance to keep Deron Williams, even though he promises his mind is open. The Barclays Center won’t be opening with the star-studded lineup Jay-Z wanted all along.
So with the injury-plagued season killing playoff hopes long ago, the Nets are one of the few teams who can afford to let Green do his thing. And while the basketball world has shifted their focus to March Madness this last week, the Nets’ dunkmaster averaged almost 19 a night over the last five games.
Brooklyn was counting on Dwight Howard and Deron Williams. It’s not happening. So the new plan is an array of explosive highlight-reel playmakers and young stars around a capable center, including two first-round draft picks in June.
And now, maybe including Gerald Green. He’s still just 26, and is suddenly playing like a rising NBA force.