(The Nets at their “training camp,” pic posted by DeMarre Carroll (@DeMarreCarroll1) on Twitter)
The Brooklyn Nets are nothing more than a gimmick, an irrelevant franchise more than ever in the shadow of the team they share New York City with, the Knicks.
This was in pure relief on Wednesday when it was revealed Nets players were holding a “training camp” of sorts in Los Angeles.
One big problem with this: the NBA playoffs are still going on and not even at the conference finals yet.
To add to the absurdity of this, two teams in the Nets’ division, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, were playing that night in their second-round playoff series.
And that’s not to mention that another team in their division, the Toronto Raptors, were also in the second round and lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
All three of those teams, especially Boston and Philadelphia, are primed to keep winning for the next decade.
The Celtics are doing this, ironically, with draft picks they got from the Nets, including rookie Jayson Tatum, the number three pick in the 2017 draft.
Tatum has shown tremendous pose for someone who is just 20 years old, and has become the leader of the team since Kyrie Irving went down.
Ah yes, the Celtics are doing this without Irving and Gordon Hayward, whom they lost on opening night of the regular season.
With Irving and Hayward still in their primes with a team filled with blue-chippers like Tatum and Terry Rozier, Boston can own this division and conference for a decade.
If they don’t, the Sixers, led by possible Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, and TJ McCollum; certainly can.
The point is, these guys are a lot better than Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, Caris LaVert, and D’Angelo Russell will ever be. Or DeMarre Carroll, the organizer of the “training camp” whom the Nets got from Toronto, who didn’t seem to miss him as they won 59 games.
To add to this farce, the Nets are still touting the return of has-been Jeremy Lin, who was hurt on opening night last year and missed the season, only to be seen on the bench in looks inspired by Madame Butterfly.
Lin is known for his run with the Knicks, dubbed Linsanity, way back in 2012.
For point of reference for how long ago this was, the Giants were Super Bowl champions and Matt Harvey was the top Mets pitching prospect.
To say Lin has anything left is like saying the “Gangnam Style” singer could win a Grammy next year.
The Nets talk about building a culture like the one the San Antonio Spurs have, when they brought in Sean Marks from that five-time World Championship team.
Going out and winning titles is how you build culture, with the tone set by all-time greats like Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.
It is not done by claiming a 28-win season as progress, coining worthless phrases like “Brooklyn Grit,” and making stars out of middling talent like Dinwiddie.
That is the formula Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark cooked up, and it is a proven failure.
Fans should not be fooled, and must leave Barclays a ghost town next season to send a message. Don’t worry, the arena will still be full of plenty of people rooting for the other team, something Yormark vowed would not happen when the team moved here from New Jersey in 2012.
The fact that ownership and others around the team celebrated this “training camp” is appalling.
The Nets are not a team Brooklyn should be proud, but quite embarrassed by.