Is it me, or does Jason Kidd's new girlfriend Hope Dworaczyk look a lot like Joumana? They have the same vibe of the not quite white, not quite Latina woman with long dark hair. Hmm...although I definitely think Hope is cute, that's not what I'm talking about when I refer to the luck the New Jersey Nets have had over the last five years.
Photo credit to James Crump/Getty Images.
Anyway, over the last 7 years the Nets have had a ridiculous number of lucky personnel guesses. Here's just a short list:
Nets trade Eddie Griffin to Houston for Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins, and Brandon Armstrong. Since when does an NBA team trade down in the draft for much lower picks? Sadly, Eddie's dead now, while RJ is playing like a star. And for the record, Richard Jefferson is not gay.
Nets trade Stephon Marbury to Phoenix for Jason Kidd. If Amare, Stephon, and Shawn all got along and stayed healthy, this trade wouldn't look quite so good. But at the time, this trade seemed like a win for Phoenix; they shipped a troubled guard with image issues out for at least equal, if not superior talent. (Marbury was coming off a year where he scored nearly 24 ppg for the Nets).
Your random NBA candid photo target for this week is Kyle Korver (amusingly, though, I just realized he's a former Nets draft pick. Go figure.) Sorry the picture is rotated incorrectly, but the "Jesus Hates the Yankees" shirt was too funny to pass up.
Nets refuse to resign Kenyon Martin. Remember, Bruce Ratner, the Nets owner, even apologized for this later on. So what happens? Kenyon goes to Denver, and promptly falls apart phyically. His best season in Denver barely matches his 3rd best season in New Jersey. Talk about dodging a bullet! And not signing Kenyon leads to...
Nets trade Alonzo Mourning and change for Vince Carter. According to this SI article, Mourning himself did his best to force the trade, and accused the Nets of trying to ruin his career and health by overplaying him when he returned from injury. He also slammed them for not resigning Kenyon Martin...so New Jersey turns him into Vince Carter! Ridiculously good luck, yet again, because Mourning turns out to be only half as good as he was before the kidney trouble.
Nets pass on Shareef Abdul Rahim, August 2005. Shareef was 29-ish at the time, coming off a 16 ppg season with Portland, and had never been on a decent team. There was good reason to believe he would blossom if paired with Kidd, and the Nets desperately needed an inside presence. Then, weird stuff happened during the physical, the Nets pass...and Shareef also falls apart in Sacramento.
I love the caption on this one. She was at Applebee's, saw him coming out of the restroom, and cornered him for a picture.
Nets trade Kidd, forward Malik Allen and swingman Antoine Wright to Dallas for 24-year-old point guard Devin Harris, forwards DeSagana Diop and Trenton Hassell, guard Maurice Ager, two future first-round draft picks, $3 million and semi-retired former Net Keith Van Horn, whose rights the Mavericks own.
This last one is probably just as good as the rest; the Nets trade an aging coach killer (what, you think Byron Scott fell by himself? He was pushed!), front office meddler (him and Joumana both) and wife beater for a much younger point guard, picks, cash, and a chance to lure Diop into staying in New Jersey. It's outright theft, and was even before it looks like Avery and Jason may not get along.
Oh, and let's not forget the Nets turning non-lottery first-round draft picks into serviceable big men like Nenad Kristic, Josh Boone, and Sean Williams. Again--quick, give me a list of big men drafted low in the first round who did anything at all in the NBA? Zach Randolph and Carlos Boozer? That's about it off the top of my head. In addition, Josh and Sean went to college, they didn't fall just because they were high school players.
At this rate, the Nets will trade Vince Carter to Cleveland for Lebron James, sigh. What's most interesting to me is how little the Nets have actually accomplished in the regular season. Quick, what do you think is the max number of season wins for the Nets in the last 7 years? We're talking about a team with 2 Finals appearances...and they only broke 50 wins once, at the grand total of 52. Lucky! And for the record, if you are a Nets fan, go over to http://www.gigginonya.com, where Becky and Ben will take care of you.
EDIT: Check out the NBA cartoons at http://garbagetimeallstars.blogspot.com/.