This morning marked the end of an era with the Nets pulling the plug once and for all on their doomed “super team” experiment by trading Kevin Durant to Phoenix in exchange for Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, four first-rounders and a 2028 pick swap (the Suns are also getting T.J. Warren). This comes days after sending Kyrie Irving to Dallas in a similar blockbuster, abruptly breaking up a team that, when first conceived, looked like it would usurp Golden State as the NBA’s next great dynasty.
To say the Nets fell short of expectations would be an enormous understatement, squandering one of the most talented trios in NBA history (Durant, Irving and James Harden) with only one series victory to show for all their star power. The Nets’ fire sale, dismantling an underachieving roster undone by egos and locker-room toxicity, was probably inevitable, though it didn’t stop Twitter from dancing on their grave, mocking Brooklyn’s desperate attempt for relevance in a city where the Knicks, despite a recent lack of on-court success, will always be king.
Cavs vet Robin Lopez, whose brother Brook still stands as Brooklyn’s all-time leading scorer with 10,444 career points, used an interesting metaphor to describe the Nets’ failures, comparing their collapse to the plot of The Muppets Take Manhattan, a movie that had its theatrical run four years before the seven-footer was born.
With Durant off to join Irving in the Western Conference, the Nets appear headed for a lengthy rebuild, stockpiling future draft assets in hopes of landing a younger, franchise cornerstone to build around. While the Nets will have to wear this one, admitting defeat on a frustrating chapter in their history, there’s something to be said for starting over with Brooklyn’s colossal misfire representing a valuable learning experience for all involved.
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