Nets Bigger Flop Than Worst Team Money Could Buy
Bobby Bonilla and the Brooklyn Nets were in the news yesterday. Bonilla was in the news because Steve Cohen said he wanted to have a Bobby Bonilla Day at Citi Field (an idea first proposed here). The Nets, well, they were in the news because it’s finally over.
The Nets built a super-team much like the one the 1992 New York Mets were supposed to be. Like that Mets team, it was far more of a flop than anyone ever could have imagined leaving everyone to question what exactly went wrong.
Dwight Gooden was still battling his demons and shoulder issues. Howard Johnson and Dave Magadan were playing out of position. Jeff Torborg was way in over his head. When you break it down, the plan was well intentioned, but it was just bad.
Now, in 2023, we know exactly why the plan was bad. To be fair, in 1991-1992, it wasn’t as readily apparent. After all, everyone thought that team was a real World Series contender.
As for the Brooklyn Nets, past, present, and future wisdom will continue to tell you to grab superstars in the NBA because that is really the only chance to win a title. Because of that, the NBA player will always have a disproportionate amount of power. The thing is, the Nets took it too far and gave the power to the wrong players.
This is more than just Kyrie Irving. He will get the lion’s share of the blame as well he should. However, it wasn’t just him. James Harden forced his way out of Houston, and then, when he didn’t go to Philadelphia like he wanted, he forced his way there from Brooklyn.
Then, there is Kevin Durant, who might be the best player in the NBA right now. Like that 1992 Mets team, he didn’t belong in New York because it wasn’t the right place for him and his personality. He got into Twitter battles and tried to antagonize the New York Knicks fanbase needlessly.
Kyrie and Durant forced out a very good coach in Kenny Atkinson to replace him with Steve Nash. The goal was to run roughshod over the coach like they were the GM, and it ended with disaster. Eventually, Nash was fired for a competent head coach in Jacque Vaughn.
Through it all, this Nets group won one playoff series. When you have two superstars, that can’t happen. What also can’t happen is blowing up the team when they had a shot to win the NBA title.
After the KD injuries and Kyrie’s sometimes disinterest in basketball (which included the vaccine drama). They had a shot this season, and both players sought to go elsewhere. Again, it started with Kyrie.
This is why the Nets are a bigger flop than the 1992 Mets. That Mets team never had a chance. This Nets team did. More than that, they should have won at least once.
That 1992 Mets team wasn’t really built to win anything. We thought they did, but we know better now. However, the Nets, they could have won if they kept the team together, and really, didn’t cave to each and every one of Kyrie’s whims.