First known as the New Jersey Americans and then the New York and New Jersey Nets before making the move to Brooklyn, the team now known as the Brooklyn Nets has a rich and spirited history dating back to 1967. The team has a resume that includes 2 championships as part of the American Basketball Association, 4 division titles as part of the NBA, and 2 conference championships. Over the decades, their roster has featured some of the league’s biggest names, including Julius Erving, Buck Williams, Dražen Petrović, and Jason Kidd. Despite years of recent upsets, fans continue to be passionate about their team and rush to get tickets to watch them battle it out at the Barclays Center.
Beginning as the New Jersey Americans in 1967, the Brooklyn Nets were one of the original teams to play in the inaugural season of the American Basketball Association. By the second season, they had moved to Long Island and changed their name to the New York Nets, which they kept until 1977. During that time, they took home 2 ABA championships, first in 1974 and again in 1976. The ABA then merged with the NBA and within another year, they had returned to New Jersey, where they stayed until 2012.
The decades have been met with many ups and downs, including several periods of consecutively missing the playoffs. However, the team saw their greatest success in the early-to-mid-2000s, thanks to All-Star players like Alonzo Mourning and Jason Kidd. During Kidd’s 7-year tenure with the team, they appeared in 6 straight playoffs, took 4 division titles, and earned 2 conference championships. They made it all the way to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003 but lost to the Lakers and Spurs, respectively.
Following Kidd’s departure to the Dallas Mavericks in 2008, the Nets fell into a slump marked by 5 missed appearances in the playoffs. Then, in 2012, thanks to then-part owner Jay-Z, the Nets were relocated to his hometown of Brooklyn, where they’ve been playing ever since. The move reinvigorated both fans and players, and the team returned to the playoffs between 2013 and 2015. Today, under Head Coach Kenny Atkinson, the team is in a period of rebuilding as they work to regain their place in the conference. Watch them hit the harwood at the Barclays Center as they face off against rivals like the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and the New York Knicks.