There is little arguing that the Nets won the championship of buzz the past few days, that they are the heavyweight champs of social media and water coolers. There is little debate that right now, in the final hours of June, they are the New York regional champions of whatever basketball’s version of hot stove (Ice box? Cold plate? Beer cooler?) is. If the men presently committed to wearing Nets uniforms next year challenged the men officially employed by the Knicks to a run to 21 at West Fourth Street or Rucker Park this morning, the smart money’s on the Nets. So there is that. But we should keep something else in mind before we start planning that rally in Cadman Plaza: there is a fundamental difference between what is interesting — maybe even fascinating — and what wins, or even challenges for, championships in the NBA. So right now, all we know about the Nets is this: they are, if nothing else, consistent to their blueprint. Hiring Jason Kidd? Interesting. Trading for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry? Fascinating. We’ll watch, there’s no doubt about that. The business gap between the Knicks and Nets certainly got a bit narrower in the past few days. New York loves stars, and that should be reflected on YES next year, where the Nets’ TV partners, the no-name 2013 Yankees, are in the middle of learning that harsh lesson. But in the same way there are no guarantees — and barely any probability — about what kind of coach Kidd is going to be, there is even less certainty about what the three C’s who’ll be arriving in Brooklyn July 10 will be able to actually bring with them from Boston. Although if we can use as testimony the last time we saw them in action, against the Knicks in the playoffs, that abbreviation for Garnett (37), Pierce (36 on opening night) and Terry (36 by then) could well stand for “calcified” instead of “Celtics.” It is an intriguing starting five, yes. Did the Nets make up the five games that separated them from the Knicks last year? It’s impossible not to think so. But will the three new imports, with all those miles logged, coming off seasons marked by declines ranging from notable to steep, really close the significant gap between the neighborhood where the Nets and Knicks both loitered last year — solidly upper middle-class — and the penthouse-dwelling Heat and the other two residents of the East’s gated community, the Pacers and Bulls? It’s hard to make a case for that. This was a bold move, yes, from the same playbook the Nets followed in giving a freshly retired icon in Kidd the keys to the chalkboard.
After trading for Garnett, Pierce, the Nets have short window for bold plan
New York Post | Jun 30