These days in late November, it’s a little hard for some of the NBA’s finest fans to cope with the fact that we aren’t seeing those logoed uniforms zipping up and down the hardwood on TV and in the Prudential Center. Does it suck that the league hasn’t been cooperating to put out a brand-spanking-new season as we’d normally expect?
Short answer: yeah. It sucks. But a lot of things suck harder.
It’s hard to really be heartbroken to the point of devastation when gas is hard to buy, rent and mortgages are literally keeping people from take care of other responsibilities, and the cold weather is only going to make us as bitter as the air. Still, we can be thankful for what we have, and while the New Jersey Nets aren’t actually active, we can be thankful that they still exist in some form. Here are some good reasons to ponder thankfulness. Glasses up!
- Jay-Z and Mikhail Prokhorov kept the team from being seriously considered for league contraction.
It’s not that the NBA had gotten that far into thinking about the lockout back in 2008 and 2009, but ideas were already being thrown around about what franchises were more dissolvable than others. The Nets weren’t exactly setting the league on fire, which made Jay’s co-sign and Prokhorov's bailout of the franchise virtually bulletproof. We don’t know how this lockout is going to turn out, but just be thankful this star power kept the team from being thrown about like a neglected rag doll.
- Deron Williams is actually optimistic about the Nets.
It’s not news that Deron isn’t always bright and sunny-like (as we learned from his Utah days). That’s not to say Deron is an unhappy guy, but we just know that he’s fairly stoic about expressing his options (then again, Utah and New Jersey aren’t ideal settings when you think of signing a long-term contract). That he’s been talking upwards about the future of the team is a good sign. Let’s just appreciate this before he makes any other sudden movements.
- The lockout is keeping us from being reminded of the New Jersey's mediocre talent.
Jordan Farmar has been my personal disappointment for the past three years. Travis Outlaw is another chief offender (though I feel he was overvalued and misused in the process). I’m not exactly salivating over Brook Lopez these days, either. In a sense, the blessing of the lockout is that fans of the Nets can just focus on getting the team back out and not put too much attention on the fact that the team is crowded with relative disappointments up and down the roster.
- Kris Humphries’ offseason foray into celebrity marriage makes the Nets a little more interesting.
Honestly, I’ve always felt that Kris was a worthy NBA player that seemed to not get the best fits early on in his career. I was happy when he finally arrived in New Jersey and started getting minutes and playing like I felt he was capable. Though he was under the radar, he's always been talented. Now he’s famous, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll blossom even further as a player in the process, or whether he’ll wither in the face of the media keeping a post-Kardashian eye on his mug.
Regardless of Prokhorov’s stature as a playboy and savvy billionaire, the Nets’ hope is based on their aura as a business and less so about their current roster. It’s because of their impending move to Brooklyn in New York City that they have the appeal of an up-and-coming Fortune 500 business. I’ll take whatever I can get, regardless of the cache.