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The much anticipated official opening of Barclays Center went down on Friday night with Jay-Z opening up the building with his first of eight concerts. Not only did Barclays become official, but so did the Brooklyn Nets uniforms with Jay-Z taking the stage with a personalized jersey with the number 4 on it. After some previous leaks thanks to NBA 2K13 and an alleged adidas employee tweeting a pic, all of the guessing is now gone and we now know what the jerseys look like without a doubt.

I'm a huge fan of the simplicity and black and white color scheme, although there still seems to be some detractors out there on the interwebs. However, I have a theory they're really New York Knicks fans trolling as Nets fans just to hate for the sake of hating. To reference Jay's good friend and Kim Kardashian sucka, Kanye West, I guess the Nets just need to watch the money pile up. And if the amount of Nets merchandise I've seen around the NYC area is any indication, the pile is getting high.

And it's about to get higher because not only did Jay-Z reveal the jerseys, they're now on sale. I'm still conflicted on which player's jersey I should get as I'm considering Deron Williams or Brook Lopez. Eh, I'll figure it out. In any case, check below for some more pictures of HOV with his Nets jersey on in all its glory.... MORE →


Here it is, the weekend edition of Blueprint For Ball on NAS. So, what to talk about? What else?!?!?! The Brooklyn Nets opening up their new building, the Barclays Center, and a new era against NYC rival, the New York Knicks. Unlike what I would say is a majority, I welcome the pressure and the challenge of that game. Let's go!

Leave your comments below or hit me up on Twitter!



Here it is a day early! Blueprint For Ball podcast coming at you again! I take a look at the pieces of the puzzle on the Brooklyn Nets roster, what Dwight Howard's agent said that has to make you think that Dwightmare is going to come back again, no question! And, finally, who runs New York - the New York Knicks or the Brooklyn Nets? You know what I'm going to say, what do you all think? Leave your comments below, lovin' or hatin', it's all good! Paz, Netheads!


Thanks to CHill over at for the dope background music!


Okay, we can all move on with our lives. Forget about Dwight Howard and roll with what the Brooklyn Nets currently have, which so far, is a pretty damn good squad. Leave your comments below and let me know what you want to hear about! Let's go, Netheads!



Welcome to the first episode of Blueprint For Ball, a podcast about the Brooklyn Nets and their rise to the top of the NBA. It will be posted every Saturday with some additional content during the week should any Nets news warrant it. For now, enjoy the podcast, which is basically a rant by me and will hopefully evolve into something other than just listening to me. Seriously, what do I know?!?!

Please leave comments and suggestions below. Thanks for the listen, Netheads!



The Nets revealed their new branding strategy that coincides with their move from New Jersey to Brooklyn and most fans are ecstatic about it. For those that aren't, we'll assume they're Jersey residents losing their home team, which is ironic since Brooklyn also had their home team (Brooklyn Dodgers) leave back in the late 1950s, although to a whole different coast. In time, I'm fairly certain these people will love the Brooklyn version of the Nets, particularly if the team eventually end up being consistent winners. We can only hope.

Our neighbors to the west aside, there has already been some beef about the Brooklyn-centric branding from Nets fans residing in non-BK boroughs in New York. It's rare to have Nets fans nowadays, let alone outside of New Jersey or anyone not masochistic, so to actually hear people taking offense to the Brooklyn branding of the Nets is kind of surreal. Yet, I had a first dose of that umbrage recently on Twitter when someone from Queens, NY felt like they couldn't root for the Nets anymore because it was basically all Brooklyn everything with the branding. It was an unexpected tweet because I didn't know the Nets had that reach into my home borough... Jackson Heights, Corona, East Elmhurst, Flushing, and Jamaica STAND UP!

Now, see what I did there? I did the typical shout-out that many people from around the way make and it's all about having pride in where we come from. So, while I don't throw up the Q (which actually seems impossible to me unless you want to look ridiculous), I understand people wanting to "represent." To some degree, we're all guilty of this. But, no one is more guilty or more effective or more passionate than Brooklyn is at it. At least in New York and this is coming from a boy from Queens, so save the hate.

Nowadays we see the root of "repping" your borough/city through hip-hop music and Biggie's query for "Where Brooklyn at?" is as iconic a shout-out as any continued more recently with Santogold's melodic statement of "Brooklyn we go hard" on a Jay-Z track. However, even old-timers will defend their Brooklyn origins and pass it down to their children, who will do the same in kind with their children and so on and so on. For these reasons, as much as others, the Nets are banking on this Brooklyn pride to take root with the team and grow, nurtured by the blatant Brooklyn-centric branding. It's a big gamble with a big payoff.

So, while the other boroughs may feel slighted by the strategy, consider the hold that the New York Knicks have on the whole New York City area. Obviously, they're the legacy and natural fallback for fandom to those in the metro area. If the Nets are going to win the area over and convert Knicks fans to Nets fans, other than winning (or rather in addition to), the team has to handle homebase - Brooklyn. Get BK to get your back and you're good.

Personally, I'm old enough to remember the borough wars on wax back in the 1980s and in one of the bigger diss tracks during that time, KRS-One of Boogie Down Productions rhymes the following in The Bridge is Over:

Manhattan keeps on makin' it, Brooklyn keeps on takin' it...

Those lyrics describe the mission the Nets are on. While the Knicks are "makin'" it in Manhattan, the Nets are planning on "takin'" it with the "it" being the most passionate basketball fans in the world. And it all starts with this branding.


According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, the Orlando Magic are closer to trading Dwight Howard since D12 has not given a commitment to the franchise, as well as his own lip service saying that he wants to stay with the Magic for the rest of the season:

Dwight Howard's public plea late Tuesday to remain in Orlando for the rest of the season has only served to anger the Magic and has instead pushed them closer than ever to trading their superstar center, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.

After yesterday's report of Howard basically already choosing the Nets and "playing" the Magic to keep him for the season so that the Nets don't gut the team in a trade for him, it's no wonder the Magic are seemingly starting to change their minds. And, of course, they're blaming the agent:

The tension between the two sides has grown. According to sources, the Magic are incensed with Howard's agent, Dan Fegan, whom they believe has manipulated Howard and is the driving force behind his push to leave the franchise.

This is may be true, but this shouldn't all be coming to a head now. A deal was done between Magic GM Otis Smith and Billy King, but Magic ownership nixed it. And ever since then, Howard has never rescinded a trade request he made a few months ago. It's honestly sad that it has come to this and is a shining example of how the NBA is a business that can be cutthroat at times. Sure, we like the dunks, the last second buzzer-beaters, Kevin Durant, and all that good stuff, but at the end of the day, it's going to be about money. And not just from what a franchise can pay you in salary either, especially in this case.

According to ESPN Insider/Broussard, the Nets are open to trading for Dwight Howard now, business as usual and no low-balling:

While the Nets would love to get Dwight Howard as a free agent, thus enabling them to keep Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks and all their other assets to build around Howard and Deron Williams, their preference is to get him before the trade deadline; just because you never know what can happen in free agency.

It's definitely the safe move for the Nets and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm sure many Nets fans and those in the front office are feeling particularly tense about all of this and some relief would be welcome. To that end, the Nets are looking to bring in some other teams to make any Dwight Howard trade happen:

They'd rather trade for Howard this week and have the security of knowing he's a Net, even if it means losing some of their good young pieces and draft picks. To that end, the Nets are seeking a third team to sweeten their offer to Orlando. Orlando is believed to be trying to create a bidding war between the Nets and the Lakers for Howard. New Jersey is talking with Charlotte about a deal that would enable it to obtain Boris Diaw and his $9 million expiring contract to clear a bit more cap room for the summer.

So, with the Magic's eyes becoming more clear, so is the possibility of Dwight Howard being moved before tomorrow's trade deadline at 3PM ET, a mere 24 hours from now. The question is, to whom? Will the Magic pawn off the problem of D12 opting for free agency in July to a team like the Houston Rockets who are willing to take their chances? Will the Los Angeles Lakers be okay with trading Andrew Bynum (and possibly Pau Gasol)? Or will the Magic trade with the team that Howard wants? Something big is happening and it's going to happen soon. Hang tight!

Just for fun, I'm linking something I wrote over a year ago about trading Brook Lopez for Dwight Howard.


Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld is reporting that the Nets and Utah Jazz have discussed a trade that would send one of Deron Williams' closest friends in the NBA, C.J. Miles, to New Jersey in exchange for Anthony Morrow and Johan Petro. The trade would open up more cap space during the offseason with both Morrow ($8 million left up to 2012-13 season) and Petro ($6.75 million up to 2012-13) off the books along with Miles expiring (3.7 this year), freeing up almost $11 million for next season.

While it would be great to get rid of Petro's contract, it would be bittersweet with the departure of Morrow, easily the Nets' best shooter, as well as a player Dwight Howard said he'd like to play with while he was touring in Russia last offseason. If/When Howard joins the Nets, Morrow's ability to hit the open jumper, particularly from behind the arc, would be a great asset to create more space down low for Howard (and possibly Brook Lopez if he's still with the team). Swapping out Morrow and putting in Jordan Farmar, who has a $4.25 million player option for next season, would be more desirable for the Nets, but not a more attractive piece from the Jazz's point of view.

This trade scenario is most likely contingent on any trade involving D12 for the Nets. If the Orlando Magic look like they'll keep Howard, then the clearing of cap space commences for the Nets and we very well may be saying "goodbye" to Morrow and "don't let the door hit you in the @%$" to Petro. Only a day and 5.5 hours left, my friends.


It's been a grind for all parties involved with the Dwight Howard situation AKA Dwightmare. From the player himself, the Orlando Magic and its front office, and the New Jersey Nets and their somewhat desperate fanbase. Except for the Nets, this D12 waiting game and almost palpable suffering is scooped on top of previous laments (and eventual joy in acquiring Deron Williams) after going through last season's Melodrama with Carmelo Anthony. Well, Nets fans, it seems some overdue respite and cheer will be on the way!

According to one of the more credible writers out there, Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski says that Dwight Howard is "determined" to join the Nets either by trade or during July's free agency period. Yes, let that sink in. Go ahead, take a breath and evaporate any pain. Dwight. Howard. Wants. Us.

For everything Dwight Howard has told the Orlando Magic management about bringing him a stronger supporting cast, about the possibility that he could still sign an extension, it has turned into a complete ruse – a misdirection play on his eventual signing with the Brooklyn-bound New Jersey Nets, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

To go even further...

From a business perspective, it made sense for Martins to hold onto Howard until the last possible moment. He still sells tickets, sponsorships and, yes, banks victories that will get the Magic into the playoffs even if Howard is traded by Thursday. Nevertheless, there’s no misunderstanding from Howard’s camp that they will eventually sign with the Nets at the July 1 start of free agency, sources said.

It seems that Howard also prefers to sign with the Nets during free agency, so that the organization doesn't have to gut its talent base in order to trade for Howard.

Said another official, who has been involved in deal talks with Orlando, New Jersey and the agents in the process: “Dwight is going to [expletive] them, and that will be especially true if he doesn’t even ask for the sign-and-trade on July 1, because he wants Brooklyn to keep assets.”

And the Nets seem to be of the same thinking.

If Orlando goes to New Jersey before the trade deadline searching for a multi-team deal, the Nets are confident enough they’ll sign Howard on July 1 that they could reject any proposal that forces them to give up too many assets.

However, it's kind of safe to say that any way the Nets can get Howard, trade or free agency, will be a huge relief for the Nets and its fanbase. Going into Brooklyn with D-Will and D12 is a perfect way to open up a new building and even more importantly, a new era.


I'm a lucky fella.  Not only do I get to write for Nets Are Scorching, but I also contribute to The Basketball Jones. Last week I was reading and hearing a lot of hate about the New Jersey Nets' trade proposal to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard; a proposal with Brook Lopez at the heart of what the Magic would get back. Soon after the news broke out, the Los Angeles Lakers stepped into the fray with Andrew Bynum being the main piece going back to the Magic... and like that, it became a battle between Brook and Bynum.

Many, or rather most, took the side of Bynum and disregarded Bropez's 20 point 2010-11 campaign. Some even put his durability to the side because Bynum's upside was incredibly high! Oh. Kay. So, after a few more days and exponentially more Brook-bashing, I couldn't take it anymore. I wrote up a Brook versus Bynum article to show a few things:

1) Brook isn't as bad as people are saying
2) Bynum is kind of overrated, especially after being in the league for six seasons
3) In head-to-head play, Brook kills

Now, I could have published the article here, but I would simply be preaching to the choir. So, I published it on The Basketball Jones to show the general NBA-loving masses how good Brook is. Check it out, read it, comment, yadda, yadda, yadda. I'll say this - once people make up their minds about a player, there's no convincing a person to think differently.


Considering what we all went through as Nets fans last season with the Carmelo Anthony shenanigans, or rather the "Melo Drama," it's been hard to fully feel 100% about anything. So, with the current Dwight Howard situation, what the Orlando Magic media are calling a "Dwightmare," the last couple of days has been a rollercoaster to say the least.

The high we must have all felt a couple of days ago with the information from ESPN's Chris Broussard about D12 wanting to come to the Nets was quickly mucked up. Revelations of possible tampering charges and the Los Angeles Lakers keeping enough away trade pieces (specifically Andrew Bynum) from their three-team trade involving the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets that would send Chris Paul to L.A. had to temper, if not totally dissolve any joy we might have all felt about the tangible possibility of Superman coming to town.

Well, it's been tweeted by one of the more reliable, if not the most reliable, NBA writers that Dwight Howard does indeed want to come to the Nets. Tweet from Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski:

[blackbirdpie url="!/WojYahooNBA/status/145639584053727232"]

That tweet was soon followed by confirmation from the Orlando Sentinel's Joshua Robbins that Magic GM Otis Smith acknowledged the trade request:

[blackbirdpie url="!/WojYahooNBA/status/145640246506307584"]

So, have hope once again Nets fans! Woj's information is usually rock solid and he has a strong track record in his reporting of various NBA news. Personally, I'm at about an 85 out of 100 right now. If D12 signs, I'll be at a 1,245,493,309.7.

#4: Buck Williams

Posted on: October 18th, 2011 by Dennis Velasco Comments


Before converting to my current Nets fandom due to a series of idiotic events that began with the hiring of Scott Layden, I was a New York Knicks fan. Save your boos and cheer on the converted. I see the high potential with the Nets and won't revert back to rooting for the Knicks to any degree until I see the demise of, well, I won't let this post get that dark. But fans of the New York Mets should know what I'm talking about.

In any case, even as a Knicks fan spoiled by big men Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, and Charles Smith (kidding!), I still gave a lot of props to Charles Linwood Williams AKA Buck Wiliams. How could you not give the man his respect? Okay, well, that was actually easy because of the aforementioned Knicks being a huge attraction thanks to Ewing's dominance, rendering the Nets as "there's an NBA team in New Jersey" fodder.
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