The excitement that has surrounded the Nets franchise this past week via the transformation from old and tired New Jersey Nets to super cool and hip Brooklyn Nets has been a nice change of pace.
“Buzz” and “excitement,” two words not normally attached to the Brooklyn Nets, may as well be cemented with the unveiling of the new Nets brand. The Nets are cool now. Merchandise and tickets are selling quickly, people are snapping pictures of mannequins wearing Nets fitteds and national media members are tweeting about whether or not the ‘B’ in the Nets logo stands for Brooklyn or if it was a not so subtle attempt at a shout-out from Jay-Z to Beyonce. (Which is ridiculous, but still).
But, while this shiny new toy will be fun for a while, at certain point the gloss will wear off, the excitement will fade and the Nets will shift back to being an “ordinary” basketball team with the ordinary goal of, ya know, winning basketball games. And that task hasn’t always been easy for the Nets. OK, it’s never been easy for the Nets.
By all accounts, Nets CEO Brett Yormark is a sharp guy with a keen marketing sense (I’ll go ahead and throw Jay-Z in that marketing guru mix as well), and he finally has a product with a permanent home that he can market to a fan base hungry for a home team. But you can wrap poop up in the most exquisite packaging imaginable, you can put the greatest sales and marketing team behind poop, you can have the most brilliant graphic designers design logos for your poop, but it still doesn’t change the fact that it’s poop. And it’s hard to forget that this Nets roster could quite possibly be poop.
The undeniable questions still remain:
- Will Deron Williams re-sign?
- Will the Nets have a first-round draft pick?
- What’s to come of Brook Lopez?
Until they get answered, we won’t really know just how popular these Nets can become. Seats will be filled this first year, but a 20-win season will quickly make the Barclay’s Center go silent.
That’s the thing about buzz and excitement. It can sell you tickets, but they can’t win you games. And the win column is the area of the organization that almost always evaded them.
So for now, let’s all as a collective fan base enjoy Brooklyn and our new look (which is awesome) for a while. But let’s not forget that the road to permanent NBA relevancy comes on the court, not on the billboards.