Today is the day.
I know you haven’t lived under a rock for the past six years, so I won’t bore you with the background details. You know what it took to get here. You know this has been a long time coming.
You can say the logo is too simple. You can say that the color scheme is too bland. Maybe. But that’s precisely the point. The Nets’ colors and logos have gotten bigger, flashier, and bolder over the past 35 years. The red uniforms are about as bright as red gets before turning to magenta. The Jersey Strong logo is bold, bold, bold. Look at us! We’re bright red, white, and blue! We’re throwing back to a time we weren’t a part of!
Brooklyn — or at least the brand — isn’t that. Brooklyn is history. Brooklyn is tradition. Brooklyn is iconic. The Brooklyn Nets aspire to everything the New Jersey Nets weren’t and could never become, everything the Nets wanted to brand themselves as but never could on this side of the river. In Teaneck, East Rutherford, and Newark, it was inauthentic fool’s gold. In Brooklyn, it’s black and white diamonds.
It’s the opposite of flash, of empty pomp. It’s simple: black, white, basketball, Nets. There’s no flanking banners or planetary rings. It’s strength. It’s confidence. It’s what Jay-Z and Mikhail Prokhorov have dreamed about in the past four seasons. (Bruce Ratner too, perhaps for different reasons.) It’s a new arena, a new roster, a new locker room (desperately needed). It’s a chance to finally get the hell out of a state that didn’t treat its team well and never quite seemed sure why or how to fix that. It’s a fresh start; today, we finally can shut up about waiting for the culture change and watch it happen.
None of that will mean dick if the Brooklyn Nets throw a similar product on the floor that we’ve seen in the last three years. But just for today, before yet another “most important offseason in Nets history,” I’m glad to pretend that this matters more, that branding a reality can help the Brooklyn Nets fake it ’til they make it.