Former New Jersey Nets center Johan Petro, the only seven-footer to ever combine the malnourished look with a beer gut, the player who scored the final points in New Jersey Nets history, AKA Beeker from the Muppets AKA The Human Magic Marker AKA The Seven-Footlong-Subway-Sub AKA one half of the R&B Duo “The Momentum Killers” with former Nets guard Sundiata Gaines, is starting tonight for the Atlanta Hawks against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets signed Petro in the 2010 offseason to a three-year deal worth $10 million as a consolation prize after missing out on LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. Before the Nets packaged him in the trade to acquire Joe Johnson, Petro earned his deal by averaging like 39 points and 17 rebounds per game without ever missing a shot. I didn’t have to look those numbers up because I can feel them in my soul.
(Seriously, the plodding Petro was an eloquent symbol of the frequent incompetence, both on the floor and in the front office, that made New Jersey Nets basketball so unappealing to watch for the two years they were in Newark and nearly sent Deron Williams reeling for Dallas in the 2012 offseason.)
Petro starts in place of Zaza Pachulia, who is out with a sore Achilles.