In their annual NBA League Pass Rankings, Grantland’s Zach Lowe and Bill Simmons gave the Nets (or “Nyets,” as they called them) 51 points out of 100, ranking them as the 21st-most fun team to watch in the league, almost exclusively because of YES Network announcer Ian Eagle.
The two ranked each team on watchability from 0-10 by five categories: Relevance/Zeitgeist, Hoops Nerdgasm Potential, League Pass Minutiae, Individual Player Appeal, and Unintentional Comedy/Irrational Affection/Personality Intangibles. They then combined their scores to make an official ranking out of 100.
Lowe says the team “isn’t fun to watch,” but ranked highly thanks to their herringbone court and “the single best top-to-bottom announce team in the league.” Simmons added points for the delightful Irina Pavlova, who runs the USA branch of ONEXIM Sports & Entertainment. Both Lowe and Simmons had high praise for Ian Eagle, who Lowe called a “god among mortals” and Simmons added, “I hope Prokhorov is paying him $20 million a year.”
On the court, Lowe also touted the possibility for positional wonkiness with their three European players: Andrei Kirilenko, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Mirza Teletovic, but there’s not much beyond that to bring in an outside viewer. There is the intrigue about how Deron Williams’s ankles will hold up, or if Brook Lopez can come back fully healthy from his latest foot injury.
In another section of the rankings, Simmons and Lowe kick back-and-forth a Kings-Nets Deron Williams trade, saying the Kings would “roll the dice” on Williams and the Nets should jump at the opportunity to get rid of him:
Simmons: Anyway, I can’t wait for Vivek’s annual Make-A-Splash trade that will undoubtedly boost this ranking. Do they have the balls to rent Rondo for a few months? Would they roll the dice with Deron Williams? Could this be our David West team? My money is on Deron. Just a gut feeling.
Lowe: The Kings trading the farm for a point guard after signing Darren Collison and anointing him the missing piece even though he’s not good, then signing Ramon Sessions to play ahead of Ray McCallum, then trading the farm for a point guard — that would be fantastic. The Nets are optimistic about Williams’s ankles, but they should dump him the first chance they get.
By these five standards, I give the Nets a 27 out of 50.
Grantland: The Annual NBA League Pass Rankings, Part 1