As much as I’d like to laud the Nets for battling to the end of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Monday night before falling, 116-112, to get swept off the Barclays Center floor by the Celtics, I just can’t. This was the most disappointing season in my nearly 50 years of Nets fandom. Hyped by everyone from Las Vegas to Brooklyn as a favorite for the league title, the Nets ended up as a seventh-place team who couldn’t win a single playoff game (the play-in victory over Cleveland doesn’t count in NBA postseason records).
Besides having Irving, Simmons, and Harden this past season (three of the most hated NBA players in the league) the Nets roster was very hard to root for as a fan. Bruce Brown showed fire and KD is amazing (other than in the playoffs) but that was it.
Joe Harris was injured almost all season. The Vets, Aldridge, Griffin, Dragic didn't get enough consistent playing time. The rookies of Thomas, Edwards and Sharpe barely made any impact and couldn't crack a playoff rotation. Drummond and Curry did not to want to be here. Mills sputtered since the halfway point. Claxton showed promise again (for the third season in a row) and also was injury ridden and out of half the games again.
As a fan you want players to root for, and most of these are not guys you want to root for. There was no team camaraderie, little passion, and way too much selfish not caring about basketball or team play. I wish Marks could start over. I'd rather rebuild with young guys with fire than with KI and Simmons but the Nets are stuck with mess.
It's dumb thinking but I'm still hopeful Irving and Simmons may grow up next season. Hopefully Joe Harris can come back full strength. Claxton can stay healthy. Maybe Curry is traded for a stretch PF and Marks brings in better Free Agents that do care about culture (limited sadly with the cap) - most importantly a solid backup PG that can play 20 minutes a game.