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In Rod We Trust...Or Do We????

In Rod We Trust...Or Do We???by Adam Orecchio
It is a question that nobody seems to really want to ask because the answer strikes fear into the hearts of all fans who invest emotion into ANY sports franchise. But when you take a glance at the New Jersey Nets franchise over the last decade or so, one has to wonder: What is the true motivation of the ownership and front office of this team?
We think we have it figured out. New Jersey has abandoned every star and semistar it has had this entire decade in an effort to clear capspace for the famous (or infamous) Free-Agent class of 2010. The result? Epic futility to the likes of which nobody has ever seen before. This in all likelyhood will go down as one the worst two or three teams in ANY sport of all time. A young group of underachievers playing bad basketball in what is essentially an empty gymnasium. A seemingly divided locker room (as evidenced by some interesting comments from Devin Harris and Rafer Alston) and a group of guys that simply does not look like they're having much fun at all on the court.
We have seen it time and time again in sports. Teams tanking, selling off assets, sending away precious draft picks, future stars and franchise players simply to cut payroll and make the bottom line look a bit more tidy at the end of the year. As for us fans? We are told to be patient. Wait it out. There's a PLAN in place. Things will get better. Think about the future.
I'm looking at the future right now. I'm peering into my crystal ball and the future is clear as day. I see a team with no real draw at all for free-agents-to-be. A second fiddle, second-rate franchise with pipe dreams of a Brooklyn Arena (which is allegedly breaking ground; I'll believe it when I can walk into the joint), a losing culture, a roster full of mediocre young talent and a lifeless arena.
So as we all sit back and watch the losses continue to pile up, wondering what the future holds and thinking about Lebron James or Dwane Wade or Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire in a Nets uniform and taking solace that we will land a big timer this offseason, just remember we HAD a contender. We HAD a nucleus that was competing year in and year out with Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, RJ and co. But we pawned all that off to win more games in the long run? Really??
I want to believe. I really do.
Time will tell...