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Why the Nets AREN'T an Embarrassment to the NBA

Brian Deakyne, staff writer

Yes, the Nets did make a serious run at becoming the worst team in NBA history, a mark no team--or fans--want to endure.

Certainly, their 12-70 record from this season is not something to smile about, but, as millions across the country watch the epic between the Celtics and Lakers, a storied rivalry, there's no reason to imagine why the New Jersey Nets can't be there.

Don't call me crazy just yet--hear me out.

After witnessing a season filled with empty seats, injuries, bad losses, close losses, and promotions that included the assumption of the number one overall pick, it wouldn't be too far off to predict more severely sub-par seasons to come.

But no, not for this team.

In fact, it really only was eight years ago when this very organization was deemed unstoppable, crowning themselves Eastern Conference Champions two years in a row.

So how is it, that a once-dominant team, has turned to brunt failure, disappointment and down-right embarrassment?

It certainly doesn't have to do with the players. With stars like Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, this is a team that was built for the playoffs. What it has to do with is attitude. Those aforementioned players do indeed have the talent to play with anyone, and it was proven in their 104-96 win at Boston on February 27th.

If Harris steps up and takes a captain-esque role, these Nets will have a team filled with fire, ambition, and most importantly, confidence.

Attitude isn't the only thing to look up to for the upcoming years. After several years of playing in the below-average Continental Airlines Arena (renamed the Izod Center), New Jersey will be moving to the luxurious Prudential Center, in Newark, home of the New Jersey Devils, for the next two seasons while they're plans to move to Brooklyn are under construction.

Also, earlier today, the Nets finally acquired a coach for a team that was without a general for a large majority of last season. Avery Johnson, previously the coach of the Dallas Mavericks and and ESPN analyst, reached a verbal agreement with New Jersey to serve as coach. With a career winning percentage of .735, the highest in NBA history, this move makes sense in so many ways.

Yes, the Nets did suffer from the lottery, which resulted in them acquiring the third overall pick, but, signs are showing that this team is on the rise once again.

With Avery's genuine and winning attitude on the bench, combined with a fanbase that is ready to support a talented team, there's every reason to believe that we will be watching the 2010-2011 New Jersey Nets in the NBA finals in approximately 365 days.

I know, my math is a little off, seeing as they will probably have their first NBA title in about 360 days or so.