The New Jersey Nets: One of the NBA's least inspired logos. "Let's see...they play basketball, and they're called the Nets...I know! Let's put a basketball under the word 'Nets'! That'll be sweet!"
Amid all the apologies, promises of great things to come, and general end-of-season hoopla that we’re bound to see at the ACC Thursday evening, many people may overlook the fact that this will be the last game the New Jersey Nets will ever play. The Nets are moving to Brooklyn next year, in the hopes that the “more accessible” location will yield better ticket sales. (I never understood how New Jersey, an hour’s drive from literally tens of millions of people, is inaccessible, but never mind.)
So I think it’s appropriate that we all pause to take a look at the significant role the Raptors have played in the surprisingly boring 36-year history of the New Jersey Nets.
- November 3, 1995: The Raptors host the Nets at SkyDome in the first Raptors game ever. Toronto wins 94-75, giving the Nets the dubious distinction of being the first team to lose to the Raptors.
- December 17, 2004: The Raptors trade Vince Carter to the Nets for…well, nothing really.
- May 4, 2007: The Nets squeak past the Raptors by a point to advance to the second round. It would be the last playoff series the New Jersey Nets would ever win. They haven’t made the playoffs since.
- March 2011: The Nets and Raptors play the first-ever NBA games in Europe. Predictably, the Raptors lose both.
- March 14, 2012: Celebrity side-show and former Raptor Kris Humphries grabs a career-high 21 rebounds in Toronto.
And for those who are looking for a reason to get excited about an otherwise meaningless game, consider this: coming into the final game of the season, not only are Toronto and New Jersey tied in the standings at 22-43, but their all-time head-to-head series is locked at 32 wins apiece:
As you can see on NBAuniverse.com, Thursday's Raps-Nets matchup will decide who gets the all-time bragging rights. "Bragging" being a relative term, of course.
That’s right. April 26th is the all-time tie-breaker. 17 years after becoming the first team to ever lose to the Toronto Raptors, can the Nets get revenge and give the Raptors the honour of being the last team ever to lose to the New Jersey Nets?
Buckle your seatbelts, folks. History is about to be made.
Update: The New Jersey Nets managed to lose the game by a shocking score of 98-67. Hey, Jay-Z…that feeling in the pit of your stomach? That’s called “buyer’s remorse”.