— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) October 11, 2016
The Brooklyn Nets franchise is in the retooling phase after smartly hiring Sean Marks as their general manager and buying out Joe Johnson’s contract last season. They’re a long way off from the Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, Cool Joe four-headed hydra that brought so much faux excitement to a New York City borough when Mikhail Prokhorov and the guy who shares a surname with that crappy movie director decided to land a spaceship near the Vanderbilt Yards of Atlantic Avenue. The expensive lineup and new Barclays center won just one playoff series in their whole four-year tenure since the move (with Coke-spilling Jason Kidd as coach), and it became clear to them — long after it was clear to anyone with an iota of intelligence watching the NBA — that they’d have to start over again. (To be clear about that, we don’t blame former GM Billy Hunter, or any of the Nets coaches for this inattention to reality. We blame Prokhorov. If you read somewhere that Spencer Lund has mysteriously disappeared, please send the link to this post to the NYPD.)
This is that year for the rebuild, finally. All the big names, save a pre-cap hike Brook Lopez deal, are gone (Thad Young bounced to Indy), and they brought in Jeremy Lin to infuse the fans with something other than dread this season. On top of that, former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett was signed off the bust scrap heap for the league minimum.
Bennett recently filmed a video for the Nets that looks like a PSA, but is really just a way to amp the fans about this year, and possibly pump up the Barclays crowd during a lull in action on the court (don’t even think about making a “the whole game is a lull in action” joke because we just did it in this parenthetical). Except, as you can see in the video above, Bennet inadvertently asked fans NOT to watch the Nets.
“This is Anthony Bennet of the Brooklyn Nets. Don’t watch us play this season.”
Sure thing Tony.
I know we’re not selling the Nets very well or our readers, and neither did Bennett. But DIME has an office in New York, and we’ll likely be going to a few Nets games this year, just so someone who loves basketball pays them money to watch (barring how dreadful they looked against the Heat the other night). Plus, they have some young talent that will be fun to see grow.
But remember, Brooklyn fans are either New Jersey transplants, Jay Z sycophants, or non-basketball fans in Park Slope who thought it would be cute to bring their 4-year-old to a game because they might get a free, cannon-fired T-shirt after giving an adjacent kid a bloody nose with their angled elbow to snatch it.
Most astute basketball fans in Brooklyn were cheering the orange and blue long before the move to Barclays, and even with James Dolan still in charge, it’s hard to switch allegiances so late in life.
Bennett’s inadvertent mistake might not actually be a mistake at all.