Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Nets Retired Numbers

The Nets begin their season tonight, the 50th in Franchise history! I've only been watching since mid 1995-96, when I discovered the NBA existed, but I've read as much as I possibly can about the sport's history since then.

One of the things that fascinates me is jersey numbers, and especially retired numbers.

There is no higher honor a team can bestow than retiring the jersey number they wore.

I thought I would take a look at the jersey numbers retired by the Nets over the entire history of the team.

There have been 51 numbers used in Nets history, 7 of which have been retired. They Are:

  • 3 Drazen Petrovic
  • 4 Wendell Ladner
  • 5 Jason Kidd
  • 23 John Williamson
  • 25 Bill Melchionni
  • 32 Julius Erving
  • 52 Buck Williams
Drazen Petrovic, a native of Croatia, played for the Nets from  1990-91 through 1992-93. He appeared in 195 games for the Nets. During the offseason between 1992-93 and 1993-94  he was killed in an accident on Germany's Autobahn. He was 28 years old.
1991-92 Skybox #599
Wendell Ladner played only one season with the Nets, 1974-75 in the ABA. He appeared in 55 games with the Nets, but is more well known for posing in the Burt Reynolds fashion- wearing nothing but a hat! Ladner was killed in an airplane crash on June 24th, 1975, at only 26 years old. The rarest Net retired number on cards, he only ever had one card issued.
1974-75 Topps #244
Jason Kidd was traded to the Nets during the offseason between 2000-01 and 2001-02. He would lead the Nets to the NBA Finals in both 2001-02 and 2002-03, the only times the Nets have gotten that far in the NBA, and ranks among the leaders in just about every relevant category in Nets franchise history. He played with the Nets until mid-2007-08 and played 506 games as a Net. He also coached the team in 2013-14.
2002-03 Fleer Box Score Dish & Swish Memorabilia
John Williamson played with the Nets from 1973-74 through part of 1976-77 when he was traded to the Indiana Pacers. During the 1977-78 season, the Pacers traded him back to the Nets where he played until midway through 1979-80. In total he played 405 games for the Nets over 7 seasons, 208 of those 405 while in the ABA. Williamson was the starting point guard on the Nets' two ABA Championship teams, he died from complications of Diabetes in 1996 at only 45 years old.
1976-77 Topps #113

Bill Melchionni played for the Nets solely in their ABA days, joining the team in 1969-70. He would remain with the team until the final year of the ABA, in 1975-76, and did not transition back to the NBA with the team. (He played two years with the 76ers before joining the Nets) He played 502 games with the Nets.
Unfortunately this is the only good card I have of him, I do not yet have his card from 1972-73 or 73-74 Topps. So, I have to post this one in two consecutive posts.
1971-72 Topps #199
Julius "Dr.J" Erving played only three years with the Nets, but was the main superstar on the team when the Nets won their two ABA Championships. When the Nets moved to the NBA, they could not afford to keep him and his contract was sold to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he went on to become one of the greatest legends in league history, and guided the 76ers to the NBA Championship in 1983. He played 252 games with the Nets.
2014-15 Panini Threads ABA Legends #4

Buck Williams leads the Nets in many statistical categories, including most posts scored in franchise history. When most people think of the Nets he is not the name usually first thought of, but when you consider his stats, they are impressive: He ranks 1st in Franchise history for Most Games played, most minutes played, most baskets made and attempted, most free throws made and attempted, rebounds (total, offensive and defensive) and points scored, being the only Net to score 10,000 points with the franchise. (10,440) Second place is Brook Lopez, who will most likely hit only 9000 career points this season.
He also ranks 6th in steals and third in blocks and field goal percentage. The only statistical category that matters that he does not rank in franchise top 10 is 3 point shooting, which in his day, centers simply didn't do.
He played 635 games over 8 seasons for the Nets, from 1981-82 through 1988-89.
1984-85 Star #99
And there you have it! The Nets don't retire numbers too often, and I don't believe they have plans to retire any during the 2016-17 season. No player in the Brooklyn era has had their number retired yet, although since that only began in 2012-13, the majority of the players who have played in this era are still active. I expect Brook Lopez's #11 to join this list at some point, but he is still very much active- I'm typing this as I watch the season opener in Boston, in fact.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Nets Uniform History

I originally posted this on my main blog, Cardboard History, as the first post in a series covering every NBA team. Each post takes on average 7 hours to create, so I have only done four of them so far. I have updated it for this post on Nothing But Nets. You can see the original post by clicking HERE.
I have chosen the Nets, my favorite team and the one I am the most knowledgeable about to kick off this look at all the different jerseys worn by the teams- or at least those that appear on trading cards in my collection.

Current Logo: (All team logos shown in this series have been cropped off of the backs of 2015-16 Complete base cards)
History: Founded in 1967 as the New Jersey Americans, the team now known as the Nets was one of the charter ABA franchises, and the only one to directly challenge an NBA team for city supremacy, a rivalry that is still ongoing all these years later. The team played one year as the Americans, and there are, to my knowledge, no cards whatsoever that show any Americans players.

For the 1968-69 season, the team was rebranded as the New York Nets, after a move to Long Island, and would remain the New York Nets for the remainder of the ABA's history.

The first Nets cards would appear in the 1971-72 Topps set, but the jerseys are poorly shown at best. These jerseys worn in this set would not appear again. In fact, I have no clue what the road uniform looks like beyond what appears on the card shown.
1971-72 Topps #199
Home white
1971-72 Topps #182
Road Red

I suspect they may have looked like the second New Jersey era road jersey, only red instead of blue. I looked on YouTube but was not able to find any footage of any Nets games before 1974.

With the 1972-73 season, the Nets debuted the jerseys they would wear for the longest time in franchise history- with only minor changes these would be the primary Nets uniform up to and including 1989-90! In fact, the Home Whites did not change at all. They were worn in the ABA as the New York Nets, in the NBA as the New York Nets, and in the NBA as the New Jersey Nets!
1984-85 Star #93
The Road Blues, however, are a different story. Originally, in the ABA and the Nets' only NBA season as the New York Nets, they looked like this:
1977-78 Topps #127
(not visible: there was a white stripe with blue stars to the left of the red stripe. You can just barely see some of the white stripe on his leg. The jersey was essentially a reverse of the home uniform)

But in 1977 the Nets moved back to New Jersey, which meant the uniform had to be changed. The New York wording was replaced with "Nets" and New Jersey was added vertically in the red stripe. The Nets would wear these uniforms from 1977-78 through 1989-90. The white Home jersey has also been worn several times as a Throwback.
1989-90 Fleer #95
In 1982-83 and 1983-84 the Nets also wore what I believe may be the first alternate jerseys in NBA history. I may not be correct as both seasons were before I was born, and the photographic evidence on cards is slim- and also appears from seasons where the normal jerseys also appear. These uniforms are significantly rare to see on cards- I am aware of only one card for home and two for road jerseys. To my knowledge, there were no cards produced when these were current to show the road blue.
1984-85 Star #93

2003-04 Finite #114
For 1990-91, the Nets rebranded with a new logo and new uniforms. The team colors remained red, white and blue, and once again, the home uniform stayed the same while the road blue changed after only one year.
1996-97 Skybox Star Ruby #171
The road blues started out not as a solid blue, but with white "fading" starting at the bottom and getting progressively lighter as it goes up. Like most of the complex jersey designs in NBA history it did not last long, in fact it was used during 1990-91 only.
1991 Starting Lineup
Beginning in 1991-92, and lasting until 1996-97, the road jerseys were solid blue. The blue was also slightly, but noticeably, darker.
1995-96 Topps Gallery #106
In 1997-98 the Nets rebranded again, and would find their greatest NBA success wearing these uniforms, going all the way to the NBA finals in both 2001-02 and 2002-03. The team was then broken up and never again achieved such success.
1999-00 Impact #40

2003-04 SP Authentic #53
 Although it does not generally show on card images, the lettering on the road blue and the borders of the letters and numbers on the home jersey is not actually white- it's metallic silver. I was quite surprised to learn this when I pulled my first Nets patch card. It doesn't show as metallic on TV either, but I soon learned that multiple teams were using metallics in their jerseys.
2001-02 Fleer Platinum Name Plates
The Nets also had two versions of an alternate gray uniform, which was pretty much the same as the blue road uniform, only gray. The gray version (either) is my favorite Nets uniform.
The first version, with blue numbers, was used in 1998-99 and 1999-00.
1999-00 Ultra #9
The second version, with white lettering, was used in 2000-01 through mid 2004-05, when production issues led to the jerseys not fitting properly and choking the players.
2003-04 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection #65
Beginning in 2006-07, the Nets introduced a red alternate. This would remain the alternate through 2008-09, and then, for the Nets' final two years in New Jersey, would be the main road jersey, replacing the blue.
2011-12 Hoops #147
In 2012-13, under new ownership, the Nets moved back to New York, and rebranded themselves the Brooklyn Nets. For the first time in team history, Red, White & Blue were not the team colors, replaced by rather bland black and white.
2014-15 Hoops #63
2013-14 Panini Prizm Greem Prizm #139

The Nets have also added several alternates to the lineup- all of which are sleeved.

Beginning in 2013-14 and still in use, the main alternate is gray with blue lettering.
2015-16 Gold Standard #59

The second alternate, which debuted in 2014-15 and is also still in use, is somewhat modeled on the design worn from 1972-89. Barely visible in this photo is the black stripe that runs down under the left sleeve with three large white stars on it. This jersey is starting to appear on more cards than in my original post, but none that clearly show the stars down the side. You can see portions  of them on this card, though. (This set did not yet exist when I made the original post!)
2015-16 Black Gold Uncommon #16

In addition to the standard alternates, the Nets also played on Christmas 2013, where every team wore special uniforms. These jerseys were sleeved and did not feature a number on the front- highly unusual. The basketball design behind the B was actually a metallic silver.
2013-14 Select #121
The Nets also played on Christmas 2012, the first season that all teams playing wore special jerseys. That first season did not have sleeves, and every team playing that day wore jerseys where all writing on the jersey was the same color as the jersey itself. (a concept I hated, personally). To my knowledge there are no cards that show that Nets uniform, but there is a video on YouTube that has game highlights.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Nothing But Nets Goes live, Happy Birthday to me!

I am a long time Nets fan. I don't remember how it happened exactly, but I discovered the NBA in February 1996, and just about instantly the Nets became my favorite team. More than 20 years later, they still are! As a long-time collector of NBA basketball cards and memorabilia, I have been trying to balance highlighting my Nets collection while not overshadowing my overall NBA collection on my main blog, Cardboard History. Although I love the Nets, I do collect everything...every set, every player, every team.

I decided to launch a Nets-specific blog to highlight my Nets collection, which is mostly cards, but not totally. I also have jerseys that I plan to show and a few other surprises.

Of course, no team blog would be complete without an All-Time Roster project and of course I will have that as well. In fact, a lot of the posts on Nothing But Nets will be about the All-Time Nets roster, because I plan to give every player in Nets history- who I have a Nets card of, anyway- their own post!

I'll highlight "Nets Sets" which, as I either add them to my collection or get them scanned, will be all the Nets cards from a specific set. I am only about halfway on scanning my collection so it might be a while before I finish this series- not that there will ever be a true finish, of course, as new cards are issued all the time!

I'll write up more in-depth profiles on some of the Nets as well, naturally showing off some nice cards of them in the process.

I'll highlight most if not all of the new Nets cards I add to my collection, and I'll post, eventually, every Nets autograph and relic that I have in my collection.

There will be some surprises in store, too!

While I am not affiliated with the Nets or the NBA, and I hope they don't mind me using their logos,  I am a huge fan of the Nets, always have been, always will be, since I was 12 years old and you'll be seeing that in this blog over the coming years.

I'm launching this blog on my 32nd birthday, as well! I believe it is the first team-specific card blog for the NBA, there are many for baseball and at least one for football and hockey, but I don't believe any existed for the NBA...until now!

PS, it should be obvious based on the color scheme I've created, but I tend to favor the late New Jersey era, although I still support the Brooklyn era very much. 

Here's a picture of me in one of my Nets jerseys from 2003, I took these photos to submit to Beckett for Super Collector, but never did as I didn't like how they turned out. Those aren't all Nets cards, but my entire collection up to that point.
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