Nets fill second year ‘rookie’ MarShon Brooks’ car with popcorn (Pictures)

Of all the pranks we see across professional and collegiate athletics, the popcorn in the car gag has to be one of the worst. As you can see from the photo above that Deron Williams tweeted, Nets second-year “rookie” MarShon Brooks recently fell victim to the mother of all car pranks. According to Nets Daily, the Brooklyn veterans have decided that since last season was shortened because of the lockout, Brooks is still considered a rookie for the first 16 games of the upcoming season.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie rips Nets, tells them ‘good riddance’ (Video)

While many people believe the Nets move to Brooklyn next season is a smart decision, there are a few who believe it will backfire. Some say New York will always be a Knicks town, and playing in Brooklyn will result in the Nets being more overshadowed by Carmelo and company than they already are. Others feel as though the Nets are hardly thriving in New Jersey, so moving closer to the big media market is a wise choice. Then there’s New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who as you can see is a tad bitter about the situation.

“You don’t want to stay, we don’t want you,” Christie said during a recent Q&A with the media. “Seriously. I’m not gonna be in the business of begging people to stay here. That’s one of the most beautiful arenas in America that they’ve had the chance to play in. It’s in one of the country’s most vibrant cities and they want to leave here and go to Brooklyn — good riddance.”

Sounds like someone’s a little salty. Christie also mentioned that he believes there could be some other teams who are looking to relocate and it could open a window of opportunity for them, but I doubt that would happen anytime soon. The Nets are dead last in average home attendance this season, drawing under 14,000 fans per game. Whether that is a result of the team stinking or a poor location is something we will find out soon enough.

Nets tried to impress Dwight Howard with sign boasting about Jay-Z in front of Magic locker room

The blown up version of the Wall Street Journal you see above was positioned outside the visiting locker room in New Jersey on Wednesday night, before the Nets took on the Magic. Coincidence? I think not.

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Nets cut ticket prices for Magic game to show Dwight Howard they have fans

It’s no secret the Nets stink (they’re 8-23). It’s also no secret they desperately want Dwight Howard. So with Howard and the Magic making their only trip to New Jersey this season on Wednesday, in what may as well be called “Dwight Howard Night,” the Nets going the extra mile to make sure they impress the soon-to-be free agent center.

On Friday Deadspin uncovered a special ticket offer that the Nets, who are second-to-last in attendance this season, are offering to fans for the game (emphasis is Deadspin’s):

On February 22, your NETS will face off against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. For this one night only the NETS are discounting tickets in the Loud & Proud section to $12! We need YOU there to rock The Rock and give your NETS a true home court advantage!

How to Purchase Tickets:
Tickets are just $12!
Tickets available ONLY at Prudential Center Box Office beginning at 11AM day of game
12 ticket limit
Fans buying tickets must be wearing NETS apparel to show they are loud and proud!
PLUS, the first 2,500 fans to arrive at Prudential Center will receive a free ticket voucher to a future NETS home game.

You have to commend Mikhail Prokhorov’s franchise for having the guts to do something that reeks of desperation as much as this, even if it is technically bribery. What form of corruption is next for Prokhorov, rigging the Russian presidential election in his favor? And yet, if becoming president isn’t enough to impress Howard, nothing is.

Photo credit: US Presswire

Deron Williams Says There Aren’t Many Starters on the Nets Right Now

Spirits may have been high in New Jersey when the Nets began the year with a win over the Wizards, but reality quickly set in on Tuesday night when they were demolished by the Hawks.  Following the 106-70 loss, an understandably frustrated Deron Williams spoke to reporters about the Nets’ flaws.  It is no secret that Williams wants New Jersey to bring in another superstar like Dwight Howard, but that’s no reason for Deron to create enemies among his current teammates.  His comments can certainly be seen as insulting if nothing else.

“We need some more pieces,” Williams said according to Off the Dribble. “There’s no secret about that. There’s not many starters on our team right now. We have a lot of great role players, a lot of guys who know their job, but in this league you need some top-tier guys so you can get the job done.”

Williams is right about the Nets needing more pieces, but I’m not sure he had to insult the other four starters on the team in order to make his point.  He’s obviously one of the premier point guards in the league, but his 3-for-11 shooting night to go along with one assist and six turnovers was not exactly starter-quality play either.

With Brook Lopez set to miss six to eight weeks after recovering from foot surgery, frustration could set in quickly for the Nets.  The more frustrated Williams gets, the dimmer the immediate future looks in New Jersey.

Chest bump to I Am a GM for the story

Nets’ New Public Address Announcer David Diamante is One Strange Cat

David Diamante began announcing boxing matches 10 years ago.  Since then, he has done work for ESPN and HBO.  Well before that time, he stopped cutting his hair.  Diamante is set to become the next voice of the Nets when they move to Brooklyn, and to say he is an interesting character would be a massive understatement.  His dread locks have been growing since 1988, and Diamante said he has absolutely no idea when he will decide to cut them off.

“There was a change in my life, and it felt right, and I just stopped cutting it,” he told the New York Times. “Will I cut it tomorrow? Maybe. Will I cut it later today? Maybe. Probably not. I try to go day by day and not to future-trip too much. It’s not that I don’t look to the future, but I really like to live in the moment and be present in the moment.”

Got it. You like to just go where the wind takes you and not plan ahead. Hopefully Diamante’s preparation for Nets games will be a bit more thorough. But what about your voice? How did David Diamante become David Diamante the PA announcer?

“As time went on, I realized my voice really is a gift,” he explained. “(People) were just dumbfounded by my voice. They were just like, ‘Yo, your voice is amazing. It’s like there’s honey in your voice. It’s like butter. It’s golden.'”

Diamante also owns a cigar shop that he says he built because it was a “travesty” that there wasn’t one in Brooklyn. If Deron Williams is gone and Dwight Howard can’t be acquired, it sounds like this guy will at least draw some people to watch the Nets play in Brooklyn.

Chest bump to Ball Don’t Lie for sharing the story of this inspirational character.
Picture via Diamante’s personal website.

Deron Williams Says He’ll Re-sign with Nets if They Bring in Dwight Howard

Superstars in the NBA love to pair up.  Over the last several years, we have really had an opportunity to see that.  At the moment, we have no idea where guys like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams are going to end up this year or next.  What we do know is that they won’t be the only superstar on the team they sign a contract extension with.  Paul may sign with the Knicks and play with Carmelo Anthony or he may pair up with Howard and sign elsewhere.  If the Magic acquire CP3, Howard may stay put.  The same can be said for Deron Williams, who insists he would re-sign with the Nets next season if they bring in Superman.

“In a perfect world, we’d get the players that we need for me to stay here,” Williams said according to The Record. “I’m excited about the opportunity to play in the new arena in Brooklyn – the move – I just think it would be a great place to play. So that’s what I’m hoping for. I have a strong feeling that I’ll re-sign here.”

That strong feeling would turn into a certainty if the Nets can pull off a trade with the Magic for Howard.

“That would be enough to convince me,” Williams said. “I’ve talked to (Howard) a lot. We’ve had some conversations. He knows I want to play with him. I don’t think there’s a player in the NBA who doesn’t want to play with Dwight Howard.”

Teams can begin signing free agents on Friday, and if the rumors we have heard so far are any indication it should be an absolute frenzy.  If teams want to add star power, they have to add or retain star power first.