The return of the Nets to New York State and Brooklyn in 2012 was met with excitement and enthusiasm by devoted basketball fans like Amir Landsman. Although the Nets originally played for Teaneck, New Jersey, the team spent nine of its first 10 years in New York and maintained a loyal cadre of fans in the state even after it moved to New Jersey in 1977.
Immediately preceding the move back to New Jersey, the Nets were incorporated into the National Basketball Association (NBA) as part of a merger between the American Basketball Association and the NBA in 1976. This merger proved costly for the Nets; since the New York Knicks were already members of the NBA and were located in the same general area, the Nets were forced to pay $4.8 million as compensation for this purported intrusion into the territory of the Knicks. Combined with the more than $3 million fee charged for admission into the NBA, the Nets were left cash-strapped and unable to live up to their financial obligations to their marquee players. As a result, the Nets lost Julius Erving, the renowned “Dr. J,” to the Philadelphia 76ers during the 1976-77 season.
In subsequent years, the New Jersey Nets experienced mixed success both on the court and off. The move to Brooklyn in 2012 marked a rejuvenation of the team with a strong lineup of quality players and famous names that allowed the Nets to reach the playoffs in 2013. Landsman and other diehard fans expect great things from the Brooklyn Nets in the seasons and years to come.