Nets end 35-year run in New Jersey, head to Brooklyn
A fan holds up a sign bidding farewell to the New Jersey Nets at the Prudential Center in Newark on Monday night.
April 24th, 2012
11:46 AM ET

Nets end 35-year run in New Jersey, head to Brooklyn

When the New Jersey Nets game ended Monday night, Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" blared over the loudspeakers at the Prudential Center in Newark.

When the Nets play their next home game, expect "Brooklyn (Go Hard)" - from Nets co-owner Jay-Z - to be the song of choice.

That's because the NBA team ended their 35-year run in New Jersey on Monday night with a 105-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Come fall, the team will become the Brooklyn Nets and play their games in the brand-new Barclays Center in the New York borough.

The Nets have one more game to play representing New Jersey - Thursday night against the Raptors in Toronto - before this season ends, but Tuesday morning, even the team's website was looking ahead to the 2012-13 season, displaying a blank logo on a black background with the Twitter hashtag "hellobrooklyn."

A sell-out crowd watched Monday night's loss to the 'Sixers, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wasn't there to give the franchise a nice sendoff.

“You don’t want to stay, we don’t want you,” he said at press conference earlier Monday.  “I’m not going to be in the business of begging people to stay here.

"Good riddance! See you later," Christie wished the Nets.

Others seemed to have moved on, too.

The sports front page of nj.com, the website of the Newark Star-Ledger, put the story of the Nets final home game in the city, in the 10th position, below even two items on the New York Knicks. The story was eight paragraphs long.

The mood was a bit better among the 18,711 patrons in the Prudential Center Monday night. The team brought back some its biggest stars, including Derrick Coleman, Kenny Anderson, Albert King and Kendall Gill, for the game. Current Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd, regarded as the best player in the Nets' history, recorded a message.

“Being a Net was a great time of my career,” Kidd said, according to a report in The Record of Bergen County. “And a great honor.”

Fans gave loud cheers when highlights of the team's two runs to the NBA Finals were shown, according to an ESPNNewYork.com report. But those finals runs ended in losses, just like more than 1,600 other games in the Nets record books.

And shortly after the cheers of "Let's go Nets" faded into silence Monday night, the Nets were indeed gone.

“Knowing that (the franchise) is not going to be here anymore, it’s definitely a sad day,” Coleman told The Record. “Just for the people here in the state of New Jersey. … it’s never going to be the same because it’s not here in Jersey.”

Star Ledger writer Dave D'Allesandro, penned the New Jersey Nets obit at the top of his column Tuesday morning.

"Pro basketball died here tonight after a long and excruciating illness. For much of its 35 years in New Jersey, it was an athletic institution paralyzed by trauma, triggered by a chronic gaucherie with spasmodic bouts of semi-competence.

"It is mourned by a few thousand fans who cared enough to notice the Nets for 41 nights a year, a few thousand others who liked the idea of good seats at discounted prices, a handful of newspaper guys now sentenced to watching that insufferable college game, and a mayor still holding out for a share of the parking revenue.

"The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Nets Center for Disease Control in support of those who suffer from the same masochistic devotion to blowouts and monumental failure."

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • New Jersey • Sports
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. brian

    yep, just what the city needs is another sports franchise... to add to the 2 baseball teams, 2 football teams, now 2 basketball teams.... i think they should build another statue of liberty

    April 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • dpd

      i am not sure if you know those football teams PLAY in NJ

      April 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      The 2 football teams already play in Jersey, the Prudential Center is across the street from Penn Station which is a 10 minute train ride to lower Manhattan, NY's not gaining a team one's moving from the burbs into the city.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • cspearsall

      The Jets and Giants play in East Rutherford NJ!!!

      April 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. longtooth

    I'm from Boston. I've been to Jersey a few times, and it's actually a nice little place. A lot of it is very pretty, except for its largest piece of real estate, Gov. Christie.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taybor

      Longtooth: thanks a lot, you just made me spit coffee all over my keyboard.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    Im not going to miss them. if you think for a second anyone in south jersey names the nets over the sixers, you are delusional. the nets are about as useless as the Golden State Warriors.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Givmeabrek

    Jason Kidd was better than Julius Erving????? What the heck is that about?

    April 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dave

    Not one mention of Dr J. – the best player in Nets history and the man that put the team on the map.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    Dr. J didn't play for the nets.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • dpd

      Dr. J played for the Nets when they were the last ABA champion in 1976.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dave

    Chris Christie shows his class once again and further adds to the New Jersey stereotypical image.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mmmm...Steakum

    I'm pretty sure Dr. J didn't play for the Nets while they were in New Jersey...he played for the New York Nets.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gunsmoke Jackson

    Dr. J played for the New York Nets in the ABA. He never played for the NJ Nets in the NBA. His entire NBA career was in Philly.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pinebelt Bob

    It's NBA basketball. Snoooooozzzzzzeeeeee! A 10 game season and a 157 game playoffs schedule–or some such silly arrangement. Cazillions in player payrolls and most are broke 2 years after their careers are over.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Barry

    Nice comments Governor Christie. Glad you are not the governor of my state!!

    April 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jimdog33

    Vince Carter's fault.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nagrom

    Yeah! Too bad they had to come back and play at all this year. I was hoping the lock out would last all season. UGH.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Loki

    Christie for President !!! I wish the Nets would just keep going out into the Atlantic ocean.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. nitrous

    The Nets suck. They belong in Brooklyn.

    April 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
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