I’ve been catching Brooklyn games starting in 2014 in order to see NBA basketball at a price that was hilariously low for New York, even to watch the laughing stock rosters that wore the black and white. Then this year a surprising thing happened, I went to the Barclays Center to actually support the Nets. I can’t stress enough how much I love this team; they have dynamic players and a charisma-filled bench that is just fun to root for.
While the team has been rightfully marketed in the legacy of Biggie and the articles of Brooklyn fandom has centered around the fans that occupy the most annoying fan section in all of sports, it hasn’t been stressed how this team is the embodiment of what people say Williamsburg was like 10 years before everyone who made that community’s culture were priced out to Bushwick, upstate, or even ::gulp:: Jersey City.
Their artisan styles only have comparisons to the hip secrets that the New York region has. Like many (and I can’t stress many enough), the results of small-batch success has been inconsistent, but it is still great to have been a fan before this playoff series; you know, before they were cool.
Below is a brief write-up on the players have made Brooklyn the hipster team of the NBA.
Don’t let the Sixers abundance of buttery fades sway you, Jarrett Allen has the best hair in the NBA. His fro, his decision to go with the head tie, his desire to jam every lob and attempt to block every dunk attempt is just fantastic. He just turned 20 last week and is an Alternative Apparel zip-up and a pair of All Birds away from being the on-court CEO of this start-up team. I look forward to his TEDx talk about how he left his Austin-based college early to pursue his dream of blocking everyone.
D’Angelo came to Brooklyn after being discarded by Magic Johnson and the Lakers organization (for a pick that would become Kyle Kuzma). Still, his style inspires a mix of ‘oohs’ and ‘oh nos!’ from fans. This season was a break out year for D’Angelo has he stayed healthy and made his first all-star team. To resign him next year, the Nets will likely have Russell on an inflated contract, which is next year’s concern. For now, he is a good player under a great contract and his teardrop floaters are as awe inspiring as the view from Greenwood Cemetery.
What is not to love about a sixth man that rocks timely themed custom air-brushed shoes on game day and has a love for crypto-currency? The fact that he has an amazing handle and is locked up to a team-friendly three-year deal is just the vegan icing on the single batch gluten-free cupcake.
Months after recovering from an injury that got the above reaction from his teammates, Caris is now back and playing a pivotal role back in the starting lineup. It is amazing to see him play at such an elite level from what was a gnarly looking injury.
Jared Dudley and Joe Harris
I am not sure that Jared Dudley and Joe Harris weren’t at the Jeff Tweedy show at the Town Hall two weeks ago. Joe Harris’ beard screams homebrewer, while Jared Dudley’s dad bod seems destined to tell people about his love for Nels Kline, especially his jazz album.
Last year’s second-round pick hailing from Latvia is a mean dude. He never checked his attitude when boarding the plane to Brooklyn. In his first press conference with the Nets, he said that he looked forward to beating fellow Latvian and former Knick, Kristaps Porzingus’ ass. I once saw a former athlete with two black eyes and asked him what had happened. It turned out that he was being a clown at a local dive bar and some skinny hipster didn’t take it and beat the shit out of him. I should have asked if he had an Eastern-European accent, but it is pretty clear this person was probably Kurucs. His toughness continues as he picked-up a flagrant foul after pushing Ben Simmons. To paraphrase Kurucs, while skinny, he likes contact and even more so he likes to hit back.
The Nets Bench
Lastly, the Nets bench knows how to support their squad. Their elation when a teammate dunks or rains a three is a euphoria that can only compare to a 4am pop-up rave in a warehouse in Sunset Park. Way to go, Nets; regardless of the outcome of tonight’s elimination game, you’ve won.