Brooklyn Nets Mount Rushmore
OTG Basketball presents, NBA Mount Rushmore, where we look at who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of each team in the league. Up next, is the Brooklyn Nets.
The difficulty in doing a Mount Rushmore for the Brooklyn Nets is that they were not always in Brooklyn. This brings up an interesting conundrum in that the team began as the New York Nets of the ABA, but in their second year in the NBA, they moved from New York to New Jersey. The franchise called New Jersey home until the 2012-2013 NBA season, where they officially became the Brooklyn Nets. In order to make this as simple as possible, we are operating as if this is a Mount Rushmore for the Nets franchise as a whole. Let's get started.
Julius Erving (Dr. J)
Dr. J won three consecutive MVP awards and two championships for the Nets during his three seasons with the team. He put up close to a 28, 10, and five per game and was the hottest ticket in the ABA. While many will remember Dr. J more as a member of the 76ers, his three-year dominance for the Nets in the ABA makes him an easy choice for their Mount Rushmore. He would have had a great run with the franchise as they transitioned to the NBA, but thanks to a considerable sum of money that had to be paid to the Knicks, the Nets were forced to sell their superstar to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 2000-01 New Jersey Nets finished the season with a record of 26-56. That summer, the Nets would trade Stephon Marbury for Jason Kidd. In Kidd's first season, the Nets improved by 26 games en route to their first trip to the NBA Finals in franchise history. Kidd would lead them to the NBA Finals again that next season. He was the key for the most successful period of time in the team's NBA history and put together a stretch that included some of the best point guard play that the NBA has ever seen. He finished second in the MVP voting in the 2001-02 season and he was All-NBA 1st team two times as a member of the Nets.
Brook Lopez was drafted by the Nets in 2008 and became a huge part of the franchise as they transitioned to Brooklyn. He was even the first All-Star after the team's move to Brooklyn. Lopez provided the Nets with low post scoring and put up 19 and seven during his nine-season run with the franchise. He also has to hold the record for most consecutive NBA trade deadlines being mentioned as someone that was on the move. He is currently the leader in points scored and blocks for the Nets franchise to go along with third in rebounds. While Lopez is not going to crack many top player lists, his contributions to the Nets franchise cannot be understated.
Vince Carter did not play many seasons with the Nets, but he got buckets during his five seasons with the team. He is currently third all-time in scoring for the Nets franchise. He also made an incredible partner for Jason Kidd. Carter was still a very popular player in the league and was in the top 10 for jerseys sold in his first two seasons in New Jersey. While it is easy to argue that Carter is more synonymous with Toronto, his time in New Jersey was exciting and Carter was in his prime making three All-Star teams during his time with the franchise, second only to Jason Kidd in All-Star appearances.