Brooklyn Nets: A Found Identity?

Updated: March 10, 2014



Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “We’re not sure what our identity is”.

Perhaps the Brooklyn Nets cannot figure out their identity because they are the basketball version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. On any given night, spectators can be treated to a display of beautiful basketball, whereas other evenings are filled with frustration and anger. The only thing consistent about the Nets is their inconsistency.

There has been great debate as to who is the face of this franchise for the past season and a half. Is it the homegrown seven-foot man-child or is it the max-contract “superstar” point guard? Maybe it’s the super cool, crafty veteran who has ice water running through his veins when the stakes are high.

Who's team is this?

Who’s team is this?

Well folks, I think we have it all wrong.  After carefully considering the candidates, the one player who embodies every quality (positive and negative) of the Brooklyn Nets is Andray Blatche.   Yes, you read that correctly!  Think about it for a second.   Dray has all of the traits the Nets have: oozing with natural talent but unable to put it all together consistently.  Offensive brilliance is usually undone by mental lapses and poor execution on the defensive end.  Highlight reel plays are matched with embarrassing bloopers.

When things are going well, the Euro-stepping, behind-the-back dribbling, Point-Blatche act is must see TV.  It’s as if he is compiling his demo reel for his post NBA career with The Harlem Globetrotters.

Well it’s all fun and games until the ill-advised 20-foot jump shots, poor gambles on defense, and carelessness with the ball rear its ugly head.  This reckless abandonment is when Blatche resembles a supersized JR Smith.  When he plays within his limits with the occasional freestyle approach, he is most productive.  It’s when the equation becomes unbalanced that his effectiveness is dramatically reduced.

Trust me, the fans are just as frustrated at home.

Trust me, the fans are just as frustrated at home.

The Nets, as a team, are similar in nature.  When they play disciplined,  good things happen: solid ball movement leads to better offensive efficiency.  It’s when they abandon the team concept that those three ugly letters emerge on the scene: ISO.  This is when the offense goes stagnant leading to bad effort and execution on the defensive end of the court. These are the games in which they get blown out against quality teams or struggle against the league’s lesser opponents.

If Andray was of the canine species, he would definitely think that he was a lapdog.

If Andray was of the canine species, he would definitely think that he was a lapdog.

Should “The Andray Show” or Net games come with a disclaimer so that viewers are warned to expect a whirlwind of emotions?  At least fans will know what they are getting themselves into before the feelings of joy and despair take over.

So to say that we don’t have an identity is incorrect. Consistently inconsistent is our M.O. and perhaps that’s the result of your 6’11” center thinking he is a point guard at times.

Frustrating?  Of course!  One thing for certain is that things are always interesting albeit maddening.  Life with Andray and these Brooklyn Nets is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re going to get.