Back in the day, there used to be a right of passage. The Bad Boys couldn't be great until they knocked off the Celtics. The Bulls couldn't win 6 titles till they knocked off the Pistons. Recently, the Nets have been the kings of the Eastern hill by going to the title game twice. This year it happened again. The Pistons got past the Nets and did what the Nets couldn't do, beat the best of the West.
So what did the Nets do? They imploded. They are being crushed under the weight of past decisions. They took their shot, and they came up short. Gambles on big men Dikimbe and Alonzo failed to the tune of almost $20M of dead money. Now the owner wants to be under the cap and jettisoned two key components to his title contending teams. Kittles and Martin leave a huge void in their lineup and they are trying to fill it with retreads (as the NY Post so aptly puts it).
Jason Kidd must be wondering why he passed on playing with Duncan and Poppovich to find himself in this situation. A trade demand should be coming soon.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't take some pleasure in the demise of the team that destroyed us in the playoffs twice in recent years. But I do wish it could have been us that knocked them out and went on to greater things.
Update: Word is that Kidd will officially demand a trade and Vince Carter could come out publicly with a desire/demand to be traded to the Knicks. What a crazy summer. Think of it this way; by the end of the summer, the following players could have changed teams: The most dominant player in the league (Shaq), the best scorer (McGrady), the best passer (Kidd), and the best dunker (Carter). Crazy.