Training camp starts in just over two weeks. Major league sports are back in Brooklyn for the first time in over 50 years. Are you up on your Brooklyn Nets? Here're just a few things you might not already know about the Nets...
NO. 1 The “hello Brooklyn” shirt Nets merch is full of references to Brooklyn hip-hop. A “Hello Brooklyn” shirt pays tribute to the Beastie Boys, along with a “Sure Shot” sign. There’s a shout out to Biggie’s “Juicy” and several items with references to Jay-Z lyrics (obviously).
NO. 2 Reggie Evans’S nickname is “Joker.”
NO. 3 He Also idolized Michael Jordan as a kid (join the club).
NO. 4 Kris Humphries held the United States record for both 50m and 100m freestyle in boys 10 & under for the 1995-1996 season. FACT: Michael Phelps didn’t. (He did beat Kris in the 100m freestyle once, though.) Humphries stopped swimming at age 12 to pursue a career in basketball and a celebrity marriage.
NO.5 Kris Humphries = The Most Disliked Player. According to a study published on
Forbes.com, in 2011 Kris Humphries was “the most disliked player in Basketball,” proving that you can’t break a Kardashian’s heart without consequences.
NO. 6 Tornike Shengelia and Tyshawn Taylor, the lowest paid players on the team, will each make $473,604 in the 2012-2013 season. Joe Johnson will make $19,752,654.
NO. 7 While an Atlanta Hawk, Joe Johnson (#7) hosted a yearly holiday event for the Boys & Girls Club. He called it “JJ’s Santa-Lanta for Kids.”
NO. 8 According to ads put up by the Nets, Brook Lopez (#11) is “Batman’s biggest fan,” and Gerald Wallace (#45) is an offseason fisherman.
NO. 9 Not all Brooklyn Nets marry Kardashians. Forward Shelden Williams (#33) is married to WNBA star (and Olympian!) Candace Parker, who was also the first woman ever to win a slam dunk contest.
NO. 10 Williams was also a member of the National Honors Society. [UPDATE: Shelden Williams signed a professional contract in France, on August 28th, after the print issue in which this story first appeared went to press]
NO. 11 Jerry Stackhouse eats gummy bears before games. It’s what his Mom gave him in high school.
NO. 12 Stackhouse will also be the first athlete to wear the number 42 in Brooklyn since Jackie Robinson, his idol. That’s pretty cool.
NO. 14 Lopez says writing is his “greatest talent outside basketball.” He is working on something with DC Comics.
NO. 15 The Nets have the second highest paid starting five in the entire league.
NO. 16 2,000 seats in the Barclays Center will cost $25 or less.
NO. 17 The Nets’ dance squad, The “BrooKLYNETTES,” only has one native Brooklynite on it: Mill Basin’s Melissa Timothy-Tozer.
NO. 18 Brook Lopez has a twin brother, Robin, who plays for the Phoenix Suns.
NO.19 More Jay-Z = Less Bon Jovi. Jay-Z—owner of a modest 1/15 of 1% stake in the Nets— has pushed the Barclays Center to make game-time music “less Jersey” with more Santigold and less Bon Jovi.
NO. 20 One of the new line of t-shirts in the Nets’ fashion line features pairs of sneakers hanging off the team’s logo à-la telephone wire.
NO. 21 Nets draft pick Ilkan Karaman’s Turkish National Team was dubbed the “12 Giant Men” by Turkish sportswriters.
NO. 22 NBA TV’s new show The Rooks follows the 2012-13 rookie class throughout the season. The Brooklyn Nets’ own Tyshawn Taylor is featured in the first episode.
NO. 23 Kris Humphries has described himself as a “progressive and polished hipster,” breaking the first rule of hipsterdom: never refer to yourself as a “hipster.”
NO. 24 Nets draft choice Bojan Bogdanovic was kicked off the Croatian national team for partying too late at clubs in Osejik, Croatia. Welcome to Bedford Avenue!
NO. 26 Jay-Z served as an executive producer for NBA2K13, which
is the latest version of popular video game NBA2K12.
NO. 27 Mark Cuban, always good for a quote, said about the Nets: “I hope the stadium works, I hope they do a great job and I hope the team sucks.”
NO. 28 Former Nets power forward Deshawn Stevenson, who was recently traded to the Atlanta Hawks, had an ATM in his kitchen.
NO. 29 Jay-Z plans to open a 40/40 club in the luxury sections of Barclays center which will serve drinks until 2am.
NO. 30 C.J. Watson was valedictorian at his Evangelist high school.
NO. 31 Barclays has hired the Disney Institution to teach arena employees proper customer service.
NO. 32 Barclays spokesman Barry Baum says it requires about 850 employees to run a Nets game.
NO. 33 The Barclays Center is just across the street from the proposed site where the Dodgers would’ve played if they’d stayed in Brooklyn. Sigh.
NO. 34 Classic Brooklyn restaurants will sell their wares at games (Nathan’s hot dogs, Juniors’ cheesecake]. According to Baum, “Food is to Brooklyn as Brooklyn is to Basketballs.” We’re not really sure what that means, but we like each of those words.
NO. 35 Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire who owns 80 percent of the Nets, hires film crews to record him doing back flips on jet skis which he then sets
NO. 36 Prokhorov doesn’t own a computer.
NO. 37 Oh and he wants to rap with Jay-Z. Maybe. Fingers crossed.
NO. 38 Prokhorov also works out several hours a day and could probably take Mark Cuban.
NO. 40 Rookie guard Tyshawn Taylor is a member of NYC Streetball league team, R2K, which got a rough welcome from the Brooklyn crowd in August when they were defeated by the Brooklyn Stompers, 57-56.
NO. 41 C.J. Watson’s nickname and twitter handle “Quiet Storm” was given to him by his sister, because “I’m shy and quiet, but my game hits you like a storm.”
NO. 42 Guard C.J. Watson has a biography coming out about his life with the epic title: Off the Court with C.J. Watson: A Quiet Storm in Las Vegas.
NO. 43 Jerry Stackhouse was profiled in the 2009 diet book Skinny Bastard, the sequel to trendy diet guide Skinny Bitch, because of his vegetarian lifestyle. Stackhouse has since returned to the omnivorous approach.
NO. 44 Nets general manager Billy King has been an avid fan of The Young and The Restless since college. (Can you believe what happened to Phyllis?!)
NO. 45 King also likes to talk politics with owner Prokhorov, and stated in a recent NY Times interview that he has political aspirations—he even considered running for the US Senate against Arlen Specter in 2004.
NO. 46 Brooklyn Nets games will be broadcast on national television 17 times this season: nine times on ESPN, five times on NBA TV and three times on TNT. Last season, the New Jersey Nets didn’t make it on either ESPN or TNT.
NO. 47 Assistant GM Bobby Marks was included in Crain’s NY Business’ “Top 40 Under 40” list this year, and revealed that he originally had ambitions to be a police officer.
NO. 48 As a younger man, head coach Avery Johnson played for the San Antonio Spurs and was nicknamed “The Little General.”
NO. 49 Yes, there will be bike parking on the south-east plaza.
NO. 50 The new Nets logo was inspired by old black and white subway signs.