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Learn your Nets history
44. Ok, so you might be new to NBA fandom, but the Nets aren't just some pop-up fondue/gallery/boutique/farmers market, here today, gone tomorrow: they come from the swamps of Jersey, and they have a history, some of it good, some of it... not good.
45. ABA Cred is a real thing. As one of four American Basketball Association teams to enter the NBA during the leagues’ 1976 merger, The Nets have a lingering link to the cooler, flashier, co-opted competition, which was responsible for concepts such as the three-point shot and the slam-dunk contest. The ABA Nets fleeced a ridiculous-sounding team called The Virgina Squires twice in two separate trades, acquiring granny-style free-throw iconoclast Rick Barry, and all-world badass Dr. J as building blocks to the franchise's only two titles. This history is the perfect talking point for a town with a fetish for beautiful, defunct things. A throwback jersey and a cassette-only indie rock album, please.
46. Well before Dirk Nowitski made the Mavs a perennial contender, Croatian swingman Drazen Petrovic was the first European player to jump a level up from sharp-shooting role-player to legitimate, team-leading offensive star. Way before the Spurs made everyone else look dumb for scooping up Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli (an Argentinian who ironically personifies the spread and NBA deadliness of the Euro game), The Nets trade for Drazen made him a star on the rise. He was also the only one who really put up any sort of fight against the Dream Team in the 1992 Olympics, earning Croatia the silver medal as his side's high scorer. His tragic car-crash death in 1993 at the top of his game at age 29, gives a saintly what-if glow to the #3 Nets jersey you are now eyeballing on eBay.