Each Team’s All-NBA First Team: A 30 Part Series- Part 28 The Brooklyn/New Jersey Nets
With the hype of the offseason coming to an end, I have decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to examine…medium.com
With the hype of the offseason coming to an end, I have decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to examine each team’s specific All-NBA First Team. What I mean by this is- following the criteria set by the NBA for the All-NBA Team rules, I will examine and elaborate on my picks for each team’s specific All-NBA First Team.
G- Jason Kidd: 2001–2008
From 2001 until his departure in 2008, Jason Kidd was the face of the New Jersey Nets’ franchise. Not only was he the team’s best player, but he was also among the best point guards in the entire NBA.
During his time in New Jersey, Kidd developed into a much more complete player, emerging as one of the best three-point shooters in the league. Kidd finished in the top five of made three point field goals during his tenure in New Jersey. Night in and night out Kidd was also a threat to record triple-double, leading the NBA in triple-doubles during his tenure with the Nets.
Kidd was a five-time All-Star while with the Nets and was a member of three All-NBA Teams (2x First Team, 1x Second Team).
His best season came during the 2001–2002 season, a season in which he finished second in the MVP voting. In that season, Kidd led the Nets to the NBA Finals. He finished the season averaging 14.7 points, 9.9 assists, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.1 steals. He led the NBA in steals and triple-doubles during the season.
Kidd led the Nets to the playoffs six times, making two NBA Finals appearances. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in assists, steals, and made three-point fields.
G- Vince Carter: 2004–2009
Vince Carter was among the more exciting players to ever play for the Nets’ organization. From high-flying finishes, to his high-volume scoring, Carter was a treat to watch on the offensive end of the court.
In his four and a half seasons in New Jersey, Carter led the team in points. He was also among the best scorers in the league, averaging 23.6 points per game during his time with the Nets. He was a three-time All-Star while in New Jersey.
His best season with the Nets came during the 2006–2007 season. In that season he averaged 25.2 points, a career high 6.0 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. He played in all 82 games, and helped the Nets reach the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Since the Nets merged into the NBA, Carter’s 23.6 points per game is the highest single game average in the franchise’s history.
F- Richard Jefferson: 2001–2008
Richard Jefferson spent his first seven seasons with the Nets, producing his most productive seasons during that span. While with the Nets, Jefferson averaged 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. The Nets made six playoff appearances, including two trips to the NBA Finals.
Jefferson is fourth on the team’s all-time scoring list, third in total minutes played and second in made free throws.
Jefferson’s best season came during the 2005–2006 season, a season in which he averaged 19.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. His PER of 18.9 is a career high for Jefferson.
F- Buck Williams: 1981–1989
Behind Jason Kidd, Buck Williams has had the best career of the NBA’s iteration of the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets’ franchise. He’s the franchises all-time leader in games played, minutes played, made field goals, made free throws, total rebounds, and points scored.
During his eight seasons in New Jersey, Williams was a three-time All-Star and was the team’s best player. He was a member of the All-NBA Second Team in 1983. He led them to the playoffs five times. Williams consistently played in 82 games, doing so five of his eight seasons. He played no fewer than 74 games in any of his seasons with the team.
He may not have been the greatest individual talent, but given his longevity with the team, and overall standing in terms of team statistics, Williams deserves a spot on the Nets’ All-NBA First Team.
C- Brook Lopez: 2008-Present
Although the Nets’ haven’t been the most successful franchise during the Brook Lopez era, we cannot overlook the individual success Lopez has had during his eight seasons.
Lopez has spent his entire career with the Nets, and when healthy, has produced like one of the five best centers in the NBA.
In his eight seasons, Lopez has averaged 20.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, numbers comparable to that of an above average big man. He was an All-Star in 2013 and has finished in the top five in blocks per game five times.