Comparing the Brooklyn Nets with the Miami Marlins

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With this season winding down, the Nets’ time is winding down in New Jersey. They only have 3 home games remaining in the garden state and by the end of the month, they will officially be known as the Brooklyn Nets. When the team moves to Brooklyn, it will have a new name, colors, stadium, and players, but will remain in the same market of New York. The Nets are a team that has never had too much success, but will be looking to change its image around once it moves to Brooklyn. When thinking about the big transformation from the New Jersey Nets to the Brooklyn Nets, one may think that a change like this has never been made in professional sports. However, that is not true. The Miami Marlins had a very similar change last year. I will tell you why.

First, I will talk about the popularity of each team. Neither team has ever been popular. The Nets are overshadowed by the Knicks and all the other New York sports teams. The Marlins are overshadowed by the Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, and University of Miami football. Nobody had cared about either team, even when the teams have been good. Also, both teams have played their games in stadiums unsuitable for their respective sports. The Nets play in the Prudential Center, which is apparently a terrible basketball arena according to Deron Williams. The players say the sightlines are awful and that the arena is meant for hockey. For the Marlins, they played their games at Dolphins Stadium, whose name alone should say enough about who the stadium was meant for. The stadium was bright orange (Dolphins colors) while the Marlins’ colors were black and teal. There were always empty seats in the outfield, no built-in bullpen for relief pitchers, fold up outfield seats, etc. Basically, the stadium was never meant for baseball. However, both teams are moving into stadiums built specifically for them. The Marlins’ new stadium is called Marlins Park (definitely better than Dolphins Stadium), and even though the Nets’ new arena is named after a sponsor, it will definitely be their own. Neither team was ever popular partly because of their stadiums and locations, but they may become more popular once they move into stadiums meant for their respective sports.

There are plenty more similarities between the two franchises. Neither team has been very successful in its history, but has had a few good years. The Marlins won the World Series in 1997 and 2003, but despite this, have not caught on as a popular team. The Nets made the NBA finals in 2002 and 2003, but were still never able to sell out regular season games and even some playoff games. Both teams hope that their new stadiums will bring popularity, especially during the good times.

Also, the owners of the teams are finally willing to spend money to attract good free agent players. The Nets were never willing to pay players a lot of money until Mikhail Prokhorov took over. Since then, they have landed Deron Williams, and nearly landed Dwight Howard. That would have been unthinkable in the previous ownership. For the Marlins, they had always drafted well and had good young players, but then traded them because they needed money. Last offseason, they went out and stole Jose Reyes from the Mets and nearly got Albert Pujols before he decided to go to the Angels. The owners of both teams are finally committed to winning.

Maybe the biggest similarity between the Nets and Marlins is the change to the image of each franchise. The Nets are only a few years removed from one of the worst seasons in NBA history where they went 12-70. Also, they are located in New Jersey, a place that New Yorkers often make fun of. Their logo is boring and their jerseys are some of the worst in the league. Next year, they will be moving to Brooklyn, one of the most “hip” places in America. Their logo and jerseys are going to be designed in part by Jay-Z, a very popular rapper, and should look very cool. The Marlins definitely spiced up their logo and uniforms by adding light blue, yellow, and orange to their color scheme, as well as changing their name from Florida to Miami.

Another comparison between the two teams is the unknown. Nobody actually knows if the changes that the two franchises make will catch on with the fans in the areas. The Marlins’ season has just started, so we still don’t know how popular they will become among the folks in Miami. The Nets are still in New Jersey, and nobody knows if they will be able to convert Brooklynites from Knicks fans to Nets fans. And the biggest question of all is: will the teams win? Only time will tell.

What do you think? Do you think the Nets will become more popular once they move into their beautiful new arena in Brooklyn? Post your answers in the comments section.