1. Trading Julius “Dr. J” Erving
First off, during Julius Erving‘s tenure with the Nets, he won two ABA championships, three MVPs, three All-ABA first team selections, and two ABA playoff MVPs. Dr. J was very successful with the Nets and became an icon for the ABA. In the 1976 offseason, the ABA-NBA merger occurred. The ABA-NBA merger included the the Nets. Although the Nets were poised for success in the NBA, they would be faced with a difficult decision.
Due to the Nets invading the New York Knicks territory, they would have to pay even more for their NBA birth. The merger cost the Nets $3.2 million already, but on top of that, the Knicks demanded $4.8 million from the Nets to stay in New York. Since the team already paid $3.2 million, they did not have enough to pay the Knicks. As a result, the Nets tried to negotiate with the Knicks by offering them Dr. J, so that in return they would waive the invasion fee. The Knicks declined this offer, and the Nets were forced to find other options. As a result from all this, Dr. J was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for $3 million to help pay the invasion fee.
What makes such a disappointing turn of events number 1? For starters, without this trade, the Nets would not be in the NBA today. Everything that fans have come to love about the Nets would not exist if this trade did not happen. The truth is, fans everywhere should be thankful that we can still watch our team every season no matter how good or bad we may be.