Long-term fans of the organization know tumultuous times all too well, but with the roster at hand and times of prosperity on the horizon, the Brooklyn Nets could get an influx of “newer” fans ready to join the effort.
Ah yes, the “bandwagon” sports fan. They are always in a good mood because their team is always seemingly winning, and that’s large in part due to their favorite team changing with every passing dynasty. They were a Miami Heat fan at the dawn of the decade, then a Golden State Warrior fan at the conclusion of the decade; could they now become a Brooklyn Nets at the beginning of the new decade?
Well, we don’t know how much success this team is going have in the near future, all we can do at the moment is speculate and putting them in the conversation with those two recent dynasties is, well, generous; but we do know that it is rather likely that Brooklyn gets a larger following than what they had in previous years, in a similar manner to those aforementioned organizations—adding in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant will do that.
But how should Nets fans treat these newcomers? Should they shun them and utterly ignore their existence? Or should they take the road less traveled, and welcome them in with open arms and show them what it is to be a fan of this often-tortured franchise?
It’s become common practice for long-time fans of the NBA—or any major sports league, in general—to look down upon fans classified under the “bandwagon” term. The masses call them disingenuous, they don’t take them seriously because they haven’t endured the darker days to fully appreciate where they are now.
However, is it entirely fair to judge a demographic of newer fans in such a negative light? Yes, there are those who many loyalists consider “casual” and won’t stop their ways when it comes to switching teams, but others could potentially just be looking for a home.
Alright, so they may not have been there for the 20-win campaign just three seasons ago, they weren’t there when Billy King made his now-infamous trade with the Boston Celtics and don’t recall the team winning a regular-season series against the defending champions, the Miami Heat, 4-0, just to lose to that same team during the second round of the playoffs in five games the same year.
They don’t remember the disappointing teams that followed the Vince Carter trade back in ’04 or the back to back trips to the NBA Finals back in 2002 and 2003 that ultimately fell short.
The list goes on and on, spanning a variety of generations of Nets fans, but does that all really matter?
You, at some point during the Nets’ timeline in which they got where they are today, became a fan of this organization and were once that newcomer, or “bandwagoner”.
Some have been here much longer than others, some were around when “Dr. J” was wooing crowds with his in-game theatrics and winning ABA titles, other reminisce on Drazen Petrovic and tell stories of his greatness, for me, I remember Jason Kidd commanding an underdog that almost won it all, but ran into two western conference dynamos that were still in the midst of writing their place in basketball lore.
So when this new era comes in, try and remember that we all started somewhere and this new team represents the prospect of bringing in new members of Nets faithful. Just enjoy the ride.