From Buck Williams to Jason Kidd, the Brooklyn Nets have had a myriad of stars pass through their franchise. Here are the six best of all time.
Though they can’t call themselves NBA champions, the Brooklyn Nets are undoubtedly one of the most storied franchises in league history. It goes without saying that they were much more successful during their ABA days, but the franchise can still say that its teams have made the playoffs 27 times across its 53-year history.
Not many organizations in professional sports can say that they’ve qualified for the postseason over 50% of the time. That, in large part, is a product of the plethora of superstars that have passed through the Nets over the years.
That rings true in the present, as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who have combined to make 16 All-Star teams across their respective careers, chose to sign with Brooklyn over a number of other suitors in free agency last summer.
With this in mind, it’s only fitting that we take a stroll down memory lane and highlight the greatest players in Nets history that came before its current installment of studs. It wasn’t easy, but we managed to narrow the list down to six.
6. Richard Jefferson
Richard Jefferson has earned his place in Nets history.
Let’s start by saying that Richard Jefferson never being voted to an All-Star team is downright criminal. That alone summarizes the notion that he was a grossly undervalued player. Unfortunately, that probably comes down to the simple fact that RJ didn’t play with a ton of flair as he grew older…even though he did rise to the occasion with a monster poster dunk every now and then.
Casual basketball fans might not realize it, but the former No. 13 overall pick is fourth all-time on the Nets scoring list, trailing only the likes of Brook Lopez, Buck Williams and Vince Carter, respectively. What’s equally impressive is that Jefferson was a pivotal part of a Nets team that made consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2001 and 2002.
Jefferson could have easily become an afterthought of the golden era of Nets basketball, but he was very much an integral component. Without him, New Jersey wouldn’t have been as good as it was in the early-mid 2000s, and that in no way is an exaggeration.
If you ever found yourself wondering why it’s so infuriating that the Arizona product was as underrated as he was, well, look no further. Jefferson was never great, but he was a proven scorer and elite defender, and deserves a spot on this list.