We’re giving thanks for how far the Brooklyn Nets have come over the past few years.
The Brooklyn Nets, just a few years ago, were a laughingstock in the NBA. Through hard work and grit, Sean Marks and Co have established a culture that made the Nets enjoyable, even as we piled on losses throughout the years. Whether or not culture is a selling point to land stars, or whether or not growing talent to be used solely as trade chips is a worthy endeavor is not the discussion I am having here. Right now for Thanksgiving I want to give thanks to the players we grew to love who made Brooklyn Nets basketball enjoyable, and sometimes left us at the edge of our seat.
First off, I’m only going to be naming players currently on the roster, so before I get started, a special thanks is deserved for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, D’Angelo Russell, Kenny Atkinson and yes, Theo Pinson (for making the bench mob so enjoyable).
Spencer Dinwiddie: Dinwiddie is one of the best Sixth Men in the league. Year after year as our starting point guards got injured (D’Angelo Russell, Kyrie Irving and briefly Jeremy Lin), Dinwiddie consistently gave us quality minutes and exceeded expectations. He is responsible for numerous memorable moments both offensively and defensively, such as channeling his inner T-Mac and giving the Rockets a three-point barrage in the final 30 seconds on January 2019. For the hardcore fans, you may remember him holding back Blake Griffin in the mid post in his first season with the Pistons to seal the game against Detroit. Game after game in the final minutes of close games, Spencer was the man to close it, and we were always glued to the TV to see if he could clutch it out with his step-back three or drive to the lane.
Caris LeVert: We all saw him blossom right before our eyes. Unfortunately, it seemed he was cursed with injury which would derail his progress, yet every year, he continued to get better and better, leading up to one of the most memorable moments in the last three years with the Nets. Caris LeVert put on a masterpiece against the Boston Celtics in my eyes, cementing him as the third option when Kevin Durant comes back. In March 2020, LeVert put up one of the best 50-point games against a top defense that I had seen in a very long time. We all know what happened, and Baby Durant has more room to go.
Jarrett Allen: The true definition of not scared of the moment. This man is fearless, tough and when he’s by the rim, you may as well just shoot the mid-range. He’s a defensive juggernaut that we’ve seen stifle numerous stars such as Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and more. Personally, I’ll never forget watching him chase down James Harden from the three point line to block a last-ditch effort lay-up in the first half against the Rockets in 2019. Allen throughout the years has definitely had his work cut out for him against big centers, but I’m not going to forget the fact that he’s often flat out embarrassed people in the paint defensively. He’s such a good player that we don’t even need to discuss the luxuriousness of his afro (even though we just did).
These three players (not excluding the aforementioned few who are no longer on the team) were the reason that Brooklyn has a loyal fan base and are the reason people are so conflicted about whether or not to trade them. On one hand, are they worth getting rid of for another big name? Or are the three collectively better? Time will tell, but one thing is for certain: We owe them our thanks for working hard to make basketball fun for us Brooklyn fans.