5. Star duo that never worked
The Nets were in the middle of a full-scale rebuild when they drafted Derrick Coleman first overall in 1990. They had missed the playoffs four straight years, and they were coming off a 17-win campaign where little went right. Coleman won Rookie of the Year in 1991 as he averaged over 18 points and ten rebounds per game and helped the Nets make a nine-win improvement.
New Jersey had the second pick in 1991 when they selected Kenny Anderson to be Coleman’s running mate. He played behind Mookie Blaylock for his first season before breaking out in year two.
The Nets were back in the playoffs in 1992 and made it three straight years. Coleman and Anderson both made the leap to All-Stars in 1994, and it looked like the Nets were building something special. They had two superstars in their prime, but things quickly fell apart.
Head coach Chuck Daly left after the 1994 season as the drama around the team became too much. The Nets won just 30 games the following year, and Coleman was traded after an injury-riddled season. Anderson was dealt during the 1995-96 season after informing the team he planned to leave in free agency.
The Nets missed the playoffs in six of the next seven years after things unraveled, and it was not until Jason Kidd arrived that the team made their first serious playoff run in the NBA. They thought they were building something with Anderson and Coleman, but it just did not work out.