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The Soprano's edition
It has come down to this…one more game in the Garden State, the number adorned by the likes of Phil Ford, Foots Walker, The Pearl and Nate 'Tiny' Archibald during their stays in Jersey, as the Nets close out their three-plus decades of NBA basketball in East Rutherford and now Newark. And we will present a sterling halftime ceremony Monday night which I will have the honor and pleasure of hosting, recognizing the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Eastern Conference Champions and highlighting the Nets history in Jersey.
But 18 minutes cannot fully capture the essence of this run for yours truly, a run which began with calling Chuck Daly's first game in 1992, and will conclude with turning out the lights in 2012, a crazy 20 years of the good, the bad and the ugly. But at the end of the day, the wins and losses come and go, but the people are the fabric of what will be my personal archive from the many trips down Route 17. As we, "Nooo…that's a travel" down memory lane.
Butch ,Yinka, Jayson and The Hammer (Armon-RIP) …Coach Cal, X Man (Xavier McDaniel),Kendall and Chris Gattling, the Gattlin' Gun… The General (Sherman), Keith, Seikaly and Sam I Am (Cassell)…Coach Casey, The Duke of Earl (Boykins), Steph, Big Gheorge(Muresan) and Basketball (Damon) Jones…Michael Cage, Esch, Kerry and Johnny Newwwwwman…Byron, K-Mart, Soumalia and Kookla, Fran and (Kevin) Ollie…The Captain, Sweet Lou (Lucious), Richard and The People's Choice, Veal Scalabrine…Jason Collins, Deke, Rodney and The A-Train, Aaron Williams….Mikki, Zo, Z…and L Frank….Nenad, Jabari, Travis and Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood, Clifford Robinson…Boki, Antoine, Padgett and Rock, Jacque (Vaughn) Jayhawk, …V…C…3333333333333333333333333333…..Boone, Marcus, Mile…and There's a Fire in the (Eddie) Houuuuuuse….Devin, Brook, Jarvis and Size Triple Yiiiiiiiiiii….Battie, Keyon, CDR and Skip to My Lou, Rafer Alston…Coach Avery, Hump, Sasha, Deron and Anthony Morrrrrrowwwww…
There are many, many memories…both on and off the court…and way too many to categorize or quantify. But for all the long-suffering members of The Flock, who have certainly seen their share of tough basketball, you'll always remember that you witnessed greatness…because what J Kidd was able to do with this franchise is truly what the Hall of Fame is about…and we were able to view his magnificence up close and personal for the most spectacular run in Nets history. And I just wish that more would have viewed it as well, but that ship has sailed, and we are left with one more game on the schedule. As the New Jersey Nets. No debate over this ending.
Posted by Gary Sussman on April 19, 2012 at 9:36 a.m., ET