The Zionist Conspiracy
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Bruce Ratner to Nets: Drop Dead
Over the years, it has not been easy to be a fan of the New Jersey Nets. The team had many terrible years, a few decent ones, and then many more terrible years.
Then, suddenly, Jason Kidd was acquired, and along with Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson, the team not only went to the NBA Finals two years in a row, but has played some fun and exciting basketball.
This season ended disappointingly, with a 7th game defeat against the Detroit Pistons. Given that Kidd was playing hurt and that the team performed much better against the champion Pistons than the Lakers did, there was still reason for optimism about the Nets' future, especially since their star players still have plenty of good basketball left in them.
Suddenly, however, reports in various newspapers are emerging that Bruce Ratner, who is about to be approved as new owner, is insisting that the team be dismantled because he believes salaries are too high.
In the New York Post, Peter Vecsey writes: "If there was any doubt about how much incoming loot owner Bruce Ratner is prepared to invest in Kenyon Martin, it's no longer a mystery. Instead of rewarding the rising restricted free agent with a near max contract, the plan is to try to put him in a sign-and-trade with Denver's Nene — who's locked up for two more years at $2.393M and $3.039M."
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Stephen A. Smith reports: "The New Jersey Nets, small players in this draft, have made it known they may let Kenyon Martin walk away, and are shopping Jason Kidd specifically because new ownership has this ridiculous mandate of getting its franchise under the cap in one season."
In the New York Post, Fred Kerber reported: "In developments that could break up the Nets' trio of Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson, prospective owner Bruce Ratner has ordered cost-cutting measures that might drastically alter next year's team, according to multiple sources around the club...
"The team is going to look a lot different from the past couple years," one source maintained.
The bottom line: Ratner - who a New York Times article stated said "I'm not into sports" when the idea of buying the Nets first came up - and who plans to move the team to Brooklyn as part of a massive real estate development, bought the team only because of the real estate opportunities it presents. In the Times article, he stated that he long coveted "the Long Island Rail Road yard at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues" in Brooklyn. "I thought it was a matter of getting them to move over," Ratner said. "Then one day, I realized one would have to buy a team to get them."
He could care less about whether the team goes back to being the NBA's doormat. He just wants the LIRR yards. He needed the Nets to get them, so he bought them, and will now destroy them.
For fans of the team who have remained loyal for decades, this is devastating and infuriating. It's one thing for a team to get old or struggle due to injuries, or even due to poor management decisions. It's something else to lose because the owner is uninterested in the team. If the reports are true, I won't be going to any Nets games - at the Meadowlands or in Brooklyn - for as long as Ratner owns the team.
When his offer to buy the Nets was accepted, the Times reports that Ratner told his workers: "This is not only about basketball. It's about a vision, about housing, about jobs, and an urban landscape we can all be proud of."
Indeed, it's not about basketball at all. And even though I'm from Brooklyn, it's not anything to be proud of.