In the previous iteration of the page (below), Jefferson occupied the slot currently held by Jay-Z. Of course, before team leader Jason Kidd was traded to Dallas for Devin Herris, the page featured a Carter/Kidd/Jefferson/Nenad Krstic panorama, plus a shot of Kidd alone.
A new Chinese fan base?
So what does the trade mean? Here's one comment on NetsDaily: This looks like more of a business move than anything else. We’ll make more money as an franchise now because of the chinese fanbase, but we lose a team leader. I’ll agree that RJ wasn’t a great fit with VC, and Yi has some serious potential, but it hurts to see RJ go out like this.
Well, the Nets are offering free Yi jerseys to anyone who buys a season ticket. And there is money to be made in China thanks to an association with a Chinese star.
Clearing cap and rebuilding
Here's Peter Vecsey in a New York Post column headlined EYES ON BROOKLYN today:
Clearing cap room two years ahead of time on the belief James' outwardly magnetic bond with Nets' minority owner Jay-Z (it's not as if he rhymes as tight as Biggie Smalls) will influence him to forsake his home state of Ohio is like building an elaborate spec house just across the Brooklyn Bridge in today's saggy, baggy real estate market.
Yet here we have intrepid Nets' owner Bruce Ratner (from Cleveland), no less doing both!
At the same time, Ratner and henchmen, Rod Thorn and Kiki Vandeweghe, are radically "rebuilding" the team by tearing down its foundation.
Tonight was about divorcing the Nets from New Jersey and its recent (ugly) past and preparing the franchise for Brooklyn, getting younger, saving cap space, waiting for Lebron [James].
The permanent campaign adjusts
What's clear is that the Nets, with five new players and a young guard in Harris, are rebuilding, and two of the three stars paraded to help sell the Nets to Brooklyn, Kidd and Jefferson, will be long gone before an arena opens. But they served their purpose in the Atlantic Yards permanent campaign.
Last night, the Nets held a draft night event for fans at the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg, which drew an enthusiastic crowd enjoying free food and drink and a chance to hobnob with the ubiquitous Nets vet Albert King. The two jerseys on display were those of Carter and Harris. Let's expect one for Yi pretty soon, as well.