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Nets have worst NBA nickname?

8/20/2013

Zach Lowe, who covers the NBA for Grantland.com, unveiled his list of the top 30 team names. His worst? The Brooklyn Nets, which were simply given that name in 1968 to complement two other teams in New York, the Jets and Mets.

Here's Lowe's full take on the Nets name:

"The franchise with aspirations of unmatched hipness, sporting killer black jerseys and a sleek new arena in the coolest borough of the coolest city, is named for an assemblage of string that hangs lifelessly below the rim. You might as well call them the Basketballs, or the Shoes, or the Wood-Paneled Floors.

"The intentions weren't bad. The Nets began life in the ABA as the New Jersey Americans, and, really, they should have just stopped there. The Americans -- that's a cool name, even better than the 'Freighters' nickname the owner, Arthur Brown, originally suggested, according to 'Loose Balls,' Terry Pluto's must-read history of the ABA. (Brown owned a freight trucking company.)

"But when the team moved to Long Island, ownership switched to 'Nets' in order to line up with the Jets and Mets. The 'Nets' name has some residual cool, based mostly upon potent images of Jason Kidd fast breaks and an Afro-ed young Dr. J doing crazy stuff in those classic red-white-and-blue jerseys. But the Doctor retired a long time ago, and the interim has mostly featured sad failure -- plus a very serious move in the mid-1990s to change the name to Swamp Dragons, a bid that drew opposition from local political elites sensitive to Joisey's image as a disgusting swamp.

"The impulse to change was correct, and should grow stronger now that the team is relevant and in Brooklyn. A name switch might also kill the BrooklyKnight mascot, a death that would increase worldwide joy levels by at least 2 percent."

On the other hand, Lowe ranked the Knicks No. 5 because "Knickerbockers" reflects the city's residential history and the "name is cool," among other reasons.

Click here for the full breakdown of the team names.

Do you agree with Lowe's assessment? Leave us your comments below.

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