What's in a name? Well, put it this way, here was a rare chance to demolish a leaky, ramshackle hut and build a sleek and soaring structure in its place.
But the always-looking-for-respect NBA franchise – currently known as the New Jersey Nets – has decided it will keep the name "Nets" when it moves from the Jersey swamplands to gentrifying Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season.
The team will officially be the Brooklyn Nets.
All this according to rap mogul and (part) team owner Jay-Z, who announced the franchise’s new name at a Monday press conference.
“I’m really giddy right now. Brooklyn Nets, yeah,” said Jay-Z, who is from Brooklyn. “It’s great. I have a reason to come to Brooklyn often, which is fantastic for me. “This is my foundation.”
The Brooklyn Nets doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it?
What's worse, the name comes with too much baggage. And when I say baggage, I mean sucking. The franchise has been pretty much awful for its entire history. Maybe not L.A. Clippers awful, but damn bad.
This was a golden chance for the franchise to start fresh and new. They have a new Russian primary owner who oozes cash, they have the coolness of Jay-Z, they'll have a new arena, which will be called the Barclay’s Center, and they should have picked a hip and dynamic nickname.
Apparently, I’m not alone:
“Not getting rid of the name Nets is a major mistake,” tweeted CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell. “Chance to rebrand themselves, get attention.
I'm most surprised at Jay-Z, who is a culture king. He understands the importance of words and titles. And he should know what the average person thinks when the word "Nets" is spoken.