basketball first came to New Jersey in 1967. That year, the
New Jersey Americans joined ten other teams for the first season
of the American Basketball Association (ABA). The Americans
played at an armory in Teaneck that was turned into a basketball
court. However, pro basketball only lasted one year in New
Jersey. The next season the Americans moved to Long Island,
New York, and changed their name to the Nets.
the ABA merged with the National Basketball Association in
1976, the New York Nets came back to New Jersey. The Nets were
the reigning ABA champions. Led by three-time ABA Most Valuable
Player Julius Erving, they were expected to become one
of the NBA's best teams. However, Erving never played for the
Nets in New Jersey. Before the season started, his contract
was sold to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nets stumbled to a
22-60 record in their first year back in New Jersey.
New Jersey Nets played their home games at Rutgers Athletic
Center until the Brendan Byrne Arena was completed at the Meadowlands
in 1981. The arena is now known as the Continental Airlines
the Nets have struggled over the years, their future looks
very bright. Led by All-Star point guard Jason Kidd,
the Nets are one of the league's best teams this year.
I Men's College Basketball in NJ