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New Jersey Nets

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New Jersey Nets
February 2002

Professional 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.

When 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.

The 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 Arena.

While 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.

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