View Full Version : Nets Almost Renamed the "New Jersey Swamp Dragons"

04-22-2012, 04:23 PM
Nets’ middling-if-not-colorful history

Fans will come to Prudential Center in Newark on Monday to say goodbye to the New Jersey Nets – but they just as easily could have been saying farewell to the New Jersey “Swamp Dragons” instead.

In 1994, after nearly two decades of indifferent basketball in New Jersey, team president Jon Spoelstra thought a name change would help remake the franchise’s identity.

“We were, in a sense, putting the Nets in the witness-protection program,” Spoelstra said last week. “In the NBA, the Nets had never achieved anything of worth, and the Nets – I still believe is sort of a crummy name. It would be like the Yankees being named the New York ‘Second Bases.’”

Not everyone was thrilled with the idea – including Gov. Christie Whitman.

“She called me personally and said, ‘We’ve been trying to convince people for 20 years that that swamp is a meadow by calling it Meadowlands, and now you’re naming your team Swamp Dragons?” Spoelstra said.

Still, the change was approved by each member of the ‘Secaucus Seven,’ the Nets’ ownership group at the time – a minor miracle, considering they seldom agreed on anything. Then it was approved by the executive committee of the NBA’s board of governors, after which the league spent more than $500,000 to trademark the name in hundreds of countries.

All it needed now was the approval of the NBA’s 27 owners. Back then, the votes were tabulated via fax.

“Of the 27 votes, 26 of them came back with a ‘yes,’” Spoelstra said. “And one came back with a ‘no.’ The problem was, that one vote was the New Jersey Nets.”

Huh? The seven owners used to rotate who would vote on such matters, and this was David Gerstein’s turn to vote.

“He got cold feet,” Spoelstra said. “I told David Stern, ‘We still have a majority.’ He said, ‘Yeah, but the one [expletive] guy that didn’t vote for it is your owner.’ So he said we can’t do that”

That dragon tale underscores the Nets’ history in New Jersey – things were always, it seemed, a little off-kilter.

04-22-2012, 04:23 PM
And yes, Jon Spoelstra is Erik Spoelstra's father.

04-22-2012, 04:26 PM
Who is the ******* who didn't let it go through?

EDIT- I actually read it now. **** you, David Gerstein.

04-22-2012, 04:26 PM
Swamp Dragons would have been ****ing awesome

04-22-2012, 04:28 PM

04-22-2012, 04:28 PM

They shoulda done it

04-22-2012, 04:31 PM

04-22-2012, 04:35 PM
Well the Meadowlands does smell like a dirty swamp, so it would of made sense at the time :D

04-22-2012, 04:39 PM
That is a great name, that is what they should be.

04-22-2012, 04:56 PM

04-22-2012, 04:58 PM
I remember this. I wanted it done cuz it actually made sense and hate the 'Nets' name.

Very cool read. I didn't know the story behind it.

04-22-2012, 05:07 PM
Besides that they'd be ruining all of the history that goes with the Nets name, that's actually a pretty cool name.

04-22-2012, 05:18 PM
Besides that they'd be ruining all of the history that goes with the Nets name, that's actually a pretty cool name.

The only "history" is that it goes with mets and jets.

That's the only "special" thing about it.

04-22-2012, 05:22 PM
do it please!

04-22-2012, 05:25 PM
lol that's cool.

04-22-2012, 05:28 PM
greatest name ever

04-22-2012, 05:43 PM
I wonder if there uniforms would be green and as ugly as the old Raptors one.

04-22-2012, 05:46 PM

What the logos might have looked like are towards the bottom of the page.

04-22-2012, 05:57 PM
go Swamp Dragons.

That would've been HUGE

04-22-2012, 06:01 PM
Just remove the word dragons and it fits the old area where they play perfectly (Continental Airlines Arena/Brendan Byrne Arena.)

04-22-2012, 06:06 PM
that would sound like some kind of d league team. LOL

04-22-2012, 06:11 PM
Dragons are ****ing awesome, wish they would've used the name. Hopefully the Nets pick up a new name in Brooklyn.

04-22-2012, 06:15 PM
I like that. Would be perfect for the hornets actually.