Sixers vs. Nets Preview: The Nets in Four Points

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We're finally descending to the depths of tanking with a team that wasn't supposed to be there. Four points on tonight's opponent.

1) Why did everyone think this would work?

I had misgivings about the Great Nets Experiment of 2013-14, but I kept them to myself because I figured that if everyone else thought tossing a bunch of old guys with enormous egos and, in Kevin Garnett's case, a frighteningly tenuous hold on what planet he's on, into a bucket and hiring Jason Kidd--or as he became later in his career, Asshole Derek Fisher--to coach them despite Kidd never having so much as owned a clipboard and a whistle in his life....why did we think this would work? Of course Garnett's old and crazy and Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson aren't as good as they were five years ago and Kidd is walking around resembling nothing so much as a very shiny, very well dressed and very confused root vegetable and the Nets are seven games under .500 instead of walking to the conference semifinals like they were supposed to.

And much as it should make me unhappy to see two future Hall of Famers, to say nothing of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Jason Terry, founder in pursuit of one last title, I'm kind of glad this is happening. I'm so goddamn sick of Residual 2008 Celtics Afterglow. Maybe it's the stink of Normative Boston Sports Hysteria, but the 2008 Celtics were so much for old people they should have started a carton of prune juice at center instead of Kendrick Perkins. Because yeah, they were veteran and savvy and played good defense, but they only won a title because the Spurs and Lakers were in transitional phases and LeBron had a bunch of shitass teammates. Pierce and Garnett being all like "Yeah, well if LeBron can do the superteam thing so can we and we'll teach those disrespectful kids with their hippity-hop music a thing or two" is so hilariously like Old People Missing the Point it should come with a used Porsche Boxter with a tape deck full of Grateful Dead albums.

2) I'm Really Sick of Kevin Garnett

One of the greatest players ever, but he needs to go away. And he won't. ESPN's going to throw a billion dollars at him when he retires and they're going to stick him on the NBA pregame show with Simmons and Rose, where he's going to be a less fun, less in-touch, more annoying cross between Joe Morgan and Don Cherry.

Ray Allen took less money to run out the clock on his career caddying in the corner for the best player in the world? A role in which he'd win a title his first year in Miami? Hurt your feelings, did he, Kevin Garnett?

So what? Are you a child? Are you literally a child? The fact that there's a man out there who thinks like that and is somehow held up as a role model for what athletic culture should be makes me want to drink sodium hydroxide through a beer bong until my insides turn into soap. Mollusks are more thoughtful than this. I hope Spencer Hawes drops 40 on him.

3) Andrei Kirilenko is Being Paid Under the Table

We won't see AK47 in this game--by the way, the confluence of the initials, the uniform number, the nationality and his even (according to Wikipedia) being from a town with a Kalashnikov factory makes for the most obvious and awesome nicknames ever.

Anyway, I'm not the first person to suggest this, but Kirilenko opted out of a deal with Minnesota to come off the bench for $7 million a year less in Brooklyn. Given that the Nets are owned by a Russian who's so rich he owns a 200-foot yacht and doesn't know where it is, what are the odds that there's some salary cap-circumventing payment being doled out in the form of a mansion and sports cars in some remote oblast or other. Because while playing in Brooklyn does leave Kirilenko close to one of the continent's densest Russian conclaves, for $7 million more a year, you can hire someone to cook your meat jello for you.

4) Reggie Evans

He's going to pull down 110 rebounds if Garnett stops preening and yelling at people enough to let him in the game. I really can't stand that guy.

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