The New Jersey Nets have been trying their best to avoid going down in the NBA record books for all of the wrong reasons. They have already etched themselves in for the single worst start in NBA history going 0-18 before finally getting their first win against the Bobcats on December 4.
With hope for the season clearly in the can, attendance has been pretty low in the IZOD Center. The Nets are currently dead last in the NBA not only in percentage filled, but also total attendance. The marketing staff has been pulling their hair out trying to fill seats.
They know they can’t promise the fans wins as last night they set a new franchise record by recording their 10th straight home loss. So if all you can count on is death and taxes, then you might as well choose the less morbid angle for the full-proof marketing strategy. On Friday March 5, all attendees of New Jersey’s home game against Orlando will get a chance to have their state tax returns done for free.
Roni Deutch Tax Center, one of the nation’s fastest growing tax preparation franchise companies, will provide all New Jersey residents 18 years and older who attend the NETS-Orlando Magic game at the IZOD CENTER on Friday, March 5 with a coupon for preparation of a free state tax return.
But the partnership will not end after Friday, any attendee of home games after the Orlando game can find coupons of up to $50 worth of tax preparation services from Roni Deutch Tax Center. It sounds absurd, but the Nets have to do anything they can to avoid going down in NBA history as the worst 82-game team.
So why the desperation?
1) The Nets, currently four wins away from avoiding historical embarrassment, only play 10 of their 23 remaining games in the IZOD Center.
2) Of those 11 remaining games, 7 of those teams would be in the playoffs right now.
3) If their shot at infamy comes down to their home finale against the Bobcats (current a half-game out of the playoffs), they will be banking on defeating the ‘Cats for the third time this season. Something tells me that a Bobcats team on the edge of the playoffs is not going to be rolling over for the Nets.
So the only options for New Jersey is to get it done on the road (best chances lie against Philadelphia, Washington, and Indiana) or try to fill the IZOD Center with hopes of pulling off a few upsets.
I am completely in support of the Nets, and as an NBA fan do not wish to be able to say that I witnessed the worst season in NBA history in my lifetime. If they can escape this season without making history, then it will be on to the summer of opportunity. Free agency, the coming of Mikhail Prokhorov, and possibly the coming of John Wall with the first overall choice in the NBA draft?
But first they need to focus on finding those last four wins to avoid being the worst team in history.
Chip Patterson, graduate of University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, writes for TheHoopDoctors.com and serves as Basketball Editor for BusterSports.com.