The move back to Brooklyn in 2012 was a symbolic one for the Nets who finally returned to New York after 35 years and became the first major sports team to play in the borough since the departure of the Dodgers.
Brooklyn Move Prompted Team Rebranding
The move sparked a major re-branding exercise by former co-owner and rapper Jay-Z and his team with the franchise named changed to the Brooklyn Nets and new black and white colors revealed. A new logo was also unveiled which was inspired by the New York City Subway roll signs from the 1950s. The rebranding prompted a boost in merchandise sales as the Nets became the leading NBA team in apparel sales in 2012/13.
Another part of the rebranding was the introduction of a new mascot. The original mascot, Duncan the Dragon, had been ditched in 1997 in favor of Sly the Silver Fox. But with the team now playing in Brooklyn the club owners’ decided a new mascot was needed.
The Nets called on the might of Marvel Comics to help design a new superhero mascot named BrooklyKnight who also starred in a self-titled comic book. He first made an appearance in the game against the Raptors in November 2012 when he descended from the ceiling of the Barclays Center amid much fanfare. Unfortunately, he got stuck in his tether when he reached the ground as the crowd looked on in almost complete silence.
Doomed from the Start
With such heavyweight names involved in his creation, BrooklyKnight should have been a success but it was not to be – BrooklyKnight was awful. A mascot should add some fun or comedy value off the court but BrooklyKnight lacked any charm whatsoever – some kids even found him scary. The fact that kids are not crazy about dudes in medieval armor who hide their faces should have come as no surprise but no one thought of this.
He proved to be such an unpopular character that he was ditched after just two seasons. The Nets, who have rarely featured as Championship contenders in the NBA betting on Bet365 in recent years, have yet to replace BrooklyKnight. Maybe a new mascot would bring them some luck?
The Worst Mascot Ever
There have been some terrible mascots in the NBA but have any been worse than the Nets’ doomed effort? The Dallas Mavericks decided to choose a horse known as Champ as their mascot but they didn’t stop there. To make things a little more interesting they paired him up with Mavs Man, a hideous-looking creation with basketball skin (yes, that’s right). But at least Mavs Man has a basketball link (albeit a weird one) and kids seem to like him and his horse friend.
When the Philadelphia 76ers needed a new mascot after sacking Hip Hop the Rabbit, they opted for a dog with an elaborate backstory. He was named Franklin the dog after American founding father Benjamin Franklin but has never been popular with adult fans – some even petitioned to get him removed. However, he was created after lengthy discussions with children’s focus groups and if a mascot is popular with the kids, it’s hard to knock it.
What’s your game day routine??
I have mine ? pic.twitter.com/At2iR9IjrR
— Franklin (@SixersFranklin) February 25, 2020
Other contenders for worst mascot include Miami Heat’s Burnie (what the hell is he?), Houston Rockets’ dismal Clutch the Bear and the LA Clipper’s Chuck the Condor, whose launch was met with widespread disappointment from fans in 2016.
But out of them all, none have ever been so ill-judged as the Net’s monochrome monstrosity.
Featured Image: New York Post