Tonight, the Nets Belong to the World

At 7:30 this evening, the New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks will tip off in East Rutherford at the Izod Center, and it will be epic. The Nets can break the record for the worst start to a season in NBA history, 0–18. All it takes is one more loss. So rarely do you get to be a part of history. Tickets still available.

The Nets still don’t feel like the type of bottoming-out franchise to set this sort of record. They have some solid talent — arguably more than the Knicks — and ESPN’s John Hollinger argues that the Timberwolves are actually worse.

The odds of starting a season 0–18 are infinitesimal. Think of it this way: Imagine that the Nets have, say, a 10 percent chance of winning a particular game. (In actuality, their chances are probably much higher, but just for the sake of this exercise, let’s go with 10 percent.) With that 10 percent chance to win, the odds are that the Nets would have won at least twice, maybe even three times. Going 0–18 is difficult to do even if you’re awful.

Yet this team, the one with Devin Harris and Josh Boone and Brook Lopez, can be that historically worst team with a loss tonight. (Jason Kidd is certainly enjoying the prospect.) When the Nets are in Brooklyn in three years, featuring LeBron James surrounded by the Russian National Team, we will all look back at this and chortle.

Tonight, the Nets Belong to the World