Turnpike Team

A History of the New Jersey Nets, 1977–2012


In stock

About the Book

A sense of impending doom surrounded the New Jersey Nets. No matter how well things were going for the perennial underdogs, something would go wrong sooner or later—injuries, bad trades, inner conflicts. But if the Nets were never a stable organization, it made following them as entertaining as it was painful. The team’s 2012 move to Brooklyn was supposed to make a clean break with their past.
That past was in fact rich and eventful, filled with heroes, often unfairly vilified or underappreciated. Shedding new light on the careers of such figures as Julius Erving, Buck Williams, Sam Bowie, Derrick Coleman, Stephon Marbury, Jason Kidd and Vince Carter, this book celebrates a team of strong-willed individuals whose best efforts always ended in heartbreak.

About the Author(s)

Lukasz Muniowski (Ph.D., American literature, University of Warsaw) has written numerous academic articles on various topics, including gentrification, geek culture, American literature, video games and television series. He lives in Poland.

Bibliographic Details

Łukasz Muniowski
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 221
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8940-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4782-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: Hello, Brooklyn 1
1. ABA to NBA, Jersey to New York to Jersey 5
2. Trading, Leaving, Winning 19
3. Good Luck, Buck 31
4. New Logo, New Problems 45
5. Imagine Swamp Dragons 59
6. Truth or Dare 75
7. A New Hope 88
8. All Alone 106
9. What the Kidd Did 116
10. As Close as It Gets 130
11. The Beginning of the End 148
12. Two Carters 162
13. The Fall 174
14. Goodbye, Jersey 187
Chapter Notes 197
Bibliography 209
Index 211

Book Reviews & Awards

• “For much of their history, the Brooklyn/New Jersey Nets have been a forgettable NBA franchise, seemingly rightfully overshadowed in basketball culture by more glamorous franchises with star-studded, championship traditions. While the arrival of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the summer of 2019 vaulted the Brooklyn Nets into the relevancy the franchise long had sought, Łukasz Muniowski’s Turnpike Team suggests that the longer, often uninspiring history of the New Jersey iterations of the Nets is worthy of attention and analysis. Muniowski illuminates the Nets’ long struggle for relevancy, one repeatedly beset by location, demographics, and mismanagement. Muniowski’s history productively provides insight into the messiness of the average NBA franchise, where success is fleeting and no banners fly forever.”—Cat M. Ariail, author of Passing the Baton: Black Women Track Stars and American Identity

• “In Łukas Muniowski’s thorough, fun and fascinating history, readers fully experience every moment of the often-bumpy ride that accompanied every Nets season. From Dr. J’s dominant days to Jason Kidd’s revitalization of the franchise, Muniowski ably documents the times when the Nets actually sat atop the basketball world. But he also shows how potential greatness was often squandered and how mismanagement and even geography seemingly doomed the team to eternal mediocrity. With Muniowski’s keen eye for detail and sharp writing, Turnpike Team delivers a winning read for basketball fans.”—Shawn Fury, author of Rise and Fire: The Origins, Science and Evolution of the Jump Shot—and How It Transformed Basketball Forever