They've done it. It only took 63 losses, but the Nets have assured themselves of NOT having the worst record in NBA history. Thanks to a resounding 118-110 victory over the Pistons at the IZOD Center on Friday night, the Nets won their 9th game of the season, tying the win total of the '72-73 Sixers who have held the distinction of the NBA's worst team for the past 37 years.
Now the real work begins. The Nets have 10 games remaining - of which they need to win just one, to leave the Philadelphia squad standing alone. And the remaining schedule is as favorable as it can be, as the Nets still play Charlotte, who they've beaten twice, and Chicago, who they beat for their second win of the year.
Following an off-season shakeup, the Nets started an NBA worst 0-18, and until last week, were on pace to finish with the worst record in league history.
But now hope abounds. With a new owner and new arena on the horizon, and money to burn this off-season on improving a young, and surprisingly talented roster, the Nets might not be laughingstocks for long.
Each season, when the last remaining unbeaten NFL team loses, the 1972 Dolphins pop bottles of champagne to celebrate. There's no telling if somewhere in the suburbs of Philly, the '72 Sixers are celebrating, or merely have the bubbly on ice.
But at least the Nets won't be joining them. Provided they win one more game.