The Golden Era
The New Jersey Nets experienced a franchise-best season during their 2001-2002 campaign. With a club-record 52-win season, the Nets were Atlantic Division Champions and Eastern Conference Champions and made their first appearance in the NBA Finals. The good fortune began with the trade for All-Star point guard Jason Kidd in July 2001 and escalated from there. Kenyon Martin continued to show why he was a number one draft pick the season before, while rookie Richard Jefferson caught the attention of many. The Nets lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2002 NBA Finals. They returned to the Finals in 2003, but fell to the San Antonio Spurs 4-2 in the championship round.