The Long Island Nets, in their third season of existence and second calling Nassau Coliseum home, have plenty of new things to offer for the 2018-19 campaign.
Coming off a 27-23 season that left it just short of a playoff berth, the Brooklyn Nets’ G-League affiliate features Will Weaver as its new head coach and Dale the Eagle as its first-ever mascot. Weaver’s debut at the helm was a successful one Nov. 3 as the Nets defeated the Westchester Knicks, 114-105, before a crowd of 3,361 at NYCB LIVE.
“These are NBA-level athletes who are really fun to coach,” Weaver said. “When we’re up and down the court, it feels like an NBA game,” he added. “A big advantage for us is pushing the pace and playing fast. I think the guys have embraced it and are excited to play that style, but the flip side is we have to make really good decisions.”
Alan Williams scored 27 points and ripped down 21 rebounds, Dzanan Musa added 23 points and Theo Pinson had 22 to lead the offensive fireworks. They’re all NBA-roster players and part of an exciting group that includes returnees Kendall Gray, Tahjere McCall, Kamari Murphy, Shannon Scott and Thomas Wimbush.
The 6-foot-10 Gray appeared in 44 games last season and averaged 4.6 points and 4.3 rebounds. McCall, a 6-5 guard, averaged 9.1 points over 37 games and also chipped in 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Murphy started all but two games last season and averaged a team-best 7.4 rebounds per game to go along with 10.3 points. Scott led the league in steals with 121 while averaging a shade under 8 points and 5 assists per game. Wimbush, selected No. 4 in the 2017 G-League draft, averaged more than 8 points per game in just 17 minutes of court time.
“We have five guys back, which rarely happens in this league,” said Trajan Langdon. “That’s definitely a positive because you only have about 10 days to get ready for the season. I think we’ll be fun to watch.”
In addition to the entertainment on the court, in-arena promotions include dollar hot dogs (Feb. 21) and Wacky Wednesdays (Dec. 12, Jan. 2, Feb. 27, Mar. 6, and Mar. 13) where fans can purchase $2 beer and $5 wine. The Nets also brought back the “Kids Go Free” program which grants free entry to all regular-season games (Monday through Thursday) for kids age 11-and-under with the purchase of one paid adult ticket with a $20 value. Fans can receive up to two free kids tickets through this special offer.
Several theme nights were added, including Military Appreciation Night presented by Bank of America on Nov. 8, where the team wore special edition uniforms to pay homage to active duty military and veterans. A “Three for Vets,” monthly in-game tribute will see Bank of America donate $300 to a local charity for every successful trey.
The Nov. 8 thrilling 128-127 win over G-League newcomer Capital City Go-Go was the first of six games televised live on the YES Network. Pinson had 29 points and Williams added 26 to go with 14 rebounds for his second double-double in as many contests. The YES lineup includes an on-air team of play-by-play announcer Kevin Dexter, Randy Foye and Tim Capstraw. The latter, who begins his 17th season as the Brooklyn Nets' radio color analyst, will pair with Dexter for the Nov. 27 game against the Greensboro Swarm.
All home games at NYCB LIVE will include inflatables, pop-a-shot, and gaming activities in the Kids Zone presented by Send In The Clowns, as well as appearances by the Long Island Nets Kids Dance Team, Team Hype, the “Nets Noise” Drumline and Dale the Eagle. At the conclusion of every home game, select players will participate in an autograph session for fans.
For ticket information call 844-LINETS1 or visit longislandnets.com.