The Nets have four dudes named Williams on the team right now, Deron, Jordan, Shawne and Shelden. Four. Crazy coincidence, this.

Or is it?

Let’s be real here, the marketing possibilites here are dizzying. First of all, I can’t remember anything like this ever happening. I mean, maybe in College Football where the teams carry 109 players or whatever, but what are the odds that four of the 15 men on a basketball team would share the same last name and none would be related?

And let’s face it, what else is there to talk about on this crappy team? Yeah, they’re caught up in the middle of the Dwight Howard saga and they’re moving to Brooklyn soon but honestly, aren’t we all tired of talking about that stuff now? How about something new for a change?

Truth is, we need the Ballin’ Williamses. We need posters, lunch boxes, T-shirts and whatever else you can screen their images on. I for one want an album of ballads. We need in-depth profiles and factoids, like the kind of stuff you’d see on Backstreet Boys CD covers (he’s the shy one!) and the like. Something like this:

Deron: The leader. Not afraid to kill a coach or two to get his point across. Only guard in the league who can get 20 and 10 and make the all-star team with 20% bodyfat. Enjoys berating rookies in his spare time.

Shawne: The shooter. Looks like Obama. Likes tattoos,  one year contracts and public displays of affection.

Shelden: The Muscle. Married to Candace Parker, the world’s greatest female basketball player. Does stunts for this famous Comic book hero. Long lost son of former Bell Biv Devoe and New Edition singer Ricky Bell.

Jordan: The enigma. No seriously, I have no fucking idea who this guy is, and I usually know everyone in the NBA. Wikipedia tells me he last played with Zastal Zielona Gora of the Polish league. Cool team name. Sounds like some rich Heiress that bathes in champagne or whatever.

So yeah, this could work. Trouble is, you gotta move fast, while the act is still fresh. Before you know it, there’s bound to be squabbles over creative control, pecking order and who gets first dibs on the groupies and shit. Oh, and you know Deron’s artist rider is gonna be a motherfucker. Fifty pounds of jelly beans, all the pork rinds in Jersey, etc.

Hey the NBA is a transient league these days, and dudes get traded, waived or injured on a moments notice. When you have an idea this good, you have to strike while the iron is hot.

So make it happen, Prokhorov. If your team isn’t gonna be good, the least it can do is be interesting.


-John Hathwell


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