Byron Scott and Lawrence Frank put down the blacktop, and now, Avery Johnson is ready to pave the road to success for the Brooklyn Nets.
After Scott and Frank built up the Nets reputation playing in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the franchise always a big change in mind: moving across the Hudson River to Brooklyn.
Now, Johnson, with a lethal lineup, has the opportunity to bring something the Nets and Brooklyn have been without for far too long: a championship.
Despite the Nets' ups and downs so far this season, Johnson has instilled an idea of winning that hasn't been with the team since they went to the finals in back-to-back seasons in 2002 and 2003. Now, with players that compared favorably against those teams, the Nets have a chance to be a legitimate title contender in front of sellout home crowds for years to come.
With the New York Knicks climbing to the top of the NBA in Manhattan, Johnson has felt the pressure to keep the Nets relevant and competitive in the city that never sleeps. Against those Knicks, the Nets are 1-2 and have played three of their better games in 2012 -- a sign that they will be here to stay for a long time.
The casual Nets fan won't be asking for a championship come April this season, although they will probably agree that it would be nice. Instead, they will just be looking for progress. They will be hoping that a franchise that set an NBA record for the worst start in league history (0-18) in 2009 can now make a deep playoff run.
Johnson has embraced the move to Brooklyn as well as any coach can. He has said all the right things, along with participating in the right activities to get the borough involved with the team. But, the move won't mean much to anyone if it doesn't come hand-in-hand with winning big games.
Everything is in place for Brooklyn, now, all it needs, is a championship trophy.