NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 09: Paul Pierce #34 of the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Garnett #2 and Deron Williams #8 walk downcourt during the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center on November 9, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Pacers defeat the Nets 96-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

On June 27, 2013, the Brooklyn Nets acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Boston Celtics. The two future Hall of Famers would join Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez on a team that had been the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference the year before.

It was no secret at the time that Brooklyn had paid a hefty price for Pierce and Garnett, sacrificing three future first round picks and offering the Celtics the opportunity to swap 2017 first-rounders. But many people were willing to look past that. The Nets, they reasoned, would worry about those lost draft picks later. For now, they had a star-studded team with the potential to chase down the Miami Heat.

“For the first time now, the Nets have truly arrived as a contending franchise,” Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote several weeks later, after Brooklyn signed Andrei Kirilenko. “They’re good, with a chance to be great.”

Sean Deveney of the Sporting News went a step further.

“There is a top-level championship contender in the Eastern Conference,” he wrote. “And it’s in Brooklyn.”

At the end of his column, Deveney made a bold proclamation: “As it stands here in July, the Nets are better than the Heat.”

Deveney was certainly in the minority, but he wasn’t alone. Nets guard Jason Terry, who came over from Boston along with Pierce and Garnett, predicted a title:

Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who had also just left the Celtics, felt the Nets could get by the Heat:

ESPN’s championship odds formula bought the hype.

So did Las Vegas:

And of course various media members:

This show actually existed:

Well, it didn’t quite work out like that. Here are the Nets’ win totals, beginning the year before they acquired Pierce and Garnett.

2012-13: 49 wins
2013-14: 44 wins
2014-15: 38 wins
2015-16: 21 wins
2016-17 (pace): 13 wins

In the brief KG/Paul Pierce era in Brooklyn, the Nets reached the playoffs twice, winning a series in 2014 before losing to the Heat in five games in the second round.

Meanwhile, the Celtics got the No. 17 pick in the 2014 draft (They selected James Young) and the No. 3 pick in the 2016 draft (Jaylen Brown) and will get the Nets pick again this year and next year. The Nets currently have by far the worst record in the NBA but won’t be able to capitalize on the top-3 draft pick that comes with being at the bottom. Basically, Brooklyn has no talent and no way to acquire talent. The organization is screwed.

That title some people predicted back in 2013 might have to wait a while.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.