A Season on the Brink

With Stephon Marbury, The Nets are on the verge of greatness . . . again

But there's the larger question of karma. There was a time when it seemed like Kenny Anderson was the real deal, too. Six years ago, the Nets had a coach, they had a point guard, and a few guys with game. But a broken wrist, a car accident, and Chuck Daly's timely exit squashed that glimmer of hope as surely as a dyslexic can spell Micheal Ray Richardson. It was the Curse of Dr. J.

"We got buzzard luck," says Williams presciently. "We can't kill nothin' and nothin' won't die."

But the Nets aren't the Red Sox. They can make amends for their fateful transgression, and let Phil start with a clean slate. But if the team's new owners want to really turn this franchise around, it's going to take more than V-necked jerseys and a partnership with George Steinbrenner. An exorcism is in order. Repeat after me, Lewis Katz: Interim Coach Julius Erving.

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