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Breaking news: playing for the Nets is not fun

Feb 9, 2010, 11:54 AM EDT

The Nets have a legitimate shot at taking the “Worst Team in NBA History” crown, despite a fair amount of intriguing young talent. They stand at an abysmal 4-46, which no matter how you dress it up, still looks and feels like 4-46. Losing that much would destroy just about any team’s culture, and if basketball is all fun and games, fun just left town.

Cue Chris Douglas-Roberts, per Fred Kerber of the New York Post:

I’m just more cold. But all that stuff, I don’t care one way or the
other,” said Douglas-Roberts. “Caring about winning? Absolutely. But
everything else doesn’t matter. All of this is because I want to win. I
take losing bad. All of this, everything comes from me being a sore
loser. I don’t like losing.”

The Nets aren’t just losing. At
4-46, they are losing like only two other NBA teams ever have done.
Only the 1972-73 Sixers, who were a worst-ever 9-73, and the 1992-93
Mavs, who had 11 wins, were 4-46 after 50 games. What has it been like?

“Hell, really,” said Douglas-Roberts, whose production (7.5
points from 16.4), shots (6.6 from 14.3) and minutes (24.8 from 36.5)
all have plunged since Yi Jianlian returned in late December. “With so
many ups and downs, even when I was playing well early in the year, I
didn’t get any satisfaction from playing well if we’re losing. It’s
been real bad. I’m not really playing, so it’s worse.”

Needless to say, CDR’s NBA dream has had a bit of a rough start. After sliding into the second round of the draft somewhat inexplicably, Douglas-Roberts struggled to find his role during his first season. And now, not only have CDR’s minutes been curbed to accommodate teammates returning from injury, but the Nets are still a completely miserable team whose only hope for the season is the visage of John Wall.

In his three years at Memphis, CDR won 101 games and lost only nine. It would only take these Nets 15 and a half seasons to match that win total. There are so many adjustments to make in going from NCAA star to NBA rookie, but the losing has to be among the most depressing. It’s not merely a rigorous schedule with high expectations and separation from family and friends, but one that humbles even prolific young athletes on a nightly basis. For a league that makes dreams come true, the NBA is one cruel mistress.

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