Long Island holds a special place in the heart of basketball. It all really began in 1973. The Nets had been playing in Long Island for five years and in their new digs at Nassau Coliseum for two. Like many ABA teams, the Virginia Squires faced financial struggles and so they traded Julius Erving, the league’s superstar, to New York.
It was a brilliant move. Not only did New York get a signature player, a game-changing player ... in many ways, it got a local product. Erving grew up in Roosevelt, Long Island, a mile and a half away from the Nets new home.