Oh, the irony. Brooklyn may have ripped the Nets from Newark, but Jersey is the new mid-atlantic NBA hotbed. Other than NBA greats Shaquille O’Neal, Rick Barry, and Andrew Bynum*, Jersey’s basketball legacy has historically been pretty thin. Lately though, in addition to homegrown products like Kyrie Irving, the Garden State’s been poaching NYC’s top talent from Queens and the Bronx. In the last decade, the New York Times reports, the “number of first round picks from New Jersey schools has been roughly double that of New York’s.” Why?
In addition to the financial and social problems often associated with urban education…the city was losing players because the New York State Regents Exams were a daunting challenge for many potential players who might struggle academically.