NEW YORK -- During their current downward spiral, the Ne Jersey Nets have changed players, coaches and even the routines of their team mascot, Duncan. None of it has worked.
So the Nets, looking to erase the past and improve their image, are now going with a new logo and new uniforms this season.
"As we move into the '90s, we felt it was time for a change in our look and style as we also change our fortunes on the court," Bob Casciola, the Nets' executive vice president, said recently. "The past is the past, and we're just looking for the future."
Out are the red, white and blue uniforms Dr. J made famous in the Nets' American Basketball Association days. So is the logo that displayed the Garden State inside a basketball.
The new logo shows the word "Nets" with a ball under it. The uniforms will be made of a softer blue and red in a gradation of colors to produce a visual perception of action.
The creation of the new logo was by Apex One of South Plainfield, N.J., one of the leading companies in athletic-wear design.
"They came to us highly recommended," Casciola said. "They were very creative."
Apex One took six to eight months and came back with a half-dozen designs. From there, the Nets made their choice.
Mary Beth Barenborg, the artist for the logo, enjoyed her role in changing the Nets' identity.
"When we first sat down to discuss the concept of the logo and uniforms, we wanted to introduce something more contemporary, versatile and concise in a visual sense," Barenborg said. "The design is such that if the word 'Nets' or the ball were separated, they could stand on their own and still hold the identity of the team."
The Nets have switched to their new logo but will still wear their old uniforms during the preseason. The new uniforms will be ready for the season opener Nov. 2 in Indiana, where the Pacers also will sport new uniforms.
"You don't know what kind of reaction you'll get" from the fans, Casciola said. "But the coach [Bill Fitch] is happy, and some of the players who have seen some of the tops and warmups are impressed."
Casciola, though, is also a realist. He knows that it doesn't matter what color the uniforms are if the team doesn't play well.
"Don't get us wrong; we still have to fill them with some ability," Casciola said. "But we just thought it was a perfect time to make the change."