With the 2016-17 Brooklyn Nets stuck to the NBA’s cellar for yet another season, I’m going to take some time to commemorate some of the organization’s former players. Not the most talented ones — they have gotten enough coverage — but the ones that hung around for a few seasons, before inevitably serving as key members of championship teams elsewhere, playing overseas, or playing competitive ping-pong. If you’re a long-time Nets fan like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Let’s continue with Jarvis Hayes, whose NBA career ended much earlier than it should have.
Nets stats: 119 G, .436/.364/.714, 8.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, 7.6 TOV%, 16.4 USG%, 104 ORTG, 112 DRTG
Non-Nets stats: 308 G, .408/.351/.813, 8.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.2 APG, 10.1 TOV%, 18.6 USG%, 100 ORTG, 108 DRTG
Also, here’s a video of Jarvis showing off his Rolls as a member of the Nets. In his seven-year NBA career — at least per Basketball-Reference — Jarvis made just over $13 million. Not too bad.
Best game as a Net: Wins were at a premium for the Nets during Jarvis’ short time in New Jersey, but the Georgia product led the way to a 96-88 win over the Heat on March 20th, 2009 at the Izod Center. He poured in 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting (with five rebounds) and made a pair of 20-footers down the stretch to hold off Dwyane Wade and Miami.
Origin story: After he was drafted 10th overall by the Wizards in 2003, Jarvis was a part-time starter for a Washington team that made the playoffs in three of his four years with the team. However, he played more than 54 games in two of those seasons and only appeared in one postseason, starting all four games of the Wizards’ 2006-07 sweep at the hands of LeBron’s Cavaliers.
He then had a successful year with the Pistons mostly coming off the bench and signed a two-year pact with the Nets, with whom he took on a much bigger role.
The epilogue: The Nets declined to re-sign him after the 2009-10 season, and he wound up with Turkish side Aliaga Petkim. He spent the next few seasons playing in Russia, Italy and Israel before ending up in Romania with Asesoft Ploiesti, where he played until 2015. In this time, the Atlanta native became a Qatari citizen and started to play for the national team in what must be the strangest player-country pairing in recent FIBA history. More recently, though, Jarvis worked as a game analyst for the SEC Network. According to his Twitter profile, he is also coaching a youth team.
When I researched Jarvis Hayes’ Nets career for this post, I have to admit I was surprised by how little he actually played for the Nets. He only spent the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons in New Jersey but, at least to me, it seemed like he was around for much longer than that. Never a particularly effective defender, he was a solid wing scorer for some really bad Nets teams and showed flashes of being more than a bit starter.
Injuries took their toll, limiting him to 45 games in what would turn out to be his final NBA season. He suffered an almost-unfathomable amount of different maladies in the 2009-10 campaign, missing time due to hamstring, shin, calf and ankle ailments.
The problem that kept him out for much of the season was with the left hamstring, which he hurt in the season-opening loss to the Timberwolves (the first of 18 consecutive defeats for the Nets, which set a NBA record). That 95-93 loss, one of the closest during that skid, is one I remember all too well, and if Jarvis hadn’t gone down in the first quarter after just two minutes of play, the Nets might have started that season 1-0.
New Jersey cruised through the first three quarters and led 78-64 at the start of the fourth quarter. That advantage would grow to as much as 16, when Chris Douglas-Roberts (the certain focus of a future Forgotten Net feature) hit a 9-footer with 6:50 left to play. Then, things unraveled, as Minnesota scored 12 unanswered before Damien Wilkins hit a shot at the buzzer to break the Nets’ collective hearts — and that of a 12-year-old me. Of course, had he not gotten hurt, Jarvis might have been guarding him that play.
He didn’t return to action until January 5th, but the Nets were well on their way to 12-70 by then. Jarvis missed just three wins during his time on the sidelines.
But that little anecdote feels like an apt summary of the Jarvis Hayes era with the Nets. When he was on the court, Jarvis was a solid scorer with a decent jumpshot who undoubtedly benefited from being on one of the worst teams in NBA history. Those constant injuries, though, zapped him of his athleticism and scoring ability and he phased out of the NBA without as much as a whimper.