There's no denying the global reach of the NBA & the Brooklyn Nets. After Nets CEO Brett Yormark returned from a business trip to China last week, the team announced a preseason schedule including two games in Shanghai. Forward Andrei Kirilenko and coach Lionel Hollins are spreading health & wellness with Basketball Without Borders in Africa, and Kirilenko fell in love with a cheetah.

Now, it looks like the man in the middle has made his way to Russia, the home country of Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, and met his twin in Moscow. Via Oregon Live:

The twins attended a streetball tournament in Moscow on Thursday, and will head to Perm, located on the European side of Russia on the Kama River, where they will hold a clinic Saturday.

The clinic will be held at the Olympiets club court, which was refurbished as part of a partnership with the NBA and Sibur, a Russian gas processing and petrochemical company. They are refurbishing 10 courts around the country "to grow the game of basketball in Russia by providing safe and accessible basketball facilities."

Lopez has not played in an NBA game since December 20th, when he broke a bone in his right foot in the fourth quarter of an overtime loss. He has since had two surgeries, one to repair & realign his right foot, and another to clean out his left ankle.

Lopez's twin brother Robin, who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers, blogged about the experience:

We went straight from the airport to the hotel, which is right across from the Kremlin and Red Square. You can almost see St. Basil’s Cathedral, one of the most iconic European landmarks, from my hotel room. It’s just out of view, but it’s there.

We had the rest of the day off, so we took a quick stroll into Red Square, which was everything I was expecting and nothing I was expecting. It was interesting. The architecture is definitely an East meets West feel, a hodgepodge of cultures. There’s Nordic influences, some Italian, some Indian, some Turkish. It’s such a mix of cultures. For the most part, as an American, my view of Russia mostly shaped through spy movies and superhero comic books, along with a few history classes I’ve taken. So it’s nice to see the real Russia, not the vilified version you see in fiction. And despite some frosty relations between the United States and Russia, I haven’t noticed any animosity at all. People have been very friendly and welcoming right from the start. Nothing standoffish or anything of the sort.

 

Anthony Davis, Mason Plumlee

Teammates! (AP)

Want to watch Brooklyn Nets forward Mason Plumlee scrimmage with the rest of Team USA? Here's how.... MORE →

 

obama selfie

The Corrado family was eating at Arthur Bryant bar b q in Kansas City when the President came in. The resulting selfie has become a small viral sensation. But we know that the real significance is that one of the Corrados, who appear to live in Colarado, was wearing a Nets hat.

 

AP

AP

In these United States of America, we love our country. We take sports way too seriously. When combining these two passions, people can get quite emotional.

That brings us to Mason Plumlee:
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The Nets announced a rather international preseason schedule today opening up on October 7 with Euroleague Champion, the Israeli basketball club Maccabi Tel Aviv, at the Barclays Center, and including exhibition games against the Sacramento Kings in Shanghai (Oct. 12) and Beijing, China (Oct. 15), respectively.

The six-game preseason schedule  includes three home contests at the Barclays Center. A complete preseason schedule is below.

 DATE DAY TIME OPPONENT
10/7/14 Tuesday 7:30 PM vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv (Barclays Center)
10/12/14 Sunday 1:00 AM at Sacramento (Shanghai, China)
10/15/14 Wednesday 7:30 AM vs. Sacramento (Beijing, China)
10/19/14 Sunday 3:00 PM vs. Boston (Barclays Center)
10/20/14 Monday 7:30 PM vs. Philadelphia (Barclays Center)
10/22/14 Wednesday 7:30 PM at Boston (TD Garden)

 

The announcement in its entirety can be found here.

 

Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez

Is it really time? (AP)

The Nets are dedicated to bringing a championship to Brooklyn. But let’s face it: they're most likely not winning one with this roster next season, and the same applies for the season after. So is it time for the Nets to throw in the towel with their core and re-build once more?

I say no -- and it all goes back to the future.
... MORE →

 

LeBron James, Mason PlumleeOn a team with two MVP winners and dozens of All-Stars, one voice rose above the rest on defense:

Mason Plumlee.

Per John Schumann’s NBA.com notebook:

I will say that Plumlee was the most vocal big man in the scrimmage. You can see the Kevin Garnett influence, because he’s always letting his backcourt teammates know if they’re by themselves on the perimeter or if there’s a screen coming.

Plumlee told YES Network about Garnett's influence in March:

Schumann took note of Plumlee’s struggles on offense, too:

Plumlee struggled offensively in the scrimmage, missing two free throws and committing two turnovers (an illegal screen and a traveling violation). Second, in talking about the bigs, Krzyzewski said that Plumlee “is going to be in the scrimmage on Friday.” Reading between the lines (which may be a bad idea), it sounds like Plumlee probably won’t be with the team beyond that.

That will happen to a sophomore competing with the world’s most talented players. Still, Plumlee refused to shrink in a gym full of the game’s giants. The guy on the fringe of camp seized a leadership role on defense. No small feat.

Plumlee possesses the athleticism to be an impact defender, and all signs appear to him having the work ethic to reach that goal. Plumlee growing as a more vocal defender only improves his chances to make that next step.

The best defenses are frequent communicators, and it’s reassuring to see Plumlee take another page from KG’s book.

NBA.com -- John Schumann, USA Camp – Day 3 Notes

 

Joe Johnson, DeMar DeRozan

Joe Johnson (AP)

Joe Cool. The Armadillo Cowboy. Joe Jesus. Joe Johnson has been the most consistent Nets player throughout his time in Brooklyn, in play if not in moniker. Every other starting spot is racked with questions, but Johnson is entrenched. But there's one question that could help fill the rest of the starting lineup: Should Joe Johnson be a shooting guard or a small forward?
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Paul Westphal

Westphal (AP)

The Brooklyn Nets have finalized Lionel Hollins's coaching staff, surrounding him with six assistants, including one advanced scout.
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Duje Dukan, Cory Jefferson

Cory Jefferson at Baylor last season. (AP)

Nets forward Cory Jefferson had to wait longer than any draftee before hearing his name called on draft night, going 60th overall to the San Antonio Spurs before the Nets acquired his rights. But if you believe Jefferson’s college coach, he could have saved himself a lot of waiting.
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Mason Plumlee

Mason Plumlee could get a Team USA nod. (YES)

During Team USA’s second day of practices, Brooklyn Nets center Mason Plumlee was upgraded from the Select Team to participate in scrimmages along with the other 19 team members. The team is in desperate need of bigs after losing Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge. Team USA’s managing director Jerry Colangelo went about that issue by bringing in Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap, which only stalled the matter rather than solved it.

If Plumlee made that valuable of an impression on the coaching staff that quickly, they must think that Millsap won’t be enough to take on Spain’s very "big" 3 of Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka. Plumlee has a realistic shot at making the Senior Team, and here’s what he’ll be able to contribute if that dream does come true for the aspiring 24-year-old.
... MORE →