In an exclusive interview with the New York Post, former NBA coach and current analyst Jeff Van Gundy tells Tim Bontemps that he feels the 39-28 Brooklyn Nets, who spent $330 million bolstering their roster this offseason, have overachieved relative to expectation:
“I think they’ve overachieved, absolutely,” Van Gundy told The Post Wednesday before calling the Nets’ 113-96 victory over the Mavericks on ESPN.
That, of course, hasn’t been the view of things in Brooklyn, where the Nets came into the season hoping to become contenders after re-signing Deron Williams, committing more than $330 million in present and future dollars to dramatically overhaul the roster and try to fulfill billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s championships aspirations.
But, in Van Gundy’s eyes, the expectations the combination of the spending — including the addition of Joe Johnson to go along with Williams and Brook Lopez — the aspirations of ownership and the team’s move to Brooklyn created set the bar for a successful season to an unrealistic level.
“When you have, to me, high expectations, but not necessarily the roster to fulfill them, you can be enveloped by disappointment,” Van Gundy said. “I think they should be ecstatic [with] where they came from the last couple years to where they are now, and [now] just [need to] keep trying to add and build.”
Van Gundy, who’s been rumored to have interest in the Brooklyn Nets coaching job, declined to comment on any potential return to coaching. He added that Deron Williams looks like a different player, but that it isn’t surprising — it was his struggles that surprised him.
Van Gundy added that he feels Mikhail Prokhorov’s goal for a successful season — making the Conference Finals — is attainable, so long as they don’t have to face the Miami Heat in the second round.
Read More: New York Post — Van Gundy: Nets overachieving this season