Day three of Nets training camp at featured extra cameras, as the team’s morning session was broadcast across the airwaves and interwebs as a part of NBATV’s Real Training Camp series.
But according to the team, that didn’t have any bearing on today’s practice.
“I thought we were a focused group today,” said forward Paul Pierce. “When we get into the gym, we’ve got to get our work done. Nobody’s posing for pictures, nobody’s looking into the camera. We come into the gym, we’ve got our work. That’s the primary focus.”
Shooting guard Joe Johnson agreed with Pierce.
“It doesn’t change it at all,” said Johnson. “We just try and come in and put forth a great effort. We try to learn something in practice every day. That’s how it goes in these things.”
It seems like the third training camp session was a success. Head coach Jason Kidd stressed that today was a productive “mental” day, addressing how players can lose focus and attitude when their bodies begin to tire.
“Being the fifth practice, the quick turnaround, being a team with wisdom, being able to be tired and accept being tired,” said Kidd. “Being a championship team, you have to fight through all those times of being tired and helping each other. Guys were supporting each other, the last drill ended on a high note. I thought the guys got better today.”
Early on, the focus tends to be on building chemistry and getting used to each others playing styles. That’s true on day three. Last night, Deron Williams Instagrammed a photo of the team after what looked like a fun evening and bonding experience at Duke’s swimming pool. Turns out, that was anything but the case.
“I haven’t seen the picture. I can only imagine that in that picture, they were all tired,” said Kidd. “It wasn’t the pool routine that a lot of those guys thought they were walking into. But I got the report that everybody was tired leaving the pool, instead of it being all floaties. A lot of guys don’t want to go back to the pool. It was a great bonding experience for those guys.”
“Yesterday, I was beat. I’d rather be out here on the court. They ain’t never going to get me back there,” joked Johnson. “See, when we went down there, they made it seem like it was going to be all sweet and gravy, like we were going to tread water for a little bit. We got down there, it was swimming laps.”
Pierce relished the workout as a bonding experience between the team.
“I haven’t swam laps in years,” said Pierce. “It was good for some of the vet guys to get in the pool, get some laps in and at the same time, it’s part of team bonding.”
It’s very early in the process. The Nets are three training camp dates under their belt, not a single game has been played, and we’re still 28 days out from the first regular season game. But all in all, the team has liked what they’ve seen so far.
“It’s just our energy every day,” said Pierce. “Guys wanting to be out here, guys wanting to work, guys wanting to get better. Guys enjoying being around each other. Guys understand we’re on a journey, we’ve got a long mission ahead of us, understanding the necessary steps we’ve got to take. We’re enjoying each other on the court, off the court, when we go to the hotel and have a bite to eat.”
Johnson agreed that the team is off to a solid start, but there is still ways to go.
“We’re just trying to get familiar with one another,” said the guard. “We’re going to have mistakes and mishaps, but it’s just part of this learning curve we are going through.”