- Box Score -

New game, same story. The Nets dropped every quarter to the Rockets and finished the game with zero points in the standings, losing 101-75.

Today, they were the victims of a Nick Johnson triple-double and 28 turnovers. Yes, twenty-eight turnovers. I didn't have a ton of thoughts watching this slow burn of a blowout, but here they are:

Co-MVPs: Marquis Teague and Corey Jefferson:

This may be the best basketball I’ve ever seen from Marquis Teague. Honestly, I’m not pulling any pranks here. He finished with 6 assists in the first quarter and didn’t make me throw up once, both records. At halftime, Hollins spoke with the NBA TV crew and said that he told Teague to be aggressive, confident and prove that he belongs in the NBA. Teague took it to heart, exhibiting a bevy of speed and athleticism.

He finished with 7 points, 7 assists, 3 steals, 4 turnovers on 1-5 shooting. Admittedly, at first glance, those aren't eye-popping numbers, but Teague played with an unmistakable fervor, something that has been missing from his game since last season's trade. Is there hope for Teague?

As for Corey Jefferson, he saved his best for last. He shot 5-5 in the first half and threw down perhaps the Nets' best highlight of the night: an alley-oop from Teague. If Jefferson can sneak onto the team, he’ll provide some nice hustle minutes and athleticism. Lost in the blowout was Jefferson's final stat-line: 19 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 blocks and just 1 turnover in 25 minutes. Not bad for the 60th pick, eh?

Mason Plumlee, of course, did not play. Winer noted that he has no injury and that he wasn’t even with the team today. No need to watch Plumlee tear up Summer League again when he could be spending his time watching inspirational sports movies with Kevin Garnett.

Sergey Karasev looked a little nervous in his first stint with Brooklyn. It’s not particularly shocking given that he just spent a few weeks training and practicing with the Cavaliers and got dropped into a new lineup. Late in the fourth, however, Karasev started to come out of his shell and hit a couple threes and a runner in the paint.

He finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 33 minutes. Whether or not you think he impressed tonight, the Nets seem high on him and should get his chances this season with Brooklyn.

With Jorge Gutierrez out still, Gill talked about his haircut for the first three minutes of the second half. Immediately followed up by Winer saying: “This has been a blast this week.” It appears as if they forgot there was basketball on and who can blame them?

Markel Brown had a quiet game, but had to duck in order to avoid hitting his head on the rim while grabbing a rebound. So there’s that.

Last year, after the conclusion of the Nets’ final Summer League game blowout, I tweeted: “Is it September yet?” Let’s not ruin that tradition. Is it September yet?

 

Four-time MVP and two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat LeBron James released a letter today through Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated announcing his intention to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played the first seven years of his career.

Here's an excerpt from the letter, which you can read in full here:

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

James's return to Cleveland makes them the odds-on favorite to win the NBA Championship, according to Bovada odds. They are currently 4-1 odds, with the Spurs second at 5-1.

Though this isn't directly Nets news, it was widely believed that James's decision is what held up the rest of free agency. With the Nets hoping to have a decision on Paul Pierce's status soon, coupled with Pierce's exit from the World Series of Poker last night, the dominos may begin falling quickly today.

 

Hey you! Want to help keep The Brooklyn Game rolling? We're looking for you. The Brooklyn Game is growing, and we want you to help us grow. The short: we're looking for contributors to do a few different things.

Contributors to The Brooklyn Game have gone on to do some awesome things. For one, there's the exposure of getting your work linked on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, YES Network, and all over the internet. And there's room to grow: one of our contributors who started here is now the sports editor for a newspaper in northern New York. Another was a part of the Sacramento Kings draft project, and now working with the Kings through the offseason.

Here's a few things we're looking for:

Editorial contributor: Do you keep your friends close and Nets news closer? Do you have entirely too serious opinions about whether Andrei Kirilenko or Mirza Teletovic should get more playing time? Was buying Summer League Pass an afterthought? We're looking for self-starters who both have a passion for the Nets and the unique voice to share it. Contributors would have the chance to write short-form and long-form articles for the site with editorial guidance and approval, along with doing behind-the-scenes work to help keep the site rolling. Experience writing about sports a plus. Apply to devin(at)thebrooklyngame(dot)com. Applicants should note their likely time commitment and send in a shortform and longform writing sample. Topics can be given by request. If you are in college, we're happy to work with your school to help you get college credit. We may not respond to all requests.

Social Media contributor: Are you on Twitter and Facebook 24/7? Do you have text notifications pop up to see what free agent is going where? Do you tweet entirely too much for an average healthy human about how good Bojan Bogdanovic can be? This is the one for you. Experience in social media or with social media applications like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite a plus. Apply to devin(at)thebrooklyngame(dot)com. Applicants should note their likely time commitment, send us a link to their social media page, and explain in under 140 characters why they're the right fit. We may not respond to all requests.

Ad sales intern: The other two posts are paid in love and appreciation, as well as the opportunity for exposure and a chance to develop your voice in a professional setting. But want to make some money? We need folks to sell ads on the site. We prefer people who have some selling experience and live in Brooklyn. If interested, write steven(at)thebrooklyngame(dot)com.

 

While the NBA world sits in a holding pattern awaiting the future of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce might as well be on another planet. Oh, sure, he's in Las Vegas, just like James was earlier this week for his camp. But he's not there for basketball, not there to talk to executives about free agency, not there to watch Summer League. He's there for an entirely different purpose. Or, at least he was.
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Jarrett Jack

Jarrett Jack (AP)

New Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack learned about the next major step in his professional basketball career in somewhat of an unconventional manner.
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Finally had a chance to see my restaurant in action!:) thanks Hooters had a great time... Наконец то удалось увидеть свой ресторан в действии, было здорово !!! Спасибо всем друзьям за компанию. @frulia12 @a0gr8 @uliana12 @frizi7 @mashalopatova @seawind777 @russianhky и всем кто был с нами ,сорри если забыл кого то:)

That's Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko, just kicking it with his newest employees in Russia.

No, really: in April, it was reported that Andrei Kirilenko would open the first Hooters restaurant ever in Russia.

Weirdly, the business is also a political statement: Russia has some "antipathy" towards US-based companies, and Kirilenko is a prominent celebrity in Russia opening a US-based franchise in his home country.

Kirilenko lives in Russia in the offseason with his wife and family.

 

Farewell, creepy thing.

Farewell, creepy thing.

Per Zach Lowe of Grantland:

A team official has confirmed the statement to The Brooklyn Game.

The ridiculousness of the mascot aside, there's a small part of me that'll miss the BrooklyKnight's competely misfired charm: the way he scared kids with his oddly sociopathic mask, the way he shot t-shirts into the American flag by accident, the way the Nets hastily threw together a comic book about him that put Amar'e Stoudemire in the Nets locker room, the way he was accidentally named after a porn star, the way he tried to pump up the crowd during time-outs usually to no avail...

There's a shred of New Jersey Nets-dom that'll be gone with his departure. Oh, well. Bring back Sly.

 

Credit: Mike King

Credit: Mike King

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets officially announced the three-team trade that sends Marcus Thornton away from the Nets for Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev Thursday morning.

The Nets will also send the draft rights to Eden Bavcic, Christian Drejer, and Ilkan Karaman to the Cavaliers. None of them are expected to make it to the NBA, though Karaman has the best shot. Drejer was a 2004 second-round pick that retired from basketball in 2008, and the Nets acquired Bavcic's rights from the New Orleans Pelicans in the deal that sent away Tyshawn Taylor.

Thornton goes to the Celtics, along with Tyler Zeller and a first-round pick from Cleveland. The Celtics send a conditional second-round pick back to the Cavaliers.

"Jarrett is a proven NBA veteran who will add versatility to our backcourt," Nets general manager Billy King said in a prepared statement. "The team had a need in that area and we are excited that we were able to secure Jarrett to fill that role. Sergey is a player who we have followed closely for several years. He is a versatile forward and will be a welcome addition to our roster."

Jack will fill the backup point guard hole left by Shaun Livingston, while Karasev is a 20-year-old Russian prospect the Nets hope fits in a backup swingman role.

The big winner in this trade is dreams. The Cavaliers open up enough cap space to offer four-time MVP LeBron James, an Ohio native, a maximum contract in the city he played the first seven years of his career. The Nets get a backup point guard, a decent prospect, and preserve cap room for the summer of 2016, when Kevin Durant will be a free agent. The Celtics add another first-round pick to their incredible arsenal of first-round picks, in the hopes that one of them strikes lottery gold in the next few years.

Welcome to Brooklyn, Jarrett and Sergey!

 

Longtime NBA coach Paul Westphal will join Lionel Hollins on the Brooklyn Nets bench as his most experienced assistant, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports:
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So we actually did get a close game this time: after the Nets summer squad was downed in the fourth quarter by the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday night, the Nets took the Philadelphia 76ers down to the wire before falling in the waning moments, losing 92-86.

The loss drops the Nets to the bottom of the Summer League standings -- they only earned one point in the loss for winning the second quarter, and have seven over four games. Conversely, the Sixers earned seven points in this game alone, for winning the game and three of four quarters.

There were some good things in the loss: with Mason Hakeem Shaquille Abdul-Jabbar Chamberlain Russell Plumlee sidelined with a sore foot, the Nets needed to get offense elsewhere, and spread it around. Markel Brown, Marquis Teague, and Cory Jefferson all made big contributions, as did Donte Greene from the invitees. Greene did miss some big shots down the stretch: he tied Markel Brown for the team lead with 17 points, but took ten more field goal attempts than Brown (19 to 9) to equal him in the scoring column. But the Nets couldn't handle Casper Ware and Nerlens Noel, and the Sixers hit free throws to put it away.

The Nets will play one more game Saturday morning, likely against the Houston Rockets, to compete for the prize of being the second-worst team in Orlando Summer League

 

In his introductory press conference Monday morning, new Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins stressed that his staff wasn't going to come together right away, and that he and GM Billy King would take the time needed to put together the right staff.

But it looks like we've got some things cleared up.... MORE →

 

After a lavish spending spree during the last two offseasons and a record payroll, the the Brooklyn Nets will officially pay close to $91 million in luxury tax payments alone, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
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