Lionel Hollins

How did the Nets do this offseason? (AP)

The Nets lost a couple of big pieces this offseason: Paul Pierce bolted for D.C., Shaun Livingston the Bay Area, and Jason Kidd assistant coach Joe Prunty also moved on. But did they offset those departures enough to stay competitive in the offseason?
... MORE →

 

In an interview in Perm, Russia, Brook Lopez (sans boot) said he has been fully cleared by doctors to return to basketball activities.

"(The leg's) doing great," Lopez said (fast forward to about 2:10). "I was fully cleared for play and everything about a week and a half ago now. It's doing great. Now i just need to get back in shape."

Lopez has undergone multiple surgeries this year: on January 4th, team doctor Riley Williams III (now with Team USA in Las Vegas) completed a surgery with Duke University's Department Chair of Orthopedic surgery Dr. James Nunley and Nets’ foot and ankle specialist Dr. Martin O'Malley to fix a broken bone in Lopez's foot and reposition other bones to lessen weight on the side of his foot. On March 3rd, he underwent surgery on his left ankle to tighten ligaments and repair a torn tendon.

The Lopez twins have spent the last few days palling around Russia: hitting up tourist spots and small clinics alike, with Robin doing most of the record-keeping and Brook along for the ride.

(h/t to @chernykh for the video)

 

Cognizant of the infusion of young talent brought upon by the NBA draft, The Nets put together a ticket package called the “Rising Stars 6 Pack” that includes an exclusive ticket to the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.

In a weird setup, the Nets and Knicks will share the 2015 All-Star Weekend. While the Knicks got the winning bid for the actual game, the Nets picked up the pre-game competitions: the Slam Dunk contest (with a possible hometown entrant), the three-point contest and the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. Leave it to The Nets to capitalize on the opportunity.

Per ESPN’s Darren Rovell, in addition to the Feb. 13 ticket for the skills competition, the package includes five games with likely “Rookie of the Year” candidates. Games include:

[The] Cleveland Cavaliers (Andrew Wiggins), Milwaukee Bucks (Jabari Parker), Orlando Magic(Aaron Gordon), Boston Celtics (Marcus Smart) and Philadelphia 76ers (Nerlens Noel).

One footnote, the team is mum on what happens in the (likely) event Andrew Wiggins is traded, but Rovell contends that Cavaliers game should remain a part of the package. A game featuring LeBron and (maybe) Kevin Love seems like a decent ticket to me.

The six-game package starts at $325, and according to Nets CEO Brett Yormark marks the first time that an All-Star Friday ticket has been sold in this fashion.

ESPN -- Nets include All-Star Friday in ticket plan

 

Nets rookie Markel Brown threw down this insane 360 slam during the NBA's rookie photo shoot Sunday morning, on a pass off the backboard from his former teammate at Oklahoma State, 6th overall pick and newest Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart. I could watch this all day just for how easy he makes it look: Brown measured under 6'4" in shoes at the pre-draft combine but makes up for it with a vertical jump close to 44 inches. Bounce, man. Bounce.

I can't wait for the season to start so Brown can give the world more throwdowns like this and the alley-oop he put down during the season that was so good he actually got ejected for taunting.

That wasn't even the only crazy dunk Brown threw down, which was all part of Panini America's photo shoot dunk contest. See this between-the-legs one below:

 

The ABA's answer to Mikhail Prokhorov is a 22-year-old that lives in his mother's basement in Marine Park.
... MORE →

 


Mason Plumlee CENTER

First and foremost: the game was cut short because of a horrific leg injury to Paul George, who needed to be carried off by a stretcher. It was a gruesome image, and if you want to see it, well, it's out there. But for now, I send my heartfelt wishes to George on a speedy recovery, and hoping that the doctors and physical therapists that are sent to help him recover can help bring him back to full health.

The injury cast a pall over the evening, cutting the scrimmage short, but we'll try to keep this Plumlee-focused:

Plumlee's Blue team may have struggled with its arbitrary rival, but Plumlee shined against his very real roster spot rival, DeMarcus Cousins. After a rough first half, Plumlee dove to the rim for dunks and easy buckets alike for 10 third-quarter points, none better than a pretty one-handed alley-oop in transition.

Plumlee backed up Anthony Davis, first entering with 4:42 left in the first quarter, and had a slow start. Led off his offensive repertoire with a cringeworthy possession where he should've dunked immediately and hesitated. Had a smoother stint in the second quarter, but his unpolished offensive game and lack of natural alley-oop attempts meant his offensive performance was nearly nil. Plumlee was stronger on the defensive end, stopping Andre Drummond on a couple of possessions.

But it was his efforts in that third quarter that highlighted why Plumlee's a good fit on Team USA. He didn't play out of his comfort zone. He didn't take possessions that other players would finish. He had a clearly defined role and executed it about as well as anyone could. (He also, for the record, made Cousins look bad.)

No matter what, it's worth noting that Plumlee has worked his way onto this roster and earned a spot in the final 19, a remarkable achievement for a late first-round pick just a year ago. The fact that he's even here is incredible, even if you consider his inclusion came on the heels of a few dropouts.

But at the end of it all, we're just hoping Paul George makes a full recovery. As the old cliche goes, injuries are part of the sport, but nobody wants to see someone go down like that. An awful ending to what was otherwise a fun night. Our best to PG.


 

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:
... MORE →

 

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.