This season needs a rewrite

Posted on: December 31st, 2013 by Chris Hooker Comments

 

A new era. (AP)

A new era. (AP)

After writing my post Sunday afternoon, I was able to clear my head in the form of a long drive in terrible weather.


Saturday’s game stuck with me, but I don’t really know why. It was another blowout loss to a better team, another eye-rolling performance from virtually everyone on the floor. Maybe it’s just starting to hit me that this team probably isn’t going to turn around, and seeing that complete number––10-20––pop on screen caused me to rethink what I thought I knew about pro basketball.

So after my long drive through snow and slush, I sat down and reread what I wrote on the game, and I’ll admit, I left some thoughts incomplete. Let’s talk.

I know that hindsight is 20/20, but I know that Jason Kidd was not the right choice of a coach for this team. I know now that coaching is way harder than we thought it was. But at the same time, I know exactly why they hired him and I know that nobody was going to bat an eye when it happened. I know that as a fan who grew up loving Jason Kidd more than any other basketball player, how could I question his return?

Let’s get some things out of the way first. I’ll repeat: hindsight is 20/20. I loved the Kidd signing when it happened, and everyone did. I’m guilty of it, you’re all guilty of it. And before any of you say anything about how you hated it, just read the comments on the NetsDaily post when it happened. We all loved it.

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Jazz Nets Basketball

Deron Williams (AP)

The Houston Rockets asked the Brooklyn Nets to do what the Nets couldn't do for two years: unite Deron Williams and Dwight Howard on the same roster.

The Rockets, who have been looking at potential trade scenarios for disgruntled center Omer Asik, called the Nets and made an offer as part of their "due diligence."

According to ESPN, the offer, made before the Nets lost Brook Lopez to a season-ending foot injury, would have included Asik and Jeremy Lin in a package for Deron Williams:

According to a league source, the Rockets had preliminary talks with the Nets last week about Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin. Talks never gained any steam, but the source said the Rockets were doing their due diligence and Williams' name came up. The Nets balked because one of the main reasons Pierce and Garnett agreed to a trade to Brooklyn was to play with Williams, according to the source. Williams, who signed a five-year, $98 million extension in 2012, was playing well upon returning from an ankle injury, and the Nets were looking better.

Should the Nets revisit talks with the Rockets or another contending team and consider trading a key piece like Williams, Garnett or Pierce now that Lopez is out for the season? It might be worth contemplating because this $190 million roster that was supposed to be a Rolls-Royce now is an expensive luxury car with a transmission problem.

This trade would have given the Rockets a three-headed monster of Williams, Howard, and James Harden, potentially catapulting the 18-10 Rockets into championship contention. Conversely, it would have brought Jeremy Lin back to New York City, where he began his incredible Linsanity run -- but instead of re-joining the team he made the run with, he'd join their biggest rivals, and the team that his Linsanity run started against in the first place.

With Garnett and Pierce joining Brooklyn to play with Williams, and Williams rounding into form after a few freak ankle injuries, this trade doesn't make any sense. But Nets GM Billy King may find one that does soon enough.

(h/t NetsDaily)

 

We do a lot of on-court analysis here at The Brooklyn Game, some positive, some not. When you look at basketball players through the prism of how they're performing at their jobs, it's easy to lose sight of the work they do off the court, and how their presence can make a huge impact on lives in the community.

In the "Wear Brooklyn At!" segment shown at halftime on YES Network, Ryan Ruocco talked about a couple named Ken & Michelle MacIver. Ken, from Brooklyn, moved to Detroit to be with Michelle, and the two had a daughter that they named Brooklyn. Brooklyn is celebrating her second birthday with her grandparents tonight, but it's not all a happy affair: six months ago, Brooklyn was diagnosed with cancer, and she's set to go through her eighth cycle of chemotherapy on December 30th.

The family came to Friday night's game on Brooklyn's second birthday. When the Nets caught wind of the story, they went out of their way to accomodate the family. General manager Billy King met with Ken and Michelle, giving them a Nets gift bag and his time before the game. In turn, the family gave Billy King & the Nets a plaque thanking the team for helping them with their battle with childhood cancer.

Kudos to the Nets & Billy King for making this family's day, and our best wishes to Brooklyn & the MacIver family.

 

At halftime of Tuesday's game between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors, Nets general manager Billy King spoke with YES Network's Sarah Kustok on a variety of topics, including trust (which isn't there yet), Kidd (who King feels has the confidence and voice to lead), injuries (which he doesn't blame for their struggles) and the state of the Nets. Watch above.

 

Billy King

Billy King

After a listless 2-5 start, with four of those losses coming to sub-.500 teams, is Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King hitting the panic button? Not quite yet. King spoke with Sam Amick of USA TODAY before the team's loss to the Sacramento Kings, and King preached patience about his new roster.

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Billy King

Billy King

Billy King joined the Joe and Evan show on WFAN this afternoon to talk about the Brooklyn Nets, fresh off a season-opening loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and King dished on numerous NBA subjects.

I did not have the chance to listen to it, but the good folks over at SNY transcribed a few key answers from King.
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Deron Williams

Deron Williams (AP)

Speaking with reporters on the basketball court at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Brooklyn Nets general manager and Duke alum Billy King said there is currently "no timetable" for Deron Williams's return to the basketball court, but that isn't a bad thing.

"We'd like (him) to practice, but the goal now is to get him as healthy as possible, so that when he does go, there's no setbacks," King said. "There is no need for him to have a setback in day two that sets him back so you're not ready for opening day."

King stressed that the lack of a timetable isn't a long-term indictment of Williams's ankle, and it's hard to blame him for doing so. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who sustained a right knee injury in last year's playoffs, underwent a second surgery on his knee yesterday and will be out another 4-6 weeks.

Williams's injury doesn't have the same long-term implications as Westbrook's. It's just that the Nets want to bring him along slowly. "We don’t play our first regular season game till (October) 30th," King added. "There’s no need to rush him back, so that’s why there’s no timetable."

The Nets guard sustained the injury while working out at his home in Utah. He was fitted with a walking boot during Dodge Barrage, a celebrity dodgeball tournament to benefit Point of Hope, Williams's charity foundation.

Williams dealt with synovitis (inflammation) in both ankles last year, undergoing cortisone shots and platelet-rich plasma therapy in February. King has no worries about Williams's current ankle injury, noting that Williams's injury is "different" without elaborating.

 

Deron Williams

Deron Williams (AP)

Speaking with reporters on the basketball court at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Brooklyn Nets general manager and Duke alum Billy King said there is currently "no timetable" for Deron Williams's return to the basketball court, but that isn't a bad thing.

"We'd like (him) to practice, but the goal now is to get him as healthy as possible, so that when he does go, there's no setbacks," King said. "There is no need for him to have a setback in day two that sets him back so you're not ready for opening day."

King stressed that the lack of a timetable isn't a long-term indictment of Williams's ankle, and it's hard to blame him for doing so. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who sustained a right knee injury in last year's playoffs, underwent a second surgery on his knee yesterday and will be out another 4-6 weeks.

Williams's injury doesn't have the same long-term implications as Westbrook's. It's just that the Nets want to bring him along slowly. "We don’t play our first regular season game till (October) 30th," King added. "There’s no need to rush him back, so that’s why there’s no timetable."

The Nets guard sustained the injury while working out at his home in Utah. He was fitted with a walking boot during Dodge Barrage, a celebrity dodgeball tournament to benefit Point of Hope, Williams's charity foundation.

Williams dealt with synovitis (inflammation) in both ankles last year, undergoing cortisone shots and platelet-rich plasma therapy in February. King has no worries about Williams's current ankle injury, noting that Williams's injury is "different" without elaborating.

 

In the wake of head coach Jason Kidd pleading guilty to a DUI in July 2012, with a sentence of probation and a possible NBA suspension, Billy King has released the following statement:

Jason has taken responsibility for his actions, and fully realizes that he needs to grow from this experience. We are confident he will make these strides on a personal level and have a positive effect on others as well.

Stay tuned for more information on this as we get it.

 

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd and general manager Billy King watched a half-dozen draft prospects today -- including potential draftee Tim Hardaway, Jr. -- but the major topic of discussion today had nothing to do with what the Nets might do with their 22nd pick.

After the workout in the PNY Center, King spoke about Brook Lopez's recent surgery, replacing a screw in his right foot that the team found had bent during his postseason physical. It is the third surgery Lopez has had on the foot since first incurring a stress fracture on December 23rd, 2011, and it's put him in a walking boot for the second time since November.

King seemed unperturbed by the news. "I don't have any concern over it, because it wasn't something that he had pain with. It wasn't like it was preventing him from playing. ... Just take it out and put a new screw in so that something doesn't happen later.

"He was pain-free, so he didn’t even notice it was bent until the x-rays were taken."

Lopez missed just eight games due to injury this season (a mild sprain on the top of his right foot), and had a career season, averaging 19.4 points and 6.9 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game, shooting 52.1% from the field.

More from the workout: according to Rod Boone of Newsday, King added that MarShon Brooks will not be on the team's summer league roster.

Sports Illustrated -- Nets' Lopez has screw in right foot replaced

New York Post -- Lopez has another surgery on foot; Nets GM not concerned

 

Billy King, Jason Kidd

How it all went down. (AP)

At 40 years old, Jason Kidd isn't the youngest head coach in the NBA -- that distinction belongs to the 38-year-old Jacque Vaughn. (Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel is also younger than Kidd.) But Kidd is, by far, the least experienced: no other head coach in the NBA has zero experience coaching. Even Mike Budenholzer, Steve Clifford, and Jeff Hornacek, the three others who will be brand new to head coaching next season, all spent years as assistant coaching before taking the leap.

So how did Kidd blow away Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King in their interview, so much so that King even called Brian Shaw's agent to warn him that Kidd was "very good" before Shaw even got on the plane to Brooklyn?... MORE →

 

Jason Kidd Billy King Brooklyn Nets Head Coach

King, Kidd. (AP)

After the monumental hiring of Jason Kidd as the team's next head coach, Kidd was asked if the Brooklyn Nets needed one more piece to be truly competitive.

"You'd have to ask Billy that," Kidd responded, referring to Nets general manager Billy King. So I did.... MORE →