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Alan Anderson, Marcus Thornton

The Nets beat the Sacramento Kings behind a red-hot Marcus Thornton. (AP)

Hello Walt. I understand if this team is breaking you. But thank you for your continued support of The Brooklyn Game. I swear to you that they're not bad. Pick up a shirt at The Brooklyn Game Store and get it cleaned at Lavandería Brillante. Your support keeps us cooking. Thank you!

Here's an early roundup of last night's Nets festivities.
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DeMarcus Cousins

It's a whole new game since the last time these two teams played. (AP)

BY SAM LACHOW

Brooklyn Nets

Breakdown

Sacramento Kings
30-30 Record 22-40
6-4 Last 10 Games 5-5
102.8 Points scored per 100 possessions 103.9
104.0 Points allowed per 100 possessions 106.4
94.1 Possessions per game 96.8
45.0% Field goal percentage 44.9%
35.9% Three-point percentage 34.1%
47.2% Rebound percentage 51.4%
15.4% Turnover percentage 15.5%
Joe Johnson (15.1) Top Scorer DeMarcus Cousins (22.3)

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Kevin Garnett, Thomas Robinson

The Nets continue their west coast trip against the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. (AP)


 
BY SAM LACHOW

Brooklyn Nets

Breakdown

Portland Trail Blazers
26-28 Record 39-18
6-4 Last 10 Games 5-5
103.0 Points scored per 100 possessions 108.6
104.6 Points allowed per 100 possessions 105.3
97.9 Possessions per game 98.0
45.1% Field goal percentage 45.0%
36.5% Three-point percentage 38.1%
47.7% Rebound percentage 51.6%
15.4% Turnover percentage 13.8%
Joe Johnson (15.2) Top Scorer LaMarcus Aldridge (23.9)

Projected starting lineup:... MORE →

 

Paul Pierce, Jason Collins

Jason Collins (right) on the bench with Paul Pierce. (AP)

A couple minutes into Jason Collins’ first appearance for the Nets on Sunday, my wife said what has become a common chorus, “Why is this such a big deal? It shouldn't be.”
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One of the biggest criticisms from real human beings about the Brooklyn Nets signing Jason Collins is that the team wouldn't know how to handle a gay athlete, that players would just flat-out be uncomfortable with an openly gay teammate. That's fully on display right here, when Collins hits the ground hard after trying to get a rebound and his teammates scatter away in fear that they might...

Oh, wait. No, correction: Alan Anderson, Deron Williams, and Andrei Kirilenko, three of Collins's Nets teammates, immediately rush over to help him up off the floor. It's almost like whether or not he's gay doesn't affect the fact that he's a professional basketball player and teammate.

What's also worth noting: the three teammates that helped Collins up all come from widely different backgrounds; Anderson was born in Minneapolis and attended school in Michigan, Williams went to high school in The Colony, Texas, before going to school in Illinois, and Andrei Kirilenko was born and raised in Izhevsk, Russia.

Collins played 11 minutes in a mundane debut.

 

Jason Collins

Jason Collins with the Nets in 2007 (AP)

The Nets may become the first team in NBA history to sign an openly gay player to their roster, and the players don't seem to have any issue.

Speaking with reporters at the team's practice on Friday, Brooklyn Nets players were bullish on the team signing free agent center Jason Collins if the fit was right, with guard Deron Williams in particular expressing his support for the big man.

Collins, who played for the Nets for six and a half seasons from 2001-2008, became the first openly gay male athlete in one of the four US major professional sports last year. He has yet to sign a contract with a professional team since coming out, drawing speculation that teams are wary of signing the first openly gay player.

From Ethan Sherwood Strauss of ESPN:

Deron Williams addressed the Collins situation directly, saying, “If it can help our team, I’m all for it. I think he’s a great player, great role player. You know I played with his brother for five and a half years and they have similar games, and I’ve known Jason for years.”

Williams posited that media attention may have driven teams away from signing Collins. He also asserted that such a concern wouldn’t deter the Nets.

“He’s a solid role player, I think it’s just the distraction thing, that might the thing that’s deterring teams. But like I said, with us, I don’t see that being a problem.”

Further elaborating on the distraction factor, the Nets point guard said, “It’s not [Collins] being a distraction, it’s just the media coming along with it, because every city you go to, it’s not just like you answer a question once and it’s over with. It’s a reoccurring thing. But like I said, I don’t see it being a problem with us.”

Williams even alluded to signs of progress on this issue outside of basketball, mentioning how prospective NFL draft pick Michael Sam just came out as openly gay.

“It’s 2014, you know. Michael Sam just came out, his teammates welcomed him. They’re in college. It’s time for the NBA as well.”

ESPN New York -- D-Will: If Collins can help, I'm all for it

Nets general manager Billy King confirmed yesterday that the team had worked Collins out, and that Collins was "in shape," but added that the team is looking at big men from the D-League and China as well as free agents. King said that Collins's sexuality would not be a factor in whether or not they signed him.

Much of the Nets organization publicly supported Collins when he came out last year.

 

Check out Brooklyn Nets forward Reggie Evans's top plays of the 2012-13 season. Most of them are rebounds and left hooks. Do what Reggie Evans do.

 

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Joe Johnson, Jimmy Butler

The Nets showed the most life after the whistle, and it cost them in the loss. (AP)

Hello, Gary. Thank you for your continued support of The Brooklyn Game. As we head into the All-Star break, take a look at some funky hoodies at The Brooklyn Game Store. Your support keeps us going. Thank you, you lovely unicorn.

Here's a roundup of last night's Nets festivities.
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Kevin Garnett, Joakim Noah

Kevin Garnett and Joakim Noah have a history. (AP)

In 11 chances to play on the second half of a Brooklyn Nets back-to-back this season, Kevin Garnett has sat out in four of them. It's part of coach Jason Kidd's plan to rest Garnett during the season, to keep him fresh for the playoffs.

But he'll play tonight against the Chicago Bulls, as expected:
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Andray Blatche, Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Al Jefferson

Andray Blatche & the Nets dunked the Bobcats with ease in Brooklyn Wednesday night. (AP)

Hello Isaac. Thank you for your continued support of The Brooklyn Game. Become one of the cool kids and pick up a shirt at The Brooklyn Game Store. Think of it as a donation to keep your favorite site chugging along, and you get a pretty cool piece of memorabilia as a thank you. Your support keeps us going!

Here's a roundup of last night's Nets festivities.
... MORE →