Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson was the Nets' only starter in uniform Saturday, leaning on the remnants of the roster to assist. (AP)

LOS ANGELES, C.A. -— No player, coach, or GM will ever tell you openly that a team's priorities lie anywhere other than squarely on winning a game on any given night. Saturday the Brooklyn Nets tiptoed carefully along that line, bolstering the suspicion that they're playing the long game: less concerned with nightly results and fixated instead on the holistic process.

Ask any of the Nets about their 110-103 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers, and he'll stress that this was a process loss, with the obligatory lip service that a win is a win and a loss yields nothing.
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Today's installment of Better Know An Opponent focuses on the Los Angeles Clippers. Let's take a look.... MORE →

 

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett (AP)

In February 2011, Deron Williams was blindsided by a SportsCenter report that he'd been traded to the New Jersey Nets, refusing to believe it at first. He wasn't happy with the move and wasn't ready to commit to the Nets, who he'd known all along as a bumbling franchise.

Two years later, Williams -- who signed a maximum contract worth $98 million with Brooklyn two offseasons ago -- is happily the face of the Brooklyn Nets. Time heals. Now the Nets, perpetually leaving New Jersey behind, are accelerating that process with each player.

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More Doc on Nets trade

Posted on: August 4th, 2013 by Chris Hooker Comments

 

Rod Boone from Newsday interviewed Doc Rivers on the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade, and Doc had some nice things, again, to say about his former players.

With Paul, Doc believed that the trade to the Nets would "rejuvenate his career."

There are tons of good quotes in the article, but here are some highlights:

"Brooklyn is trying to win it. They got that, so it’s a win-win for both teams. The tough part of that trade was Paul. That’s tough because he was a Celtic. Kevin was kind of from Minnesota and the other guy, Jason, had been there one year. But Paul, that was a tough one."

"I think (the Nets) will come together. Listen, anything comes together when a lot of people want it to come together, and they have a lot of guys that want it to come together. Paul, Jason and Kevin want to win another title and everyone else wants to win their first. So, if they all want to do that, then it all will work out.”

 

In an interview from Gary Washburn, Doc Rivers spoke at length about his former players in Brooklyn.

And if anyone knows what these two had left, it's Rivers. He believes they will have an impact in Brooklyn, but he didn't stop there.

"I get very emotional whenever I talk about Kevin and Paul. To see them somewhere else, our business sometimes it's tough. I leave (Boston) and people get upset at me and I don't think there's a lot of difference in their case but it was obvious the Celtics decided to move on."

"So Paul and Kevin had to go and that's a tough part of the business. But that will be strange for me, I want them to do well. For a lot of reasons I want them to do well, they could knock off Miami. But it will be interesting. It will be a whole different feeling."

Knock off Miami? I'd take it.

"I think obviously Paul's younger and in tune to play more minutes than Kevin. But I think they're still at the top of their games. I think Paul is still one of those guys who can go off for big nights and still have big scoring nights. Kevin is a culture change. He won't play but 20 to 25 minutes a night and there'll probably be nights when he doesn't play but his presence there alone will absolutely change the culture of Brooklyn. There's no doubt about it. I think for some of the young guys, even some of the veteran stars, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, will learn and understand what a winner is and looks like and professionalism and being prepared."

"That's what I was most impressed with Kevin, how every game he prepared himself for games. That's what I told our young guys that I just wanted them to watch him prepare for games. It was why he was so consistent. I thought it was that important."

He also has great things to say about Jason Kidd.

"I think Jason will be fantastic in that because he probably when through that a little bit himself last year. He'll be able to relate to that 100 percent. I think Lawrence Frank will be so important for Jason as well. You think about Lawrence, he worked with (the Celtics) staff, so he's worked with Kevin and he's knows Kevin as well as anybody. So I think that combination will be great for Kevin."

Doc is a pretty respected guy in the NBA world, so this is definitely a worthy co-sign.

 

Jason Kidd (AP)

A brief roundup of everything about the current Brooklyn Nets coach search, including the news that one major candidate met with the Nets -- today.... MORE →

 

Doc Rivers

Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. (AP)

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge rebuffed the Brooklyn Nets when they inquired about interviewing Doc Rivers for their open coaching position, according to ESPN Boston.

Rivers had been one of the coaches on Brooklyn's short list, and he was reportedly considering not coming back to Boston after this season ended. Since Rivers is still under contract, the Nets would need permission from Ainge & the Celtics to interview Rivers, who has been Boston's coach since the 2004-05 season.

It was unlikely that the Celtics would allow Rivers to interview with a division rival, but their flat refusal would indicate that they expect Rivers will be around for the duration of his contract, which runs through the 2015-16 season and pays him a total of $21 million.

Ainge refused to publicly comment on Brooklyn's interest. "Doc has told me he's coming back," Ainge told ESPN Boston. "I talk to him almost every day about our team and what we are going to do moving forward."

ESPN Boston -- Danny Ainge says no to Nets

 

Doc Rivers, once considered a long-shot candidate to become the next coach of the Brooklyn Nets, will return to the Boston Celtics to coach next season, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

Rivers, who has two years left on his contract with Boston, said after the season that he would take some personal time to figure out whether or not he wanted to return to coach again. Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge downplayed Rivers's decision to mull over his future, saying that he's "always unsure" and only needs a few rounds of golf to recharge and get ready for the next season.

Rivers, who has six consecutive winning seasons with Boston including a championship in 2008-09, was reportedly someone the Nets would have been interested in had the Celtics granted him permission to seek other employment.

 

Mikhail Prokhorov

Who will be Mikhail Prokhorov's first Brooklyn coaching hire? (AP)

LATEST UPDATE: Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has met with the Milwaukee Bucks about their open coaching position, and a reunion with Deron Williams in Brooklyn looks unlikely. More

Update: An insider tells NetsDaily that Phil Jackson is the only candidate the Nets have contacted so far. More

Update: Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge tells WEEI radio that he expects Doc Rivers back on the sidelines for Boston next year. More

Update: Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins is a team on Brooklyn's radar, should the Grizzlies decide not to re-sign Hollins after this season. More

Update: Despite earlier reports that both sides aren't interested, Jeff Van Gundy could still get a call from Brooklyn. More

Update: Brooklyn isn't the only team looking at Brian Shaw. More

Update: Jerry Sloan says he's spoken with a couple of teams. More

The Brooklyn Nets have opened up perhaps the most important coaching search in franchise history -- with the team finally in Brooklyn, with a talent-laden roster that wasn't properly utilized in its first year, the direction the team takes with its next coach could set up the next decade of relevance. Here's a command central of every coach connected to the search -- even if, at this time, they're not being considered for the position. Things change in an instant, after all.

Start with: Larry Brown

Larry Brown | Mike Dunleavy | Lionel Hollins | Phil Jackson | Nate McMillan | Doc Rivers | Brian Shaw | Scott Skiles | Jerry Sloan | Jeff Van Gundy | Stan Van Gundy

 

The phrase “Fugazi” – Mafia slang for “fake tough guy” per the movie Donnie Brasco – should be a familiar one to long-term Nets fans. Following a game 2 Nets demolition of the Manhattan Knicks during the 2004 NBA Playoffs, then-Knick Tim Thomas, injured by a hard foul from Nets center Jason Collins, referred to Collins’ teammate Kenyon Martin – long considered the heart, soul and tenacious grit of the back-to-back finals team – as a “Fugazi.” Martin, ever the diplomat, said he would welcome being locked in a room with Thomas to see who would emerge in one piece. That surprisingly did very little to quiet the heat between the Nets and Knicks.

What I’ve always found preposterous about Thomas’ words was the fact that Martin’s tough guy act helped his team win, and only went on to emblemize in that playoff series how much more battle-tested and prepared the Nets were than the Knicks –- a team that had taken a punch and essentially refused to fight back. If Jason Kidd hadn’t suffered a debilitating knee injury in the second round of that postseason, the Nets and their “Fugazi” spirit probably would have made a third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. There was nothing "fake" about Martin and those Nets.

Of course the reason why I’m fixated on “Fugazi” today is based on last night’s Brooklyn Nets victory in Boston over the Celtics. The Celtics, who are only a few months removed from taking the Miami Heat to a competitive fourth quarter of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, put on a clinic in “Fugazi” last night... MORE →