Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Avery Johnson and Billy King were all in attendance for this afternoon’s press conference, that was aptly titled Brooklyn’s Backcourt. Needless to say, it was pretty great.
I live-tweeted quotes throughout the whole thing, so check out my Twitter feed (@chrishooker9) for a bunch quotes. But here are some highlights and key points I picked up on during the conference.
(For the sake of consistency, Joe Johnson = Johnson / Avery Johnson = Coach)
- King opened things up, calling Williams and Johnson the “best backcourt in the NBA.”
- Williams and Johnson’s opening remarks both emphasized the Nets’ chances to winning immediately. Both believe that Brooklyn has the pieces to make an immediate impact in the league. Williams also acknowledged the difficulty of playing for a losing team, saying, “The last year and a half was painful.”
- On re-signing with the Nets, Williams said it was purely a basketball decision, and King made certain moves that convinced him to stay. He credited the Wallace re-up and the Johnson trade specifically. He didn’t mention how close he was to signing with Dallas until, according to my Twitter feed, afterwards, when he said, “I was leaning towards signing with Dallas before I met with the Nets.”
- Johnson seems really into playing for the Nets this year. He was asked about what it would be like to play with a great point guard again, which he hasn’t done since he played with Nash in Phoenix. Johnson: “I haven’t been this excited since my Phoenix days.”
- King said that the Johnson trade was sparked by a phone call congratulating Ferry on getting the Atlanta job.
- King and Coach both alluded to the Nets not being done yet. King said his phone was vibrating as he spoke and Johnson said they still have holes to fill. Williams also said that now that he and Johnson are locked up and on board, it will be much easier to recruit guys to the team.
- Some independent filmmaker (?) asked if anyone had been to the Barclays Center yet, to which everyone laughed. But, it sparked a great quote from Coach: “We will have a home court advantage, like Oklahoma City, in Brooklyn.”
- When asked about the Nets-Knicks rivalry, Johnson answered that the, “Nets. Definitely Nets,” were the best team in New York. Everyone seemed excited about the possible rivalry between the teams, but Coach said that the Nets are trying to win a championship, not a “local championship.”
- When asked about Dwight Howard, Williams answered: “Brook Lopez is our center and that is who we are looking forward to playing with.”
- King was asked about his relationship with Mikhail Prokhorov and if he gave him permission to spend all his money. King answered that he doesn’t view his players as contracts, but as basketball players. He said that spending money and building a competitive team don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand.
- Finally, when King was asked about the negotiations with Kris Humphries and King said they want him back and they are working on a contract now. He said it has come down to money. Afterward, Rod Boone reported that King and Humphries are “close” on a deal.
We’ll post a video of the press conference when it goes up!