Billy King on WFAN: Season goal, getting home court advantage for the playoffs

Billy King

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.

On Deron Williams:

His minutes will increase tomorrow. By Sunday, he’ll be back to his normal minutes. … We used Deron’s minutes up a little early.

The Nets had to use Williams more than they wanted in the first half after his backup, Shaun Livingston, picked up three quick fouls in the first quarter. He finished the game with just under 22 minutes played. Though King notes they’ll play him more tomorrow night, It’ll be interesting to see if the Nets stretch his minutes even more, since they’ll be playing the Miami Heat. If he’s back to full strength Sunday, that means his first game at 100% comes against his former team, the Utah Jazz.

Definining a successful season:

We have to get home court advantage. With this group, we want to have home court advantage in the first round. The first goal is to win the Atlantic Division.

Not according to Paul Pierce.

On Joe Prunty named acting coach:

He’s got a lot of experience. Jason [Kidd] looks at a staff like a staff and wanted to keep the main guys doing their job.

Translation: IT DOESN’T MATTER. Frank’s running the defense, Welch is running the offense, Roy Rogers is teaching the bigs, Eric Hughes does some kind of development, Charles Klask looks at analytics, and Joe Prunty keeps his suit pressed and talks to the media. The roles don’t change because Kidd’s watching on a television instead of on the sideline.

On tanking:

Management may think that way, but the players play the game and the coaches coach their game … It’d be a problem if players or coaches thought that way. Management can think that way, though.

I think this is one of the more interesting — and accurate — ways to look at tanking, something that’s become a popular topic of discussion in recent years. Management puts a team on the floor, and it’s the job of the coaches and players to devise the best way to maximize their game. It’s a shade away from throwing games, but not exactly.

Put it this way: in a broad sense, the job of a general manager is to field the most competitive team possible over the longest term possible. Mark Cuban would add that a general manager’s job is to keep his job. The way the collective bargaining agreement works now, that sometimes means bottoming out on the floor to increase the chances of getting a high draft pick. So in some sense, the most competitive thing management can do is give their coach an awful roster, even if the players play to the best of their abilities. That doesn’t change how frustrating it may be to watch awful basketball, but if a GM has a long-term vision bought into by his owner, he also buys into long-term job security. Win-win.

On the Knicks firing GM Glen Grunwald:

Yeah, I think I was surprised. But you never know what happens within … The ownership has that prerogative. It was surprising, but I’d never question what a team does within their organization.

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