Archive for the ‘ Brooklyn Nets Blog ’ Category

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Nets, who formally introduced new head coach Lionel Hollins yesterday:

Nets introduce new head coach Lionel Hollins

In tone, message and appearance, Lionel Hollins was the anti-Jason Kidd in his introductory press conference with the Nets on Monday, even going so far as to say that he is not after general manager Billy King’s job, a startling remark that seemed appropriate given the tumult of the past week.

In the wake of the Kidd fiasco, Hollins, 60, reached an agreement with the Nets last Wednesday to become the 19th coach in the team’s long and increasingly strange history.

Implied in his hiring is the understanding that Hollins will bring stability to a franchise that was thrown for a loop when Kidd abruptly left to become head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks last week after he tried, unsuccessfully, to undercut King.

So it was telling that Hollins made it clear on Monday that he has no intentions of currying more influence within the Nets. He’s happy being a coach.

“It’s just nice to be able to do your job,” Hollins said, wearing a dark suit with his wife, Angela, beaming in the front row and King by his side. “That’s all I want to do. I’m a basketball coach. I don’t want to do Billy’s job. I don’t want to do anybody else’s job in the organization, but the one I’m hired to do. That’s important to me. I’m very low maintenance.”

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on veteran Nets free agent forward Paul Pierce, who presumably has another good season or two left of basketball in him:

Lots of interest in free agent Paul Pierce

The Brooklyn Nets, you would think, need Paul Pierce more than he needs them.

So it certainly came as a surprise Thursday, when Brooklyn GM Billy King, during an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Michael Kay Show,” said the Nets would, all of a sudden, become fiscally responsible in their negotiations with the unrestricted free-agent forward.

Pierce has already drawn interest from several contenders, including the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies, sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

Those are some extremely attractive options — especially L.A., where Pierce could be reunited with former coach Doc Rivers and get to play with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, two of the most dominant players in the league.

Here’s the Associated Press, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune, reporting on the Milwaukee Bucks:

Bucks owners admit process in getting Jason Kidd could have been smoother

New Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens admitted Wednesday that there may have been errors in how Jason Kidd was lured to Milwaukee.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t happy to have him as the Bucks’ new head coach.

Kidd was formally introduced Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Kidd said there were no hard feelings over his abrupt and surprising departure from Brooklyn, where he won 44 games and reached the second round of the playoffs as a first-year head coach but left after a failed bid for more front-office power.

His messy departure leaked to the media and Brooklyn agreed Monday to deal Kidd to Milwaukee for second-round draft picks in 2015 and 2019. The Bucks fired Larry Drew, who had no indication he wouldn’t be back for a second season.

The Milwaukee Bucks today named Jason Kidd as the team’s new head coach. The Bucks signed Kidd after the Brooklyn Nets agreed to release him from his contract in exchange for two second round picks in the 2015 and 2019 NBA Drafts. Kidd will be the 14th head coach in the history of the Bucks franchise. He joins Milwaukee following a 19-year Hall-of-Fame-caliber NBA playing career and, most recently, serving as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

“When you list the characteristics that make a successful head coach, you would include leadership, communication and a competitive drive,” said Hammond. “Jason used all of those traits to become a 10-time All-Star player in the NBA, and has now translated his on-court success to the bench. We welcome him to the Bucks organization and look forward to building a Championship-caliber team with him as our head coach.”

“Jason is a determined leader, a tough-minded competitor and a great teammate,” said Bucks owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry. “We believe his focus, vision and intensity will help him work alongside John and David (Morway) to rebuild the Milwaukee Bucks as we aspire to achieve excellence over the next several years. We are excited that Jason will call Milwaukee his new home.”

Kidd, 41, most recently served as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets where he guided the team to a 44-38 record, earned the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, and was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month twice. The Nets upset the three-seed Toronto Raptors in seven games in the First Round before falling to the Miami Heat in the Second Round.

Before becoming a head coach, Kidd enjoyed an exceptional 19-year NBA playing career, which included 10 All-Star Game appearances and an NBA Championship in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. He was named to the All-NBA First Team five times, All-NBA Second Team once, to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team four times and All-Defensive Second Team five times. Kidd also won gold medals with Team USA in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

When Kidd retired in 2013, he ranked second all-time in NBA assists and steals behind John Stockton. His 107 triple-doubles are third all-time behind Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. He also ranks third on the League’s all-time lists in minutes and 3-point field goals, sixth in games played, first among guards in rebounds and 71st in points scored. He joined Grant Hill as one of two players in the NBA to win the Joe Dumars Trophy – given to the winner of the annual NBA Sportsmanship Award – multiple times. Kidd received the honor following the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

The second overall pick of the Dallas Mavericks in the 1994 NBA Draft, Kidd shared Co-Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill. He played in 1,391 regular season games with Dallas, Phoenix, New Jersey and New York. His teams qualified for the postseason 17 times, and he played in 158 playoff games, including three trips to the NBA Finals (2002, 2003 – New Jersey; 2011 – Dallas).

Born March 23, 1973, in San Francisco, Kidd played two seasons at the University of California, where he averaged 14.9 points, 8.4 assists and 5.9 rebounds, and was a Consensus All-America selection in 1994.

jason kidd

Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King announced today that the organization has permitted Jason Kidd to pursue a coaching opportunity with the Milwaukee Bucks. In exchange for allowing Kidd to depart, the Nets will receive two second round draft picks (2015 & 2019) from Milwaukee.

The Nets’ search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

In one season as head coach of the Nets, Kidd led Brooklyn to a 44-38 record during the regular season and a first round playoff win over Toronto before losing to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Jason Kidd leaving Nets to coach Bucks

Well, this escalated quickly. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Jason Kidd leaving Nets to coach Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have agreed to send two second-round draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets to secure the coaching rights to Jason Kidd, sources tell ESPN.com.

The Bucks had been offering one second-round pick, but the Nets initially wanted a 2015 first-round pick in exchange, a negotiating chip the Bucks originally dismissed.

A source told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz that the Bucks have only talked to Kidd about being the coach, not any kind of administrative position running basketball operations. The source said the negotiation was supposed to be between the owners, not involving any basketball personnel, before the story was leaked out by the New York Post. But the source said the negotiations are now being handled by Bucks general manager John Hammond and Nets GM Billy King.

Here’s the New York Post reporting a wild story that came out of the blue and has been confirmed by several other outlets:

Jason Kidd wants control of Nets, may wind up with Bucks

Apparently Jason Kidd isn’t satisfied with just coaching, but he’ll have to be if he stays with the Nets.

According to a league source, Kidd recently approached ownership with a series of demands, including the role of overseeing the Nets’ basketball operations department in addition to his head coaching responsibilities. The source said Kidd didn’t want general manager Billy King to be dismissed, but wanted to be given a title and placed above him in the organizational hierarchy.

Ownership declined to grant Kidd that kind of power, which is rare for any coach in the league to have. The source said ownership felt Kidd wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility after having only one year of coaching experience — the team finished his first season on the bench with a 44-38 record, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference — and allowed Kidd to seek other opportunities.

The franchise then was approached by the Bucks for permission to speak with Kidd about the prospect of hiring him, and the Nets granted permission.

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired the draft rights to guard Markel Brown (#44 pick) from the Minnesota Timberwolves, guard Xavier Thames (#59 pick) from the Toronto Raptors and forward Cory Jefferson (#60 pick) from the Philadelphia 76ers in separate draft night trades, each in exchange for cash considerations, General Manager Billy King announced.

Brown (6’3”, 184) played in 134 games in four years at Oklahoma State, averaging 12.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.00 steals in 30.5 minutes per game. Brown averaged 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 35.3 minutes per game during his senior season, earning All-Big 12 Second Team honors for the second consecutive season. During his junior season, Brown averaged 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 34.1 minutes per game. He was named Louisiana’s Mr. Basketball in 2010 after a standout career at Peabody Magnet High School in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Thames (6’3”, 187) was named the Mountain West Player of the Year, All-Mountain West First Team and Mountain West All-Defensive Team after averaging 17.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.60 steals in 31.3 minutes per game during his senior season at San Diego State. Thames also earned Mountain West All-Conference Honorable Mention in 2012 during his sophomore season. He played his freshman season at Washington State before transferring to San Diego State for his final three seasons of eligibility.

Jefferson (6’9”, 218) played in 130 games in four years at Baylor, averaging 8.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.30 blocks in 19.9 minutes per game. Jefferson garnered All-Big 12 Third Team honors after averaging 13.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.30 steals and 1.30 blocks in 29.0 minutes per game during his senior season. During his junior season, Jefferson was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention after averaging 13.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.90 blocks in 27.9 minutes per game.

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Nets:

Alan Anderson plans to opt out of Nets contract

Alan Anderson is planning to opt out of the second year of his contract with the Nets and test free agency next month, a league source confirmed Tuesday night.

Anderson, 31, came to the Nets as a free agent last summer after spending parts of the previous two seasons with Toronto and became a dependable option within coach Jason Kidd’s rotation, giving the team a tough-minded defender who was capable of knocking down an open 3-pointer.

Anderson played in 78 regular-season games, averaging 7.2 points and shooting 34 percent from 3-point range in 22 minutes a game, before averaging 5.9 points in the postseason, appearing in all 12 playoff games.

With the draft and free agency soon approaching, rosters are going to start shifting around, and reports about specific targets that various teams have will start to materialize. Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Nets and Cavs:

Nets, Cavs discuss a Marcus Thornton, Jarrett Jack trade

The Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers are discussing a swap of guards Marcus Thornton and Jarrett Jack, according to sources briefed on the talks.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Nets, amid fears that they’ll be unable to re-sign Shaun Livingston in free agency, have identified Jack as a prime target to either help fill the void or improve their backcourt versatility.

Here’s the Chicago Tribune reporting on a tragedy in NYC:

Taj Gibson mourns loss of 6-year-old nephew

New York police have arrested a man wanted in connection with the weekend stabbings of two children, one fatally, in a Brooklyn apartment elevator, officials said on Wednesday.

Daniel St. Hubert, 27, was arrested on Wednesday night in the borough of Queens. Hubert was wanted for the killing of 6-year-old Prince Joshua Avitto and the stabbing assault of 7-year-old Mikayla Capers, who were out buying ice cream on Sunday evening when they were attacked, officials said.

Avitto is the cousin of Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson.

Gibson posted a photo of his cousin to Instagram saying: “They killed my lil super man. #rippj only two more weeks until your 7 birthday. Tears forever…this can’t be life #foreversuperman #babycuzz”

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on Nets veteran Kevin Garnett:

Kevin Garnett yet to indicate future plans

Kevin Garnett has yet to give the Brooklyn Nets any indication of what his plans are for the coming season.

So until Garnett decides whether he is going to retire or not, general manager Billy King will plan ahead with the thinking that Garnett is returning for a second go-around with the Nets.

“He’s under contract,” King said after a Nets’ free-agent workout on Wednesday. “So until a guy tells you he’s not under contract you go on the basis that he’s under contract and you got to plan accordingly. If a guy changes course and decides to retire then you make that decision.”

Deron Williams had surgery on both ankles today

Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams underwent successful surgery today on both ankles, General Manager Billy King announced today. The surgery was performed by Nets’ foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Martin O’Malley.

“The arthroscopic surgery performed today on Deron’s left ankle included the removal of spurs from the front and back of the ankle, as well as a cleaning out of his ankle joint,’ said Dr. O’Malley. “In addition, Deron underwent a procedure on his right ankle to remove a loose bone fragment that was below his right ankle joint. Deron is expected to be on crutches for 4-6 weeks and then begin rehabilitation. He is scheduled to begin light court activities in August, which will progress to full basketball activities in September. Deron is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the beginning of training camp.”

Williams appeared in 64 games this season, averaging 14.3 points, 6.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds and a career-best 1.45 steals in 32.2 minutes per game. He missed 18 games due to injury, including 16 games due to a sprained left ankle.

Deron Williams

Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams is scheduled to undergo surgery on both ankles on Tuesday, May 27, General Manager Billy King announced today. The surgery will be performed by Nets’ foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Martin O’Malley.

“Deron will undergo surgery on both ankles next Tuesday,” said Dr. O’Malley. “He will have a bone chip removed from his right ankle, and the left ankle will have an arthroscopic cleanout with removal of spurs from both the front and back of the ankle. Deron is expected to make a full recovery.”

Williams appeared in 64 games this season, averaging 14.3 points, 6.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds and a career-best 1.45 steals in 32.2 minutes per game. He missed 18 games due to injury, including 16 games due to a sprained left ankle.

Having multiple ankle surgeries sounds rough, but maybe this will help D-Will regain past glory and enable him to play like a star again in the future. Though, in our opinion, his effectiveness was limited partially by his own play, but also by Nets teammates who rarely run, cut or create passing lanes.

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on Nets forward Paul Pierce. Brooklyn was eliminated yesterday by the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs.

No retirement plans for Paul Pierce just yet

Paul Pierce’s first season with the Brooklyn Nets is over.

And the veteran forward isn’t sure if it will be his last, either.

Pierce said after the Miami Heat’s series-clinching 96-94 Game 5 win over the Nets that he believes he still has a year or two left in his tank. Where the unrestricted free agent-to-be will play next is uncertain.

“I haven’t really put much thought into it,” Pierce said of what his future holds and if he wants to remain a Net. “I put my whole focus into this season, it’s my last year of the contract. I will sit back and talk to the family and see where my options are from there and go from there.”

Pierce, 36, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and the Nets own his Bird Rights, which allows them to offer him more money than any other team.

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Heat vs Nets series, which Miami now leads 3-1:

Joe Johnson wasn’t impressed with LeBron James’ defense against him in the final minutes of the Nets’ 102-96 loss to the Heat in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal Monday night.

“I wasn’t necessarily trying to draw the foul on him,” said Johnson, although James had five fouls while defending him, “but I thought he was aggressive, so I was just trying to use his aggressiveness against him.

“[But] he flopped that last one.”

Johnson, who had 18 points but went just 5-for-15 from the floor — including 0-for-4 in the fourth quarter — twice found himself matched up against James inside the final two minutes. But after James successfully defended Johnson’s fallaway jumper with the score tied at 94 with 1:16 remaining, Johnson tried to make a step-back jumper as James banged into him and fell to the floor. Johnson missed the shot with 40.7 seconds remaining and the Nets trailing 97-94.

Paul Pierce says Nets not scared of Heat

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Heat and Nets, who are facing each other in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. The Heat currently lead the series 2-1, but the Nets stepped up yesterday to win Game 3 in Brooklyn yesterday.

The Nets made their stand last night against LeBron James, and Brooklyn showed up to stand with them.

When you are The King of your sport, you live for these occasions, when the opponent is reeling and desperate and you have the chance to go for the throat and choke the last vestiges of life out of it.

Once you become The King, every game becomes a Game of Thrones, every series a Series of Thrones.

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, remember, came to Brooklyn to threaten The Kingdom, and with a lot of luck and Mikhail Prokhorov maybe installing a Fountain of Youth somewhere inside Barclays Center, to dream the improbable dream of shocking the world and somehow wresting the crown from The King.

That dream stayed alive Saturday night when Brooklyn, a 104-90 winner, played with a toughness and an edge and a pride that reflects Mike Tyson’s borough and refused to let King James grab a 3-0 series lead and bury it.

“We’re not scared of them,” Pierce said.

The Nets are battling the Heat in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. Miami is a loaded team, and one of the key advantages the Nets should have is at the point guard position, where Deron Williams is supposed to be a better player than Mario Chalmers. But D-Will shot 0-of-9 in Game 2, finishing with zero points in the Nets loss. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Deron Williams shoots 0-for-9 in Nets Game 2 loss to Heat

History tells us this series is over. The Nets might still win a game. But they don’t have what it takes to win a playoff series against the Miami Heat.

Their problems start, guess where? With the guy who is their most important player.

What a bad night for this to happen, but Deron Williams had his first scoreless playoff game of his career and it was the main story coming out of his team’s 94-82 loss to the two-time defending champs.

Williams’ line on Thursday night was awful: Thirty-six minutes. Nine shots. No makes. And no trips to the foul line. Yes, he had six assists and seven boards. But that was merely silver lining stuff.

If he had been a factor with his shooting and was able to give the Nets his usual 17 points he averaged in their eight previous playoff games, this series could perhaps be tied at 1-1.

At this point in his career, Kevin Garnett is mostly focused on rebounding, defending, working hard and doing the zillion little things that help a team win. But he still has to score at least a little, especially against a championship-level team like the Heat. Not happening so far early in the Heat-Nets series. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Kevin Garnett barely scoring so far in Nets-Heat playoff series

Two days after he went scoreless for the first time in his playoff career, Kevin Garnett was somehow worse in Game 2 – scoring just four points while missing five of his six shots in the paint.

The culmination of the 37-year-old’s frustration was an open five-footer with 5:28 remaining, which turned into a Ray Allen 3-pointer at the other end, and an eight-point Brooklyn deficit.

It also left Garnett grabbing his head as he walked to the bench following a timeout.

“I’m not happy with my play right now. I’m trying to get in a flow and a rhythm,” said Garnett, who is shooting 20% and averaging two points in the two games against Miami. “Try to bring something. It’s just frustrating. But I’ll grind through it.

“(I’ll) continue to work. Continue to find ways to be aggressive offensively. Continue to look for opportunities. Rebound the ball. And continue to talk and inspire.”

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Heat and Nets, who are facing each other in the Eastern conference semifinals:

lebron james

This is what it’s supposed to look like when the two-time defending champ plays the sixth seed.

It’s supposed to be lopsided, with the favorites imposing their will and their athletic advantage, scoring easily and often under the basket.

Only it wasn’t supposed to happen to the Nets, not after they beat the Heat in all four regular-season meetings.

“Regular seasons don’t even matter,” Miami’s Dwyane Wade said.

Like the Heat was preaching all along, the playoffs are a different animal. It became painfully apparent for the Nets on Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena, where they were stomped by a balanced Miami attack and fell in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

It was just too easy for LeBron James and Co. in their 107-86 domination. They outscored the Nets in the paint, 52-28. They shot 57%, breaking open the game in the third quarter before Jason Kidd waved the white flag.

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