The Brooklyn Nets are on unfamiliar grounds.
For once, they are the talk of the basketball world. From last season’s move of New Jersey to Brooklyn to the celebrity in ownership in Jay-Z (he’s since sold his stake), the Nets had some popularity working for them.
But now, the excitement and expectations will be at an all-time high. From the most expensive NBA lineup to the coach. Jason Kidd, fresh off retirement will be paired with the league’s priciest assistant coach, Lawrence Frank, to steer this media show. Then, the new Nets.
Let’s begin with the reserves. The Nets signed both Shaun Livingston and Andrei Kirilenko to fill out the bench with Jason Terry. Next, the blockbuster signees — Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The revamped lineup for the Nets make them automatic media darlings in the one town where it should be avoided.
Before the NBA fan crown these expensive Nets as the new NBA champions, they may not even be the best team in their own conference. The Eastern Conference boasts the defending champions, Miami Heat, up-and-coming teams, Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks, and the wildcard Chicago Bulls.
As for the issues involving the team, the most obvious one is: will the risky head coach hire work out? While Kidd was a phenomenal player, he does not carry any coaching experience. Frank, as an assistant coach will cushion many growing pains, but Frank’s own success does not invoke confidence (career 279-335 record).
Unless the basketball can be split into five parts, the Nets have some expensive and veteran mouths to feed. From last year’s high-profile acquisition, Joe Johnson to the longer tenured Nets’ Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, there’s already issues involving sharing; ask Gerald Wallace (6.6 shots per game last season). Now, add in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry. While, the notion that Pierce and Garnett are “support” players makes sense in their advanced age, that concept is a paper-only theory.
The Nets have plenty of excitement incoming, but will the team and its coaching staff be ready for the expectations if the experiment fails?
Photo Credit: Daniel Boveportillo
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