Archive for the ‘Brooklyn Nets’ Category

Thanks to NBA rules, the huge Garnett-Pierce-Terry to Brooklyn trade can’t become official until July 10. And that means that the people who care most about the trade can’t talk about it for another couple of weeks. That’s why we get things like Nets GM Billy King saying “Mason (Plumlee) gives us a better shot” while giggling when asked if “the events of today made [the Nets] a title contender?”

Jason Kidd was equally smiley in his praise of Plumlee, which wasn’t really about Plumlee.

Between getting drafted, an NBA GM saying his acquisition might make his team a title contender, and one of the best point guards ever saying he was “the best player … at that spot,” this must have been the best day of Mason Plumlee’s life. They say any press is good press, so I guess any compliments are good compliments, even if they come when the people saying them are really trying to talk about something else. When Kevin Garnett is screaming in his face from three inches away, let’s hope young Mason can remember last night. Everyone needs a happy place.

Nothing screams RIVALRY quite like jokingly pushing some random kid in a Knicks jersey and documenting it on your Instagram account. That is the headlocks, face punches and throat clutches of our generation, which is probably not a joke.

jason-kidd-on-phone

I’ve alluded to it a couple times throughout the year in this column, but I was not a fan of watching this Nets team in their inaugural season in Brooklyn. They were assembled so hastily and haphazardly, they played a fairly unexciting brand of basketball, and minus one or two guys, they were an absolutely terrible fit attitude and personality-wise for the borough that they suddenly called home. It didn’t take too many games’ worth of Joe Johnson step-back jumpers, Brook Lopez set shots and quickly infuriating “BROOOK-LYYYYYYN” home chants for me to realize that this just wasn’t going to be a team that I was going to root for.

And the thing that really had to bum you out about watching the Nets — besides the fact that they paid over $70 mil this year alone for a starting lineup and still lost in the first round of the playoffs to a Bulls team whose bus probably drove everyone straight to the ICU after Game 7 — was that it didn’t seem like this roster was going to be materially different in years to come. Mikhail Prokhorov had bought his playoff team, but the price he paid was so steep that not only would it be impossible to pay for more guys, the guys he signed on are owed too much to ever get rid of. A minor tweak here and there, perhaps, but for the most part, this was gonna be the Nets’ team, and if you didn’t like the guys, too bad, because they weren’t getting new ones anytime soon.

Well, the offseason hasn’t even officially started, and the Nets have already made a big-name acquisition that would seem to assuage such worries. They’re signing a first-ballot future Hall of Famer, a respected guy in the clubhouse, and a guy whose teams have won more after his arrival pretty much everywhere he’s gone. What’s more, he’s a baller who’s played a pivotal role in previous franchise history — as much as the Brooklyn Nets have previous franchise history, anyway — and one who Nets fans still talk about with unparalleled reverence, one whose jersey will undoubtedly hang in the Barclays Center rafters before long.

The guy, of course, is legendary point guard Jason Kidd, undoubtedly to be the most-discussed, most-anticipated addition to the Nets franchise. Except he wasn’t signed as a free agent — he was signed as the team’s head coach.

My sense of history isn’t perfect on this one, but I’m pretty sure you’d have to go back to the days of player-coaches like Bill Russell and Lenny Wilkens to find a guy with such a short turnaround between his playing and coaching careers as Kidd has here. As recently as May 18 — less than a month ago — Jason Kidd was still an active player, firing blanks for the New York Knicks in the second round of the playoffs, giving every indication that he’d continue to do so for the remainder of his contract. (The contract still had two years left on it, by the way.) But in the period of a week in early June, Jason Kidd had announced his retirement, declared his intent to coach (for the Nets in particular) and lapped front-running candidates like Brian Shaw and Lionel Hollins for the open vacancy. Then on Wednesday, Kidd was officially announced as the team’s new coach, to the continued mind-blowing of basketball fans around the league.

Read the rest of this entry »

jason-kidd-stretching-machine

Seriously, it has happened enough times that we can actually make a list of them. So here’s the list.

  • July 5, 2012 — Dallas Mavericks offer Jason Kidd three years and $9 million to play basketball for them. Kidd almost takes it, then pulls a switcheroo.
  • Also July 5, 2012 — New York Knicks offer Jason Kidd three years and $9 million to play basketball for them. Kidd says, “Sure.”
  • June 12, 2013 — Brooklyn Nets offer Jason Kidd three years, a team option on a fourth year and an undisclosed amount of money to be the head coach of their basketball team. This comes only nine days after his retirement from playing, and just four days after anyone knew he was even a head coaching candidate.

So basically, Jason Kidd is a three-year contract magnet. By May of next year, I fully expect some team to offer him a three-year contract to run their team as general manager. Which would mean April of 2015 is when he would get a three-year contract to join Adam Silver as the league’s deputy commissioner, and then March 2016 Kidd would get yet another three-year contract to be the commissioner of the entire league. Pretty sweet career path, but once he gets that top job, I’m not sure who else can get offer him a three-year contract. I’m sure he’ll figure out something.

jason-kidd-full-resume

With news breaking that Jason Kidd is a “strong frontrunner” for the Brooklyn Nets’ head coaching job, it’s probably a good time to look at Kidd’s much-maligned coaching résumé. And really, it’s not nearly as bad as you would think. Getting a job is more about life experience anyways. Click for full size.

No wonder Jay-Z sold his Nets shares.

(via The Brooklyn Game)

yonsan-johnson

By his very nature, Joe Johnson is a boring guy. It’s almost like when his parents named him one of the most default names possible, they were dooming him to a life of playing for four seeds and never smiling when he hits shots that would make every other player in the league at least fist pump. I mean, he’s such a blah kind of fellow, that when the Nets acquired him, they immediately changed to black-and-white uniforms. I refuse to believe this was coincidence.

But here is something that is interesting about Joe Johnson. So interesting, in fact, that you might not even believe it’s real. From Sporting Life Arkansas:

For Yonsan Johnson, formerly Yonsan Uranus, ne Zhu Yan-Qing (like many people in China, Yonson has adopted a more English-sounding name), the inciting event came in the form of the cover of an issue of Dime magazine he found in his military barracks in 2009—he looked down and saw the eyes of a resolute, dignified foreign warrior peering out at him.

The eyes belonged to Joe Johnson, then a forward for the Atlanta Hawks and an eight-year veteran of the NBA. Inside the magazine, Yonsan read about Johnson’s great love for the single mother who’d raised him, his quiet manner on the court, and how he’d rather stay home and play videos games than go clubbing. In Johnson, he had found a hero, someone who seemed to embody his country’s ancient ideals of patience, strength, and respect toward elders. Johnson became not only Yonsan’s favorite player, but a 6-foot-8, 240-pound prism through which he learned about American culture. Not long after he saw Johnson’s image, he founded the Chinese Joe Johnson Fan Club.

By day, Yonsan is an electrical engineer who ekes out the equivalent of $2,400 a year in a factory in northern China. By night, though, as founder of the JJFC, he manages the Joe Johnson Chinese Baidu Tiebar, which he describes as a forum that has 497 members. In this role he has accumulated and edited what is likely the world’s largest cache of Joe Johnson-related pictures and videos. His life’s dream is to one day speak to Johnson directly.

But wait, there’s more. These are emails from Yonsan Johnson to Evin Demeril, the author of the piece.

August 1
Evin,
[...]
As you know I put URANUS in my last name.
yes, my english name is YONSAN URANUS.
one of them told me I should change the last name.he asked me to look up the meaning of URANUS… i know it is a star in the space.
it doesn’t mean anything. it just a designation.
[…]
in China, Uranus means: the great, the respectful… All the description are good..
So,can you tell me whats wrong with URANUS in your world? thank you.

August 6
Hi,
Gentleman~
[…]
… I found the reason… URANUS has another meaning”your butt”, so the man told
me to make a change… I really didn’t know this meaning… a little conplicated…
So, I think Johnson might suit for me,
it is a good name, and also show my great respect to Joe Johnson…

So not only does this guy love Joe Johnson enough to start up a fan club specifically “to let more people to know about Joe Johnson,” but he also changed his name to the sublime Yonsan Johnson in order to “show [his] great respect to Joe Johnson.” I’m not sure which of these is the greatest honor of all-time, but I’m sure one of them has to be.

It’s just so weird that this is all for Joe Johnson and not Kobe Bryant, LeBron James or Tracy McGrady, who are all huge stars in China (though I am assuming those clubs exist too). Some people just appreciate an emotionless player always swishing impossible shots more than other people do. And those people, apparently, then start collecting all kind of pictures, videos and jerseys — even if it costs them months of saving their income — once they’ve decided on a favorite player. Who knew? There’s something out there for everybody, I guess.

(via Reddit)