The questions are all the same: Can the Nets get through the summer of discontent, with the team’s biggest stars (reportedly) asking the owner to sack his general manager and coach? Can the ‘Big Three’ stay healthy both physically and mentally, considering they were available for a total of 84 games last season? What about the three who did not play at all last season? Can they get it without much depth in 5? etc, etc.
All of these questions will be asked on Media Day Monday, but the answers may not come for weeks or even months. The national media has spoken, mostly in skeptical terms, about Nets’ prospects. See ESPN ratings. Their basic premise is that after all that has gone wrong in the past 18 months, why would anyone expect things to change? It’s a valid point.
Local media, in their previews, introduce fans little bit More hope. Despite the big and bad narrative, the Nets have a lot going for them, starting with the return of the lost after making peace with the organization. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are said to be happy and ready to go. Ben Simmons who hasn’t played for a year has an impressive resume. Each of them has something to prove to themselves and their team. As Brian Lewis wrote in his training presentation on Saturday, other teams have gone through worse and are still winning, noting: “Sometimes talent wins.”
The Yankees won 1977 World Championship After Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin get into a physical altercation at the bunker in Boston. after late Lakers The great Kobe Bryant asked for a deal, winning the Player of the Year award that season and helping his team win titles in the next two seasons.
And when LeBron James tried to fire Heat coach Eric Spoelstra in 2010 — only to be briefly rejected by head coach Pat Riley — Miami reached the finals in each of the next four seasons, winning two championships.
Similarly, Christian Winfield wrote in a camp preview, the Nets front desk “stabilized the ship” for which he believes they deserve so much praise.
Of all the seasons that Nets GM Sean Marks has run for CEO of the year, this just might be the year his peers nod their hats.
Marks and team umpire Joe Tsai stared an explosively in his face — a potential blast for a championship franchise in the wake of Kevin Durant’s summer trade order — and anchored the ship in turbulent waters.
KD and Kyrie haven’t spoken publicly about things, their only recent comments coming on social media and those are mostly about other things, but it appears that Ben Simmons has been speaking on behalf of the trio and the team this week at The old man and the three Podcast with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter.
I’m going to get sick. I can’t wait. I’m so excited. I’ve got a new number, a new shirt,” said Simmons, who turned 25, a new shirt. “I’m just looking forward to it. I think we have a special team, and if we put everything together, we will be champions. This is the ultimate goal.
“But yeah, I’m excited. It’s New York City. I play with some great players, and a great coaching staff.”
The coaching staff, particularly Steve Nash, have had their successes. Nash’s performance last year was criticized by fans and Durant (again, reportedly) asked that Tsai fire him… After praising him twice in Aprilincluding at the press conference after Celtics Survey. The Nets also did not renew the contracts of Adam Harrington and David Vanterpool. Amar’e Stoudemire left, citing a “mutual agreement” between him and the organization. They brought in Igor Kokoskov, one of the league’s most respected assistants and was promoted from within to fill vacancies. (Simmons’ response to another question from Redick called the staff “incredible.”)
the net You have Their fans are disappointed and there is a lot of blame shared. As Winfield notes.
Entering the fourth year of their Seven-Eleven era, the Nets have just one win in the playoff series, with the same number of passes made after the Celtics dusted off broomsticks and knocked them out of the first round in a disappointing fashion last season.
Looking at things in the long run, it’s actually worse. The Nets will celebrate 10 years in Brooklyn next month and all they have to show are two consecutive wins, one with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in 2013 and one with Kevin Durant, Keri Irving and James Harden in 2021. Tsai and before him, Mikhail Prokhorov spent a lot of money for Limited returns.
So while the Nets gather at HSS on Monday to answer questions, and then on Tuesday to go to court, fans have a right to remain skeptical, perhaps for a while. This is a good thing considering what has happened recently.
Alex Schaefer, as part of Athletic’s league-wide training camp preview, put it succinctly: “Can the net put the drama behind them and move on, or will it last all season?” stay tuned