Wednesday, August 29, 2012

To Fill Out Roster, Nets Are Working Out Hilton Armstrong And, Gasp, Eddy Curry

This is what Eddy Curry is associated with right now in his career. The only thing he could provide for the Nets is another mouth to feed, a hungry one at that.
Yep, Eddy Curry, seriously. In their seemingly desperate search for a back-up center, the Nets have tapped former NBA player Hilton Armstrong and Eddy Curry for work-outs. NBA fans in the New York City area should know both of these players well. Armstrong, a Westchester, NY native, was a star at the nearby basketball powerhouse University of Connecticut while Curry played on the Knicks from 2005-10.

Unlike the addition of Donte Greene to the team, I don't like Armstrong or Curry as potential members of the Nets. Both players have nice size but Armstrong just hasn't been able to convert his physical skills into solid performance during his NBA career while Curry has suffered from a myriad of injuries, weight problems, and even a heart condition in recent years.

Sorry Billy King, but neither of these guys would be a good fit on the Nets and certainly wouldn't be more than a benchwarmer at this point in their respective NBA careers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Netlinked 8/28/12: Former Nets Edition And More

Oh boy do I miss that guy. Remember when we called him Veal Scalapini? No? Ok, maybe that was just my dad and I
Former Net, and current league-wide, fan favorite Brian Scalabrine is close to joining the Chicago Bulls' coaching staff as an assistant. I knew he was a good bench cheerleader but assistant coach? Kinda surprising.

Ex-Net point guard Jacque Vaughn, who played with the Nets from 2004-06, has been hired by the Orlando Magic to succeed Stan Van Gundy as their head coach.

Yet another former Net, forward Eduardo Najera, has officially retired from the NBA to serve as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks' D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. He will also hold an ownership stake in the Legends and will serve in some capacity in the Mavs' front office.

Shelden Williams has signed with Elan Chalon, a French team. In 58 games with the Nets last year, the Duke product averaged 4.6 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game.

More links after the jump:

Brooklyn Nets Jerseys to Be Unveiled on September 28th

These depictions may or not turn out to be the Nets' legitimate jerseys for their debut season in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, but we won;t know for sure until the 28th, a month from today
It's official, one month from today, at the opening concert (and event) of the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets' first jerseys as a team will be unveiled. That day, September 28th, is also the date of the first event at the Barclays Center which happens to be a Jay-Z concert. I can't even begin to describe how pumped I am to see the much-hyped and anticipated Nets jerseys end up looking like. I really hope they don't screw this up.

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson: A Match Made in Heaven

The two guys in the middle; pretty important to the future of the Brooklyn Nets
February 23rd, 2011 and July 11, 2012. Those are two dates that will live on in Brooklyn Nets history forever. The former, in 2011, was of course when the Nets traded Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, two 1st-round picks, and cash considerations to the Utah Jazz for one of the top point guards in the entire NBA: Deron Williams. Prior to the trade going through, the Nets were heavily rumored to be going after, and nearly trading for, Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets until he was dealt to the Knicks on the 21st of February.

The latter, occurring just last month, was when the Nets emptied their roster by dealing Johan Petro (thank God), Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, Jordan Farmar, DeShawn Stevenson, a 2013 1st-round pick, and a 2017 2nd-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for their All-Star shooting guard, Joe Johnson. Similarly to the D-Will trade, this deal went largely under the radar until it went through as JJ was not widely reported to have been on the Nets' offseason wishlist.

Appropriately so, a crazed and long-loyal Nets fan like myself was going mildly nuts after hearing of each of these blockbuster deals. In 2011, with the Deron deal, I was on vacation in the Caribbean with my family when my dad gets an email on his phone from the Nets' organization. When I read the headline announcing that my favorite NBA team had traded for a star, specifically one of the best points guards in the NBA, I flipped out.

No, I didn't care that we essentially gave up three 1st-round picks (including Favors, selected in the draft preceding that season) for D-Will, I only cared that the Nets had finally gotten the franchise point guard that we had been searching for since trading Jason Kidd to the Mavericks a few years prior. I immediately dropped my regrets about missing out on Carmelo and didn't even care he went to the most-hated basketball team in my mind, the Knicks.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Season-In-Review: Gerald Wallace

This post, along with the other posts I will do in the Season-In-Review series, will take a deeper look at how all the Nets did last season on the court and possibly off of it. We continue with the team's mid-season acquisition, Gerald Wallace. Brook Lopez was covered last.

On March 16th of 2011, the Nets definitely mortgaged their short-term drafting future by trading away their 2012 1st-round pick, top-3 protected, Shawne Williams, and Mehmet Okur to the Portland Trail Blazers for small forward Gerald Wallace. I was walking home from school when I saw the trade on Twitter and I was blown away: The Nets just gave up their 1st-round pick for the 2012 Draft, a draft class widely considered to be deep by most standards, for a very good, but not superstar player?

Ok, I thought, as I reasoned with myself to stop flipping out and cursing at Billy King, there had to be some reason why the Nets gave up their most-likely high pick for Wallace. And certainly, to my surprise, there was a massive silver lining to the trade. The first aspect of this was that made me make a sigh of relief was that Gerald Wallace brings so much more to a basketball team than solid rebounding, a decent 3-point shot, and athleticism.

Wallace also brought intensity, emotion, recklessness, and just pure effort to a Nets team that has been lacking that for years. The second part was that the 2012 draft class seemed to clear like a cloud of smoke in the days leading up to June 28th.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Netlinked 8/25/12: Joe Johnson Talks to Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated

I'm excited, he's excited, we're all excited. I like that. By the way, don't worry, that's not the official Nets jersey. You haven't missed anything yet, the official jerseys are to be released to the public next month.
We have a short version of Netlinked today, a feature we haven't done here at Brooklyn Balling in awhile, but it will be sure to increase in frequency as we approach the season. The highest-profile newcomer to the Nets from this offseason, Joe Johnson, talked to Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe about finding out about his trade to the Nets, moving to NYC for the first time in his life, his summer workouts, among other things. It's a nice interview to peruse for some quick reading during a very slow time of the NBA news cycle.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nets Agree to Terms with F Donte Greene

For one of the last spots on their roster, the Brooklyn Nets have reportedly agreed to terms with forward Donte Greene, formerly of the Sacramento Kings, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears. Greene, entering his fifth NBA season, is 24 years old and spent the first 4 years of his NBA career with the Kings after being drafted 28th overall in the 2008 by the Memphis Grizzlies, who in turn sent him to Houston who then traded him to Sacramento all before the 2008-09 season began.

Greene boasts career averages of 6.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.7 apg in 253 games played over his four seasons and has shot at a 41%/31%/70% (fg%/3fg%/ft%) clip during that span.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Barclays Center Represents More Than Arena for Nets, Represents Clean Slate for Franchise

The Atlantic Yards complex where the Barclays Center is located; far cry from Izod Center and Prudential Center of old
Since their ABA beginnings as a franchise, and through their entrance into the NBA, the Nets have been given a label as a troubled team that didn't win many games, had plenty of players get into serious trouble with the law, that never won many games, and certainly didn't have much of a fan base. And all of that futility was manifested in the several sub-par arenas that the franchise has played in since it's inception in 1967 as the ABA's New Jersey Americans.

That Americans team played its home games at the Teaneck Armory after the team's planned home arena, the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan, was forced to invalidate the Americans' deal with the team three months before the start of the season.

The franchise's owners had to scramble to find a new home in the Tri-State area and that frantically-chosen home base served as the kickstarter to an organization that just seemed to not get things right from Day One roughly until now, when the Nets are on the doorstep of their first season in their brand-new, billion-dollar home in one of the most popular boroughs of the biggest and most influential cities in the world.

However, the Barclays Center is not just a basketball arena for the Nets to play their home games at. Rather, it is much more. It represents the franchise rising up from its incredibly ugly shadow known as the Meadowlands and inner-city Newark--where they spent their seasons at since 1981--into the upper-tier of the league, at least in a reputation-like light.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Season-In-Review: Brook Lopez

Lopez may have missed (nearly) all of that season, but that doesn't he can't rebound in the 2012-13 campaign
This post, along with the other posts I will do in the Season-In-Review series, will take a deeper look at how all the Nets did last season on the court and possibly off of it. We continue with Brook Lopez. Deron Williams was covered last.

Ah, Brook Lopez, the Nets' most endearing enigma.The 7'0" center was injured for the first time in his short career last season and boy did he miss games. Brook played in just five of the Nets' 66 games last year due to a broken right foot and the team certainly suffered without the talents of their true center who, in years prior, served as a menacing defensive stud down low and put up 20-point performances on the reg. However, Lopez has definitely had his share of problems, especially regarding rebounding, and he may not be the player he was pre-injury this season in Brooklyn.

From 2008-11, his first three years in the league, Brook played in all 246 of the Nets games in that span and played pretty well, increasing his points per game output from 13.0 in '08-'09, to 18.8 in '09-'10, to 20.4 in '10-'11. Even though Brook's scoring throughout his career has been consistently good, his rebounding has been far from and that was shown in the five games Brook did manage to play last season. In those games, he averaged 19.2 points per but just a mere 3.6 rebounds per, something that is unacceptable for a player of Lopez' size and importance to his team.

More after the jump on the Stanford grad:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Nets' Preseason Schedule Announced, 1st Game at Barclays is October 15th

This will be the place to be on October 15th, the first time the Brooklyn Nets will play a game there. I'll be in attendance, will you?
In a press release from yesterday, the Nets, among with all other NBA teams, announced their 2012 preseason schedule. This preseason, the Nets have six games, three of which are at the Barclays Center (10/15, 10/18, 10/19) and the rest are either on the road or at neutral sites (10/13, 10/16, 10/24). The first official game for the Brooklyn Nets franchise will be October 13th against the Philadelphia 76ers at a yet-to-be-determined site. The first official home game for the Nets at the Barclays Center will be October 15th against the lowly Washington Wizards.

Of special note, the Nets' 4th and last home preseason game will not be played at the Barclays Center but instead at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island where the New York Islanders play their home games during the NHL season. A possible attempt to spread the Nets' fanbase onto Long Island? If so, I love the idea. As a Long Island resident, I can first-hand tell that most Long Island basketball fans support the Knicks, but if the Knicks have another disappointing season, that barometer could easily shift in favor of the Nets. The more fans, the merrier.

Full preseason schedule for the Nets after the jump, courtesy of

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Recapping the Nets' Offseason, A Very Big One Indeed

Brooklyn's brand new backcourt. Watch out Eastern Conference, this duo means business.
So, I'm back. I returned from sleepaway camp two days ago and I'm slowly catching up and coming to grips with everything that has happened regarding the Nets' roster over the past eight or so weeks. Let's review each Nets' transaction (or non-transaction, you'll see what I mean) going back to Draft Night, which fell on June 27th this year:

Portland Trailblazers trade the 41st overall pick in 2012 Draft (G Tyshawn Taylor) to Nets for cash considerations
Entering this year's draft, the Nets only had one pick, the 57th overall pick in the 2nd-round. I guess Billy King liked Taylor, a point guard from the University of Kansas, so much that he didn't want to wait for him at 57 and instead used some of Mikhail Prokhorov's extra cash to nab Taylor with pick 41. Tyshawn, a Hoboken, NJ native, figures to be a part-time player for this year's Nets team who will share back-up PG duties with recent signee C.J. Watson.

Philadelphia 76ers trade the 54th overall pick in 2012 Draft (F Tornike Shengalia) to Nets for cash considerations
I don't follow European/foreign basketball very much so I have no first-hand experience in watching any of the Nets foreign acquisitions play but according to some scouting reports, Shengalia is a physical rebounding/defense type who won't be an offensive superstar but has some decent moves down in the post. His 6'9" frame is better suited for the 4 than the 3 as one of his major weaknesses is lack of a reliable jumper. My best guess is that he's a project who figures to not make much of an effect in the meantime.