Basketball News!

Buried in the avalanche of news about the team’s sale was a lot of basketball news that didn’t get much attention. So we’ve pulled some of the best quotes and tried organizing them.

On 2009-10:

Rod Thorn: "We don’t look that strong on paper, but we will be better than a lot of the pundits think we will be, and we’ll be very competitive. Once you get into the season and you see exactly what you have, you’ve got to be realistic about what you have. I think we are – probably more so than most – at least reasonably realistic about what we should or shouldn’t be doing. But I’ll be candid with you. I'll be very candid with you. I think we’re going to be better than most people think. I really do.

Lawrence Frank: "If I’m a player it is an unbelievable opportunity. Eighty-percent of the players in this league are role players; 80 percent. Every guy who’s a role player always aspires to be something more. Well, you’ve got an opportunity here. Opportunity, which is what every player wants – well, what you got? Our strength is going to be in numbers. Our brand is none of us is as strong as all of us.

""We'll run off our defense. People talk uptempo, but I'm talking about running off our defense. Second, we can become a good multiple pick-and-roll team. We can use Brook as a hub in different areas - low post, mid post, elbow, top circle -- and build on motion and movement concepts, because it will be harder to score without Vince."

Brook Lopez: "I think we have a great chance. We've got a lot of young good guys that are really hungry (and) really want to prove themselves. With have veterans like Jarvis (Hayes) and Keyon (Dooling) who really know what they're doing, and of course we have our All-Star in Devin Harris—one of the best point guards in the game. So we have a really good group and I think (the playoffs) are a good goal for us."

On the possibility of roster changes:

Rod Thorn: "Everybody thinks they’re better right now. By the middle of December you start to have an idea of what you are; that’s when you start to see movement again. Plus, some guys can’t be traded until December, that’s another thing. I’m reasonably sure that we probably won’t have any changes in roster that you would call major things. There may be some minor things. But I don’t see any major things."

On 2010-11:

Rod Thorn: "We definitely want to be a team that can compete for the championship. We certainly would like to be in a position where it's not even a possibility we won't be in the playoffs. That where we'd like to be, where virtually everybody says, 'Hey you guys are going to be in the playoffs' and it's just a matter of how far you can go. That's where we'd like to be.

"We will be in position at the end of the year to be in the free agent market to be competitive for virtually anybody. We do anticipate our young core getting better. So I think at the end of this year, we are in a pretty enviable position going forward."

On Devin Harris:

Andre Igoudala: "Look for Devin Harris to average about 40. He had a good summer. I worked out with him this summer. He's really good. He's definitely going to have a good year."

Lawrence Frank: "Devin when he came here -- not to minimize his role in Dallas because he played a big role in Dallas -- but he wasn’t a focal point. He came here and played a bigger role and showed vast improvement. He still has many, many gears to go.

"With him, (defense) is priority No.1. If you're going to set the tone as the best player you have to embody what the team is going to be about. So it has to be a defense first mentality. He has it in him. He's done it in times. He has to do it on an every possession basis. Now if that means that doing it requires maybe playing shorter stretches. Because you look at that point guard position you can make a very realistic argument that we've got the three best point guards in the league when you look at it. Devin as our best player has to embody what we're going to be about. Simple."

On Brook Lopez:

Lawrence Frank: "Brook is going to be a very good 'hub' for us. We're going to be able to put him in the low-post, the mid-post, the elbow and the top of the circle. We're going to move him around. He is a very good pick-and-roll player. Really, Brook is a little bit of a throwback: How many true back-to-the-basket players are there in the league?"

Brook Lopez (on himself): "Whether I get the ball in the post or the high post, I'd like to learn to facilitate first. I love it when guys are cutting off me. I look forward to getting them the ball and getting them some easy buckets. From there, when they're cutting, it makes my job easier because (the defense has) to respect (my teammates') offense—not as much double-teams and stuff like that."

On Yi Jianlian:

Rod Thorn: "In watching him play, is he is better around the basket? He’s got a left-handed jump hook, he’s got a little right-handed jump hook. I think you’ll see him be around the basket more offensively with trying to score rather than just hanging around the 3-point line.

Kiki Vandeweghe: "He’s obviously still a young player with a lot of growth to do. He's spent a lot of time in the weight room. Clearly you can see that in his body. He'll be more confident."

Brook Lopez: "Yi has been posting up a lot in our pickup games. He's been playing really strong, he's dunking everything and he's been shooting well. Of course, that's what he does. It's going to be good seeing him down there. I'm really lucky to have another guy down there in the paint with me—someone to crash the boards with me."

On Terrence Williams:

Brook Lopez: "(Williams' game is) absolutely insane. He passes like a point guard. He looks for Devin. He looks for everyone. He's a great defender too. He's so athletic, he does everything really well."

Keyon Dooling: "He's playing really well - a freak of nature athletically. In the moments I've watched, he's really unique. What you don't see from the great athletes is a high basketball IQ. But he has a nice floor game - a really nice floor game."

Lawrence Frank: "All indications are that Terrence Williams is going to be a good player. He's also going to allow us to move Devin around in different spots.

"The guys like playing with him, because he's a willing and capable passer - that's human nature. But many young guys try to establish themselves by scoring; Terrence just makes the right plays and delivers the ball in the right position, which ingratiates you with teammates."

On Courtney Lee:

Lawrence Frank: Courtney Lee comes from a great system and organization. He learned good habits as a rookie, as a defender and having the ability to make threes. We're going to have a lot of competition in those spots."

On Chris Douglas-Roberts:

Keyon Dooling: "Besides (Terrence Williams), if anybody has stood out, it's Chris. CDR has has gotten a lot better."

Chris Douglas-Roberts (on himself): And that’s what Keyon said. He said my best asset – he thinks – is my killer instinct and my ability to persuade people. He said I can make people run through a brick wall for me. Like I said, when it comes to basketball I have no sympathy. If I can manipulate a situation, if I can manipulate somebody on the floor, if I can take your heart, that’s what I’ma do. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Every time I’m on the floor, that’s what I’m going for."

On Brian Hamilton (Camp Invite):

Chris Douglas-Roberts: "I really respect Brian’s approach to the game. A lot of the veterans on our team say that he’s the best on-ball defender that they’ve ever seen – and that’s guys like Keyon and Jarvis that have been in the league nine or 10 years. So if it were my preference, I’d want him to guard me every game because I know that’s making me better."

On Team Defense:

Lawrence Frank: "We're going to give teams different looks, especially defensively. We're going to have the ability to press more and play aggressively defensively. But there's no magic formula or scheme. We have to get better defensively, and if we don't get better, our [butts] kicked.

Brook Lopez: "We're looking to become a great team defensively. Our team needs to lock down. Regardless of whether one guy is a great defender or if one guy is a terrible defender, we have to work defensively as a team. It's just a lot of talking, communication and effort. We have a lot of great athletic guys who like to run the floor. So just have got to create turnovers and just run."

On Mikhail Prokhorov:

Brook Lopez: "(The sale is) definitely going to open up some opportunities for us. It's finally happening... It's not such an uncertainty (anymore)."

Andre Igoudala: "I think it would be exciting to see that happen. They have the new investor involved, so it should make things a bit easier for them. It's an attractive market."

Nate Robinson: "Everybody is going to love them in Brooklyn that (already) lives in Brooklyn. It will be closer. It's an easy commute to the game. They don't have to drive so far to Jersey."

Terrence Williams (via Twitter): I just got here and I'm already sold. Hhahahahah. well I'm part russian also so its all good lol. And goin to Brooklyn. well where brooklyn at.

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