Brooklyn Nets practice dominated by unlikely drumbeat of multi-media

Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Ho-hum, just another day in Netsland: Sports Illustrated cover story revealed, more enticing details of "The Association" disclosed, SportsCenter feature goes online and more practice, practice, practice.

The biggest deal was the SI cover. Deron Williams becomes the first Net to grace a Sports Illustrated's cover since Jason Kidd ten years ago. It's the first time a professional athlete from Brooklyn has been on the cover in 55 years.

The cover became a touchstone for a discussion about pressure, which Avery Johnson batted away with a joke. Rod Boone asked Johnson if all the national exposure puts any pressure on the Nets to live up to hype. The coach replied with a laugh, "I hope so," then joked he's glad SI didn't tab them as NBA champs because that can be "the kiss of death."

Avery Johnson may also have been trying to damp down the clamor around the November 1 game between the Knicks and Nets. Joe Johnson likened the hype to a Game 7 in the SportsCenter video. If the Nets win, the coach said, "some people are going to want to have a Mardi Gras parade, but I won't be on one of the floats."

Joe Johnson also said D-Will being on the cover alone didn't bother him. "I'm proud of him," said JJ, the other half of "Brooklyn's Backcourt."

The trailer from "The Association" released Wednesday gave fans a hint of what the series will look like when the first episode, "Hello Brooklyn" airs on October 16. Brooklynites including Boro President Marty Markowitz, director Spike Lee and actress Rosie Perez talk to camera about what it means to Brooklyn while Billy King and Williams talk about what it all means for the team. In another sound bite, Tyshawn Taylor laments being hurt.

In a clip of the first episode, King also says Williams told him this summer that he and the Nets should not to wait for Dwight Howard. King told NBA TV cameras, "One thing Deron did say to me, he said, 'Please, just don't wait on Dwight. We can't wait and not have a team'."

In practical (practice) notes, Jerry Stackhouse traveled to Atlanta to get acupuncture treatment and Josh Childress sat because of a left quad contusion. Taylor got some non-contact work in, as his quad strain eased. And no, D-Will was not taking any more questions about Mark Cuban.

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