Avery Is REALLY Excited (In General)

Nets_PR

Avery Johnson was at the Summer League practice Thursday and was asked (no surprise) about the team he'll be coaching in October, not the team he'll be working with next week. He can't talk specifics about players who've been signed, re-signed or traded for until next Wednesday, but he sure sounds excited, in general of course.

Stefan Bondy, using Sulia, quoted Johnson, "I thought it was going to take us about two years just to become relevant. And that's where we are. And we can have guys in our lineup that are All-Stars – they've been All-Stars for a reason; they know how to play. And then if we can start to build some sort of continuity ... Hopefully we can finally get a team that we can grow with, and then eventually get into a playoff situation."

Of Billy King and his team, Johnson said, "I've been in there watching those guys do what they do, it's been fun to watch." Marshon Brooks also talked to reporters at the session. Asked about rumors that he's being shopped, Brooks replied, " "I'm doing pretty well. It's been the same rumor for a while now. I just look past it and come to work."

Meanwhile, Jeremy Bettle, the Nets strength and conditioning coach said the first practice was "dominated" by Marshon Brooks. Also, Bondy reports that Adam Morrison has shorn his locks and showed up clean-shaven. It is like a job interview.

Avery Johnson is REALLY excited. After coaching an oft-injured, talent-starved squad for two years, a playoff contender is taking shape. This is what he said before Summer League practice today: "You can run the cutest plays and have the best defensive schemes. If you don’t have size and athleticism and guys who can put the ball in the basket, guys who know how to get their own shot, have high basketball IQ, mentally tough, you’re not gonna win. Then, at the same time, you’ve got to get some role players, because whatever stars you may have, it’s been proven over the years with guys like Robert Horry and James Posey and Shane Battier and those guys, those are the guys that really help win some games for you and help get you over the hump, and the stars are always stars."

Avery Johnson continued: "I thought it was going to take us about two years just to become relevant. And that's where we are. And we can have guys in our lineup that are All-Stars – they've been All-Stars for a reason; they know how to play. And then if we can start to build some sort of continuity – that's what Indiana did, they had a team where they started to build something and they gained some continuity. The Celtics have done it; Miami, they've done it. Hopefully we can finally get a team that we can grow with, and then eventually get into a playoff situation. Then we can really see where we are. That's the goal, and because of Billy and the shrewd moves that he's made, consistently upgrading our team in a short period of time, and Bobby (Marks) and Frank (Zanin, Nets director of player procurement) and all of our guys that are part of Billy's team – I've watched it first-hand, every minute, that I've been in there watching those guys do what they do, it's been fun to watch."

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