Blatche: Brooklyn fans' embrace of him in last year's preseason a big reason he stayed

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Preseason doesn't matter in the standings, but it can matter in subtle ways that only the players know and appreciate. Andray Blatche, talking with YES, admits that he was nervous about his first preseason game in Brooklyn last year, The Nets faced his old team, the Wizards. The way he was treated that game and all last season made him realize "this was going to be my home for a while." Blatche scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds in that game.

Now, it's all about loyalty, Blatche told YES...

"To make it out of the hole I was in to where I am know it really was a second chance. All I can do is take full advantage of it.

"I knew this was going to be my home for a while in my first preseason game. I came in and the fans took me in. It was great, just the energy, the whole Brooklyn theme, the fans still behind us no matter what.

"I wanted to give Brooklyn my loyalty because they gave me a chance when I was on my out of the league. They gave me my second chance. So mostly, it's about loyalty. I want to work my butt off and continue to set goals and reach them."

In July Blatche signed a two-year contract with a players' option for a second year. His Nets contract, combined with his Wizards amnesty payments, guarantee Blatche $18.5 million over the next two years. He will be eligible for early Bird rights in July meaning the Nets can offer him a new contract up to roughly $5.5 million per year over four years.

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