BROOKLYN - Thirty minutes after the Brooklyn Nets fell to the Portland Trail Blazers, 108-98, some 50 members of the media stood in the Nets locker room waiting, in silence, as Tornike Shengelia sprayed himself with cologne, making the second-year forward the only Nets player available to speak with the media.
With the Nets starting the season 3-7, the only players willing to step up and take responsibility for this "slow" start were the ones who sit at end of the Nets bench, which includes a rookie and, arguably, the only Net who is playing sufficient basketball right now in Shaun Livingston.
"It's on all of us," Livingston said, alone, in a scrum looking for something, anything quotable. "I take a majority of that [responsibility] as well because as the point guard you go to initiate the offense," he continued, "make the right play calls to get guys involved."
Livingston will make $1.2 million out of a league-high $101 million payroll.
"I think the energy wasn't there," said rookie Mason Plumlee. "Whatever we do offensively or defensively, there has to be energy and effort. Some guys did it tonight and not everyone did it and that has to be consistent for us to be a good team."
Plumlee is on his rookie contract and will make $1.3 million this season.
"Patience is what it is," said Jason Terry. "There is no timetable to turn it around," he went on. "We’d like it to happen sooner than later, but number one, you have to get healthy. You’re missing your key big man and your star point guard, sh*t, I don’t know how much success you're going to have without that."
Terry, the 14-year veteran, is 9th on the team in minutes per game, and is the 6th highest paid player on the team, 7th if you count the money Andray Blatche will get paid from the Washington Wizards.
Coach Jason Kidd met with the media after the game and placed the blame squarely on his back. He attributed the slow start to "bad coaching," saying, "I take the blame for this."
"Guys play hard; we got a little stagnant on the offensive end," again saying, "This falls on my shoulders."
It's a process. Right?
"It's a process," Kidd said after the loss. "We still have a ways to go."
Deron Williams is hurt and has been hurt, while Brook Lopez is dealing with a no-timetable injury. Andrei Kirilenko has missed six games. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have already missed games. None of those players, including Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans had an explanation for the team's struggles after their loss to the Blazers on Monday night.
They were all completely silent when it came time to explain -- yes, Williams, Lopez and Kirilenko are not required to speak since they didn't dress. But not one "key" player stepped up to take any responsibility.
Not one answered a question. Oh, right, expect for one question:
I believe @MikeAScotto said "'Sup?" when passing Garnett and Pierce in hallway, making that the only question the media asked them tonight.— Tom Lorenzo (@TomLorenzo) November 19, 2013
Even then, Nets fans are waiting for an answer to that question.
So, I'll ask it again. Garnett, Pierce, anyone: 'Sup?
- Jason Kidd's Competence Quickly Becoming Brooklyn Nets' Biggest Question Mark - Howard Beck - Bleacher Report
- For the Brooklyn Nets, it's getting late early - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Don't Hop Off The Nets Train Yet - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- After 10 games, it's too early to write off the Nets - Ken Berger - CBS Sports
Brooklyn Nets showing their age early, melting down just like rival Knicks - Filip Bondy - New York Daily News
- Five Final Thoughts from the Blazers-Nets debacle - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game