The Nets introduction of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry was deliberately low-key. There was no grand musical introduction or players rising from a puff of smoke as there was in Miami three years ago. The trio, along with Jason Kidd and Billy King, simply walked out on stage, sat down and took questions.
Andrei Kirilenko didn't attend, staying home in St. Tropez on the French Riveria, but another 6'9" Russian surprised almost everyone by walking on at the end to greet his new employees and doing interview after interview with local and national media. He said it wasn't about buying a championship while admitting he'd spend whatever it takes in salaries and luxury taxes, already the most any NBA owner has doled out in league history.
Still, no one on the stage was backing down from championship aspirations. As Jason Kidd said, it's about about the "gold trophy," the Lawrence O'Brien championship bling. No one was talking about contending for a championship. Instead, it was about winning one.
Pierce talked about the Nets being "right at the top" of the East, failing to mention the Knicks, then adding, "I'm here to try and create a legacy in Brooklyn" and "this has all the ingredients of a championship team."
"I feel like adding what you see up here, with the bones of what they have already, with Brook (Lopez), Deron (Williams), Joe (Johnson) and the other pieces they have here," added Garnett. "I feel this gives us the best option to win again, to win it all. I’m embracing this opportunity, my family’s embracing this opportunity, we’re looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to it."
Terry may have been the most aggressive. "I'm saying Deron Williams for MVP, with the pieces we have here ... "There's something in the air here that says the Brooklyn Nets will be the NBA champions next year," Terry said.
The architect of it all, King talked about the pieces as well ... but mostly the goal. "We've got the pieces to contend for a championship, and that's our goal," King said. "This is a great day for Brooklyn, for basketball and for the organization."
The arrival of Prokhorov, dressed as usual in his Nets t-shirt, jeans and sports jacket, electrified the season ticket holders inside the arena and those standing outside in the sweltering heat. Prokhorov said nothing while on stage, but in comments to the media afterwards, he discussed the rivalry with the Knicks, telling the media, "There will be great anticipation ... and I want to congratulate James Dolan. He's watching us for the time being."
Turning serious, Prokhorov added, "When I bought the team, I promised to create a championship contender and a team worthy of Brooklyn. So I think for the time being on this stage I have done what I can. And now I think it it high time for the team to do the rest."
One long time Nets official, surveying the scene at Barclays, simply shook his head and said, "Never in my wildest dreams...this."
- Garnett on joining the Nets with Pierce and Terry (Video) - Ian Eagle & Jim Spanarkel - YES Network
- Pierce on his move to Brooklyn with Garnett and Terry (Video) - Ian Eagle & Jim Spanarkel - YES Network
- Jason Terry on joining Nets with Pierce and Garnett (Video) - Ian Eagle & Jim Spanarkel - YES Network
- King on the additions of Pierce, Garnett, Terry (Video) - Ian Eagle & Jim Spanarkel - YES Network
- Kidd on the additions of Pierce, Garnett and Terry (Video) - Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Slideshow: Meet the new Brooklyn Nets - YES Network
- Brooklyn Nets Press Conference (Pierce,Kevin Garnett,& Jason Terry) - YouTube
- Glaring Omission: Pierce Leaves Out Knicks When Naming East Contenders (Audio) - Joe Benigno & Evan Roberts - WFAN
- Pierce, Garnett excited by move to Nets - AP
- In Brooklyn, New Nets Stars Are Clear About Their Goal - Howard Beck - New York Times
- For Nets’ Prokhorov, $183 Million Is No Object - Nate Taylor - New York Times
- Mikhail Prokhorov, not Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce, is the Nets' biggest advantage - Dave D'Alessandro - Star-Ledger
- Prokhorov wants Nets title - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Prokhorov: New Nets coach Kidd is our ‘Top Gun’ - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Painful ‘Truth’ about Knicks - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Pierce trades green for blues at emotional intro - Jonathan Lehman - New York Post
- New Nets trio cranks up heat with trophy talk Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Pierce push got Garnett to Nets Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Piece-ful dream closer to reality - Mike Vaccaro - New York Post
- Paul Pierce, new Brooklyn Nets focused on winning title - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Kevin Garnett offers no-comment on Carmelo Anthony - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Kevin Garnett to wear No. 2 to honor Malik Sealy - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Mikhail Prokhorov explains decision to hire Jason Kidd - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Jason Terry: Deron Williams will be MVP; Brooklyn Nets will win title - - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Big picture: Keeping KG and Pierce healthy - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce sit down with SportsCenter (Video) - Jackie MacMullan - ESPN Sports Center
- Just how good are the Brooklyn Nets and can they win the title? - Brad Doolittle - ESPN Insider
- Nets introduce new players in Brooklyn - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- New additions allow Nets to dream about title - Steve Popper - The Record
- Nets Introduce Garnett, Pierce and Terry (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Slideshow: Nets Introduce Garnett, Pierce and Terry - Adam Pantozzi - Brooklyn Nets
- Paul Pierce ready to move on after 15 years with Celtics - Chris Mannix - Sports Illustrated
- Playing by the rules, Nets bring out jealousy with new talent - Ken Berger - CBS Sports
- Battle for New York reaches new level; Nets introduce KG, Pierce - Matt Moore - CBS Sports
- Jason Terry says Nets have the "formula" to beat Miami - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Prokhorov thinks Jason Kidd will be a good coach because of the movie, "Top Gun" - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Mikhail Prokhorov needles James Dolan; Hints that Kirilenko accusations are rooted in stereotypes - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Brooklyn Nets introduce newest stars and fans flock to Barclays Center in search of new unis - Matthew Pearlman - New York Daily News
- Paul Pierce assists in wooing former Celtics teammate Kevin Garnett to Nets - Chris Dell - New York Daily News
- Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s win-at-all-costs mentality is reminiscent of late George Steinbrenner - Filip Bondy - New York Daily News
- Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry give Nets winning look in July - Neil Best - Newsday
- Jason Terry gives the Nets' bench a big boost - Mike Gavin - Newsday
- Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry introduced as new Nets - Barbara Barker - Newsday
- Jason Gay: Nets' Garnett and Pierce Are Strangers in a Strange Land - Jason Gay - Wall Street Journal
- Paul Pierce talks about his final days as a Celtic - James Pennington - SB Nation
- Paul Pierce assists in wooing former Celtics teammate Kevin Garnett to Nets - Eric Freeman - Yahoo! Sports
- New Brooklyn Nets Happier Than New Celtics - Dan Amira - New York Magazine
- New NBA economy suits Brooklyn Nets - Joseph Goodman - Miami Herald