PIERCE, GARNETT, TERRY --AND PROKHOROV-- EXCITE NETS FANBASE WITH TALK OF CHAMPIONSHIP

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

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."

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