Joe Johnson isn't stepping back while on the big stage. In an interview on Sirius this morning, Johnson said he's still feels good about his team's chances. "We got a great, confident group in Brooklyn. We believe we can win."
He wasn't talking about the Atlantic Division.
In his All-Star Game interview with NBA TV's David Aldridge,echoed those sentiments and talked about a number of things, including the team's turnaround, which he says is about the team's seasoned players "being a little more desperate," and that the rest of the season is important on how the Nets position themselves, noting the playoffs are more attuned to a veteran club. There's not back-to-back's and the game slows down.
As for this year's selection, his seventh in eight years, Johnson said it is "probably the most special." Here's what he told Aldridge
On why the team is playing better...
"The guys being a little bit more desperate. knowing that we're past the halfway point of the season and the second half of the season is very valuable for us, very important in how we position ourselves for the playoffs."
On LeBron James including Brooklyn in the teams the Heat have to watch out for...
"We got a lot of seasoned guys, guys with a championship pedigree. who know what it takes to win games, to grind out games. for that part, I think we're pretty good.
"For the playoffs, there are no back-to-backs, you get a chance to rest a little bit and the game slows down, slows down a great deal, in the playoffs."
On playing with Shaun Livingston in the long-ball line-up...
"For me, it's not hard, I've played with some pretty good point guards. Shaun is great. When the ball is in his hands, he's making plays, he's posting up. He has a mismatch every night. And you know we've just played off that. I can play off the ball, catch and shoot, post up, try to make guys around me better.
"Everybody's bought in. Everybody's bought in, man, because we're winning games that way. Winning cures a lot, man. We're just trying to stick with the program right now."
On being picked by the coaches to his seventh All-Star Game...
"It means a lot that the coaches showed me so much respect. And this year is probably the most special out of all of them. Playing with guys like Paul and Kevin has most definitely helped me out. I'm still learning. It's my 13th year in the league. Each and every time those guys talk to me, I'll always listen. soaking it in, just trying to help the team get better."
- Media Day: Joe Johnson (Video) - David Aldridge - NBA.com