You have to give Lawrence Frank credit. I mean the man gives so many others credit that he must be running a deficit anyway. The Nets coach will never be heard saying a negative word in public about any of his players...or any opposing team. So, it's within the gradations of his praise where the truth lies.
--"I think the Atlantic Division has gotten better. Yet at the same time, if we are able to keep our core healthy, we feel that we have as good a chance as any team. You have to acknowledge what the other teams are doing, yet at the same time you have to have a plan and be committed to the plan and not try to audibilize every single time somebody else makes a move." He is VERY optimistic. Can't you see it? And please, enough of this Celtic hype. They haven't played a game yet.
--"You make sure of the chemistry of your team, the health of your team, people who are right in front of you in terms of who you have to play in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference, and then, how you deal with the outside influences. Every team has those fights, we’re not unique. The other 29 teams are going to have those same fights every day." The Nets had chemistry issues last season and they're still not settled. And he isn't going to give you any details, thank you very much.
--"We don’t refer to it as the big three - We’re a basketball team. Those guys are obviously our heavy lifters but everyone else has to be able to accept their role and then perform and do their role. Those guys are our difference-makers, so we rely on them, but at the end of the day it does come to your 15 or 14 man unit because everyone will contribute to at least one win during the course of the year." He's worried about the bench. Big Three will take care of themselves.
--"It’s going to be a slow development. I think we have to be careful to not put too much on his shoulders too early. We have to be ready to just read his body and see. With Curly (Krstic's nickname), it’s never going to be a question of work ethic; it’s just going to be a question of when his body is ready to accept the responsibility of being a full-time basketball player." All that stuff about Krstic being 100% at the beginning of the season? Forget it. This is going to be a season long issue...not so much the injury but getting in basketball shape, testing the knee in game situations, getting over the fear.
--"With Jamaal (Magloire), here was a guy a couple of years ago who was an all-star and then, basically, his role has lessened year in and year out. So this is an opportunity for him to establish a new perception in the league. I think he brings a toughness, he’s more of an old-school center, and yet he’s going to have to be mobile enough and agile enough to be able to defend his position." If he can play some defense, any defense, he will start. See above re Krstic for an explanation why.
--"Every year we talk about trying to get Jason (Kidd) fewer minutes and every year, we play him more. So I’m going to say he’s going to play under 48 minutes a game. Because he won’t play 48 minutes, I won’t be a liar. There’s always a fine line between giving guys an opportunity and showing trust and also guys performing when given an opportunity. Sometimes you have to keep the big picture in mind in terms of developing guys yet at the same time it’s hard to do that at the expense of losing games that maybe you should win." Defensive about not playing young guys much? Memo to Marcus Williams: perform when given a chance or sit.
--"Antoine (Wright) and Boki (Nachbar) have had two outstanding summers. Marcus has done some good things and usually you reap what you sow. So, hopefully for all our bench guys, we’re able to have good production." Like GM Ed Stefanski, he is concerned about the bench and like Stefanski, he is not yet sure Williams can do what the team wants. Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully. As they say in the military, hope is not a strategy.
--"Without a doubt. We play and settle for nothing less. And yet Toronto is the returning division champs; Boston obviously has added two more all-stars, one of them being a first ballot hall-of-famer in Garnett; The Knicks added a double-double guy in Randolph; Philly continues to build their team around balance and Iguodala took off after the Iverson trade. At the same time, our goal is to win the division." He is sooo tired of hearing about the other teams in the Atlantic. Let the games begin. We can handle it.
What's missing? Once again, no reference to Jason Collins, the team's starting center for the past five years. Odd.