Training camp is now less than four weeks away--the Nets got league permission to start a few days earlier because of their European commitments. Everyone knows the Nets will be very young going into camp, but just how young?
Try this: in the 33-year history of the Nets as an NBA team, only seven players have showed up in training camp younger than 21. Three of them will be in camp this month. Ryan Anderson, in fact, is the youngest Net since 1979, when Cliff Robinson (the USC Net, not the UConn Net.) played as a 19-year-old. And Brook Lopez is the third youngest Net. Yi Jianlian is the third 20-year-old.
Youth, however, hasn't always been a handicap. Among those on the ten youngest are Bernard King, Kenny Anderson, Sean Williams and Nenad Krstic. Robinson averaged better than 13 points as a teenager.
Here's the list of the ten youngest Nets, listing the player's birthday, year of their training camp and their age at the time of camp. For purposes of uniformity, we used September 30 as the opening date for camp.
1. Cliff Robinson, 03/13/1960 - 1979 - 19 years, six months, two weeks.
2. Ryan Anderson 05/06/1988 - 2008 - 20 years, four months, three weeks.
3. Brook Lopez 04/01/1988 - 2008 - 20 years, six months.
4. Bernard King 12/04/1956 - 1977 - 20 years, nine months (three days).
5. Marcus Williams 12/03/1985 - 2006 - 20 years, nine months (four days).
6. Yi Jianlian 10/27/1987 2008 - 20 years, 11 months.
7. Kenny Anderson 10/09/1970 1991 - 20 years, 11 months, three weeks.
8. Zoran Planinic 09/12/1982 2003 - 21 years, two weeks, (three days).
9. Sean Williams 09/13/1986 2007 - 21 years, two weeks, (two days).
10. Nenad Krstic 07/25/1983 2004 - 21 years, two months, one week.
By comparison, last year's Portland Trailblazers, one of the youngest teams in NBA history, had two players under 21 in camp, and one of those was the injured Greg Oden.