Thousands of Brooklyn Nets fans showed up Sunday at the team's annual open practice, watching an hour and a half of a spirited practice run by Lionel Hollins before attempting to break the Guiness Book record for the world's biggest game of KnockOut basketball. And indeed they did!
All but one of the Nets participated at one level of another in the event (which unlike past years didn't include a scrimmage). The only player not on the court was Mirza Teletovic, who has a slightly sprained ankle. No boot. His status for Wednesday's opener vs. the Celtics in Boston has not been disclosed but NetsDaily's Reed Wallach says he's been told Mirza is likely good to go.
Wouldn't worry about Mirza's bum ankle. #Nets insider told me he should be ready to go for Boston.— Reed Wallach (@ReedWallach) October 27, 2014
As for Brook Lopez, he participated in the shootraround Sunday before exiting when the team began four- and five-man weaves.
Before the practice, Lionel Hollins talked about his big men, particularly Mason Plumlee.
"I want him to be more comfortable in the post making moves," Hollins said. "He has good footwork, and he’s quick, jumps well and has a nice jump hook with his left and right hand. I’d like to just see him more confident in going to that and making that basically his go-to move."
Plumlee was 0-of-9 last season in Brooklyn (and 0-of-2 at Duke the season before.) He'd like to expand his game, he told beat writers.
Plumlee on his jump shot: "if they leave me wide open from 15 ft. away, I'm going to shoot."— Anthony Puccio (@APooch) October 26, 2014
Holllins doesn't think so.
"I think -- this is just my theory -- the game has changed so much to where there’s nobody that plays in the post anymore. Everybody wants to play on the perimeter. Everybody wants to run and get an alley-oop. There’s nothing wrong with throwing the ball in the post and scoring."
Jarrett Jack, who thrilled the crowd at the end of Open Practice by tossing those pink sneakers into the stands, talked his long-time friend and point guard, Deron Williams.
"He looks pretty good. Not pretty good, he looks damn good. [His ankles] don’t seem to be bothering him at all," said Jack. "I don’t know how many dunks we’ll see from him this season, but other than that, he’s done a good job. He’s been what I thought he was going to be."
Also, before the game, Joe Johnson talked about how his mother, who had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, is now cancer-free. Diane Johnson now lives with her son at their home in New Jersey.
in the stands, a diverse crowd watched intently, cheering loudly during the weaves as Markel Brown (who knows no earthly bounds), Cory Jefferson and Plumlee showed off their vertical leaps. Any time a player came near the stands, fans begged for autographs. Sitting behind the basket in reserved seats provided by the Nets was the Brooklyn Brigade, all dressed up in their new jerseys with "Brigade" on the back. They chanted for players as well as Nets staffers, no matter how obscure. After practice ended, D-Will came over and signed caps (like the one above) "Brigade" jerseys and anything else handed him.
As for the record KnockOut game, Nets did indeed set the Guiness Book record.
- Lionel Hollins doesn't want Mason Plumlee shooting jumpers - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Joe Johnson says mother cancer free - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Jarrett Jack Oct 26 (Audio) - Anthony Puccio - NetsDaily
- Mason Plumlee Oct 26 (Audio) - Anthony Puccio - NetsDaily
- Nets' Mason Plumlee ready for shot at starting center - Rod Boone - Newsday
Nets rookie guard Bojan Bogdanovic makes adjustment - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Mason Plumlee ready for more - Zach Braziller - New York Post
- Sights and Sounds of Open Practice (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- KG Continues to Push Plumlee, But Now Plumlee Pushes Back - Lenn Robbins - Brooklyn Nets
- Confident Mason Plumlee pushes for bigger role in second season with Nets - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- Lionel Hollins has chance to make lasting impression with Nets that previous coaches couldn't - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News