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In pre-game ritual, it's Joe Johnson vs ... John Welch?!

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It's one of those pre-game rituals that go largely unnoticed, but are fascinating for what they represent, the relationship between player and coach. Andrew Keh of the Times reports on how assistant coach John Welch works with Joe Johnson before every game and despite the disparity in height and age, Johnson sees great value in it.

Last season, Keh reports,"Johnson started to make one-on-one games with Welch part of his workout, whether after practice or before a game — although Johnson is always on offense, and Welch is always on defense."

Keh notes that Johnson is 6'7" and Welch, "rather small in comparison" work out both pre-game and in practice.  Johnson says it's quite valuable.

"Man, he fouls a lot — any chance you give him, he’s going to foul you," Johnson told Keh. "But when you go up to shoot, he pretty much becomes a nonfactor."  Welch, probably for the best, couldn't respond.  Nets policy is that assistant coaches don't talk to the media.