Lionel Hollins and Andrei Kirilenko are in Johannesburg, South Africa, for Basketball Without Borders, but in a phone call with Rod Boone, it was all about Brooklyn and possibilities created by good health.
"Deron is healthy, Brook is healthy and they are both able to work out." said Hollins, his enthusiasm audible from across the Atlantic and below the equator.
There was a little news in that comment. Lopez had revealed earlier in the week that he has been cleared for basketball activities, but this is the first word on Williams' status since he underwent surgery on both ankles shortly after the Nets second round loss to Miami.
"You can't be where you want to be unless you're healthy, and you can't get in shape unless you're healthy. If you are injured all summer, there's no way you can work out," added Hollins. "So conditioning is something they both will be able to work on as they move forward, and when you are in shape you can go out, and try things, and do things because naturally if you are successful, your confidence rises. That's the only way I look at it and that's my approach."
As for Plumlee, Hollins said the competitive edge he's developing in the Team USA tryouts will be a major help come November.
"The discipline of going through what they have to go through and have the opportunity to make the team is not the same as going into the gym and lifting weights and shooting at a pickup game," Hollins told Boone. "So I think for him, the experience is very beneficial. I talked to him and he’s excited."
Kirilenko, who had his own problems last season, missing 37 games mostly to back spasms, suggested a healthy Williams is a confident Williams is a top-flight Williams, one AK-47 thinks can return to the All-NBA form he displayed in Utah.
"Oh definitely," he said. "I think Deron's potential is so high and I think last season, something was bothering him for the whole season. I bet his feet, his ankles were bothering him. Being fresh, having that surgery and being healthy for this season will definitely help him.".
- Nets coach Lionel Harris excited about the progress made by Deron Williams and Brook Lopez - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Lionel Hollins: Nets expecting 'big things' from Plumlee - Rod Boone - Newsday
Nets coach Lionel Hollins: ”Deron is healthy, Brook is healthy.” - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports