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At Media Day, talk of health and championship

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets Media Day didn't offer a lot of news Friday, but there was a lot of optimism, based on the team's health, and even talk of championship, although restrained and led by who else, Kevin Garnett.

And there was a lot of talk about how surprised everyone was with the departure of Jason Kidd, with more than one Net noting how frequently the team has changed coaches in their tenures with the team.

The one bit of news came from Lionel Hollins, the first of the Nets personnel to speak in short press conferences.  Hollins, asked about beyond the core four, is likely to start. The Nets new coach replied, "it will be a guard," explaining  that  "Joe Johnson is going to be the 3" calling Bojan Bogdanovic "a guard."  He also called Alan Anderson a guard.

Asked who had surprised him in scrimmages, the coach said Mirza Teletovic had shown him he's "more than a shooter," and called Bogdanovic "a basketball player, not just a shooter."

Hollins also proved himself a wit when he asked about Deron Williams reputation as a "coach-killer," with this retort, "Well, I have a reputation of being a player killer."

KG talked about how at this stage of his career, he annually considers retirement, but sidestepped a question about whether this, his 20th year, would be his last.

"I like to come in each year and assess it," Garnett said. "I’ve always said the days when I’m not feeling basketball again, which is absurd, or when I don’t have the motivation to come in here, it’s time to move on. But that’s not the case. I’m very much motivated. I’m looking to have a better year than last year and I’m looking to enjoy this year."

He said that his "mindset" is focused on winning a championship, adding he hopes his teammates are as well.  As Andy Vasquez reported Friday morning, those inside the Nets training facility have seen a rejuvenated Garnett and Hollins expects him to have an "outstanding" season.

"We're looking for big things here in Brooklyn. I don't think people are coming in preparing for nothing."

Garnett was not alone.

"I still believe we're in contention to win the title," added Johnson. "With a healthy Deron Williams, a healthy Brook Lopez, I think the sky's the limit for us."

On health issues, Williams said he was close to 100 percent but "20 percent better than I was all of last year." Hollins said that whether D-Will is 100 percent or not, he looks "great" and there are no plans for any restrictions on him in practice.

Brook Lopez said if there are restrictions on him, they will come from the training and medical staffs, not him. He's ready.  Both Billy King on Monday and Hollins Friday said they expect Lopez will sit one of the the two sessions in the two-a-days, which start tomorrow.  Both Markel Brown (broken hand) and Jorge Gutierrez (sore shoulder) said they are cleared to play as well.

Joe Johnson, who admitted to having a "pretty good summer relaxing and working out," said he had done a "lot of yoga." was the only Nets player to say that the team would miss Paul Pierce, but noted as well the team's improved health and new players.

Johnson was one of several players who noted the coaching merry-go-round, four coaches in three years, seven coaches in seven years.  "Every year we start with a new coach. It's like starting from Ground Zero," said Johnson.

For the new guys, there was a lot of awe.  Bogdanovic, who reiterated that he's a better player now than he was when the Nets drafted him in 2011, said putting on the uniform Friday had finally made him feel like he is a member of the Brooklyn Nets, an NBA player.  Gutierrez, who earned a $25,000 Friday for making the camp roster, said his biggest impression of his Croatian teammate came during Mexico's game vs Croatia.  "I don't remember him missing."