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."
- Social Media Feed: Nets Media Day - Alex Mazer - The Brooklyn Game
- Lionel Hollins talks about his fifth starter - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Kevin Garnett is back, and looser than ever - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- 5 Things We Learned From Lionel Hollins On Day One - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Again, Nets’ New Season Brings With It New Coach - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Garnett is back, ready for season No. 20 - John Schuhmann - NBA.com
- Media Day: Nets Expectations for 2015 (Video) - Mike Fratello - NBA.com
- Media Day: Kevin Garnett (Video) - Mike Fratello - NBA.com
- Hollins Says Nets Will Be Tougher at Media Day - Lenn Robbins - Brooklyn Nets
- Photo Gallery - 2014 Nets Media Day - Brooklyn Nets
- Media Day: Nets' Health Check (Video) - Grant Hill & Isaiah Thomas - NBA TV
- Kevin Garnett of Brooklyn Nets non-committal about playing beyond upcoming season - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Lionel Hollins: Deron Williams is a coach killer? Well, I'm 'a player killer' - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Hollins: Fifth starter will be a guard - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets' Kevin Garnett ready for battle - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Kevin Garnett contemplated retirement before returning to Nets - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- New Nets coach Lionel Hollins is all about practice - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- New Nets Coach Is Talking About Practice - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Nets will be tougher this season - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets’ Garnett not yet ready to call it a career - New York Post
- Kevin Garnett glad to be back with Nets - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets focused on season ahead, getting healthy - Christopher Brito - WPIX
- Deron Williams: Not 100 percent, but 20 percent better than last year - James Herbert - CBS Sports
- Brook Lopez says Kevin Garnett has helped him build confidence - Matt Moore - CBS Sports
- Kevin Garnett of Brooklyn Nets non-committal about playing beyond upcoming season - James Herbert - CBS Sports
- Nets Training Camp Primer: Hollins Wants Team To Back Up Toughness - Steve Lichtenstein - WFAN
- Kevin Garnett admits to contemplating retirement more and more as the years drag on - Kelly Dwyer - Yahoo! Sports
- Kevin Garnett says he could play another year beyond this one - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports
- Hollins: Nets will be tougher, exhibit motion on offense - Brian Erni - SNY Nets
- Garnett spurns retirement for one more run with Nets - Josh Newman - SNY Nets