It all comes back to continuity when Deron Williams speaks about the Nets and their past/future.
After all, when the Nets moved to Brooklyn - they wanted to model themselves after the Spurs, a franchise that's strived due to continuity and consistency the past 18 years. Make note, the Nets made sure they didn't model the franchise after the Knicks, having won more playoff games in their three years in Brooklyn than the Knicks have in the past 15.
In Williams' 4.5 seasons with the Nets, he's had four different coaches with a different roster almost every year. After his disappointing first round series against the Hawks, Wiliams discussed how he's glad to see some consistency with personnel for the upcoming season.
"I don't think Lionel is going anywhere," Williams said after his 13-point, four turnover night in the Game 6 rout from the Hawks. "That's definitely reassuring. You never know what's going to happen in the offseason. It's good to know you're going to have the same coach, and if we keep most of our guys we'll have something to build on for once. We've had the same core, but semi-been healthy and played together under the same system. Hopefully we can build on things."
Deron Williams and the Nets have made it to the playoffs all three seasons in Brooklyn, but have failed to make it past the second round, despite owning the most expensive team in the NBA all three seasons - with four different head coaches.
Not making any excuses, but constantly having a new coach, new system, new players, etc. is a hard thing for players and teams to adjust to. Having an uncertain future can also make you play as if you're walking on hot coal.
Just because Hollins will be back doesn't mean others will. There are rumors that some people in the coaching staff may not be back. Brook Lopez has a player option and can opt-out if he chooses to do so. He will be a max player.
But in Lopez's case, why should he trust the Nets? He's stayed loyal to them, yet was benched early in season by Lionel Hollins. Then, he was minutes away from being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the trade deadline. His name has been flung around like a piece of meat for stray dogs.
Mikhail Prokhorov has voiced his desire to keep Lopez. "Brook is very important for us and Lionel told you maybe 20 times that we do want him back. And that's up to Brook to decide. We need him. I think the Brooklyn Nets, it's his home."
It doesn't stop there, although Brook is the focal point of this offseason. Thaddeus Young can opt-out and look for a long-term deal or wait a year and cash in when the new TV deal hits. He was non committal about his return. Other guys like Alan Anderson & Mirza Teletovic are both free agents.
The end-of-bench guys like Jerome Jordan, Earl Clark, Darius Morris, and Cory Jefferson all have uncertain futures with the Nets. Jordan is a free agent, the others have partial or no guarantee.
This all being said without the possibility that Deron Williams or Joe Johnson can be traded in the offseason. So in a sense - there will be continuity with the coach, but as for the team? Well, that'll just have to be determined by another very, very interesting offseason.
Three years in Brooklyn. Three years in the playoffs. But still, three years of uncertainty.
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