Billy King sees more than a similarity in the names --and the initials "A.B"-- when talking about Andray Blatche, who he took a chance on three years ago, and Andrea Bargnani, who he took a chance on this weekend.
"That’s the thing. When we were bringing in, say, Blatche, we said, ‘You’ve got a fresh start, this is a new opportunity.’ So we always try to tell players when they come in, ‘Don’t worry about what happened. This is a new opportunity. We’re not going to judge you on what happened in your past. This is a fresh start for you.’ "
Blatche gave King, who saved his career, two productive years, although the second one was fraught with disciplinary issues that led Jason Kidd to give him a "personal leave", more like a paid suspension, midway through the season. Bargnani's issues are not quite the same, but there still about failed expectations.
"We’re looking at him to come in and be part of the [puzzle], We told him we’re going to give him an opportunity. There’s going to be no guaranteed minutes, but it’s a great opportunity for him and for us," King said. "I think there’s no pressure on him," King said. "We’re not asking him to come in and be a savior. We’re asking him to come in and play basketball and provide shooting and experience."
- The paid-off gamble that gives Nets some Bargnani hope - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
Billy King: "Fresh Start" for Bargnani (Video) - Brooklyn Nets