The Nets were, let's face it, boring last season. Playoff race or not, there wasn't a lot of star power a lot of personality on display. Wonder why the Nets local TV ratings weren't very good ...uh, actually the worst in the NBA? There was no riveting personality to draw eyeballs. The front office tried to rectify by acquiring some high-flying additions to the roster ... and by dumping a player fans had a hard time embracing.
So who will supply the personality? Brook Lopez is quirky, but Joe Johnson and Thaddeus Young, while solid citizens, aren't going to set the world on fire. Jarrett Jack is deliberately low-key. Read his tweets. He makes MarShon Brooks tweets look verbose.
So what about RHJ, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. In case you haven't noticed, the Nets are promoting the 6'7" rookie in videos and interviews, seeing what his personality ceiling is. In three weeks, he's been everywhere Tim Bontemps thinks it's pretty high. He writes this way about Hollis-Jeffferson on Sunday...
Given that one of the biggest criticisms of the Nets recently has been a lack of emotion and passion, it’s not just his basketball skills that make him a welcome addition to the roster.
Indeed. The first sign was the red plaid pants and the bowtie on Draft Night. Then, after the trade was announced, it was an impromptu rap on how he felt about going to Brooklyn. It went like this: "Look out Brooklyn, here I come. You can’t hide, you can’t run, I’m coming, baby!"
And of course, there's the shimmy at the free throw line...
<img src="http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/visual/whatshot/Rondae.gif" alt="" />
It's modeled after Kevin Durant's style. While RHJ was at Arizona, KD noticed.
I see you Rondae #ShoulderShimmythempeoples— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) March 24, 2014
Bontemps spoke with two of his Arizona teammates and found this is nothing new. Ask Brandon Ashley, who played for the Hawks during summer league in Vegas.
"He doesn’t hold anything back. Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes that’s not the best [thing], but you always know what to expect from him."
Or Stanley Johnson, who's torn up the summer competition for Detroit after playing with RHJ in Tucson.
"I think he’s the best defender in the draft, and I think I’m the best player in the draft. So that says a lot about how I feel about his defense.
Nets of course feel the same way and hope that his defense leads to fast breaks, some high flying dunks and some personality too.
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: From a scorned afro to the personality Nets need - Tim Bontemps - New York Post