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'It's not that bad here!' Does it have potential?

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Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

It was a throwaway line (or was it?) in Joe Johnson's answer to a Media Day question about how surprised he was about Deron WIlliams' buyout..

"I didn’t see that coming," Johnson said of the buyout. "I didn’t see that coming -- him getting bought out. I don’t think it was that bad. It’s not that bad here. To want to get bought out, I couldn’t really put my finger around that one. But I hear that he’s happy and that’s the most important thing. He’s back home so good for him."

Let's hear that again ... "It’s not that bad here."  Was it, perhaps, Joe throwing some shade, some snark at Williams' legendarily thin skin?  Was it a wink-and-a-nod about Joe's feelings about D-Will, as one fan suggested?

Of course, it may sound bad to those not in the know.  Sounds like a diss of the team.  But, as Johnson has said more than once, and again on Monday, he appreciates the privilege of playing in New York --"the mecca of basketball" ... in front of "the bright lights" ... being a big deal in Brooklyn.  The Arkansan has always been positive, unlike, uh, other people, who, uh, he did not particularly like.

For whatever reason -- maybe the negative punditry aimed at the Nets, the latest a Vegas oddsmakers estimate that the over/under for wins this season is 28.5 -- "It's not that bad here" has intrigued fans. it's already spawned all sorts of ideas on Twitter.  There's been suggestions that fans wear "It's not that bad here" t-shirts to D-Will's return of December 23. How about the Nets offer fans a trade-in: D-WIll gear for "It's not that bad here" t-shirts. Even a tongue-in-cheek campaign to change the team's slogan to "It's NOT that bad here!" with, of course, an obligatory exclamation point.

Will it take off?  Nah, but if the Nets do better than expected, it has potential as an in-your-face response to pundits. Oh, what joy that would be! In fact, it would not be bad ... here.