Being a ten-year veteran coming off a trip to the conference finals as a vital member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, one may simply wonder why? Why would Randy Foye, 33, subject himself to a rebuild at this stage of his career?
Normally players in Foye’s position would elect to play on a team like the Thunder, like the Golden State Warriors or Cleveland Cavaliers, legitimate championship contenders. Perhaps other upper echelon teams like the Los Angeles Clippers would have been an ideal alternative to someone on the outside looking in?
So why come here? Well, truthfully, Foye has an answer that should strike a chord with anybody rooting for the Brooklyn Nets; he simply wanted to.
“The vision that Sean (Marks) had, that coach (Kenny) Atkinson had, the vision was unbelievable,” Foye said candidly in an interview with NetsDaily. “It’s just something you believe in as a player. I wanted to be here man; I want to be here. If I didn’t want to be here, I wouldn’t have signed here if I didn’t believe in management and what the coaches were doing. They’re unbelievable people, they expect you to work hard every single day.”
Of course, he’s admitted that there is another reason: he’s coming home. The Newark East Side High School product recently bought a home in tony Rumson, N.J. from the state’s most famous resident, Bruce Springsteen. Foye hasn’t played close to home since 2009-10 when he was with the Wizards.
For 10 years, Foye has established himself as a respected scoring threat who can exude energy as a role player and can start when needed to. Averaging 10.8 points per game throughout the course of his career is more difficult to do than many fans and viewers can attest to, and it’s one of the things that has kept the 6-foot-4 Newark, New Jersey native in the NBA for a decade.
Given the wealth of knowledge and experience Foye has accumulated over the years, his brain will also prove to be a very valuable asset to his younger teammates, of which the Nets have many. Foye even replied with ‘all of them, whoever wants to talk’ when asked if there have been any Nets he has taken under his wing.
“Whoever wants to sit down and discuss things like being in the playoffs, last year’s western conference finals, things like that they ask me,” former Villanova star told NetsDaily. “I just talk to them and tell them, ‘for you to be a great player in this league it’s going to be hard.’ The hardest part is the off the court stuff. You come in here every day for three to four hours and work, the other stuff is the hard stuff, that’s what I try to explain to them so they know.”
As far as the specifics are concerned Foye says that he’s he goes back-and-forth mostly with second year forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and first round pick Caris LeVert, mentioning Isaiah Whitehead as another who he’s schooling.
Last season Foye played in all but one game; 54 with the Nuggets, and the remaining 27 with the Thunder after being dealt for D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak and multiple second round picks.
Throughout the season, Foye averaged 5.9 points on 35.1% shooting and 30% for three in what was a down year for the former seventh overall pick. This season he’s in search of a bounce back season, even though his role isn’t entirely clear yet.
“I can’t really elaborate on exactly what it’s going to be because you never know,” Foye said matter of factly. “You’ve just got to work as hard as you can every single day, and it’s not about me, it’s about we, it’s about the Nets. No matter what other people say, we know this team can win.”
While the Nets are widely viewed as a young team, there are also a healthy mixture of veterans in place like Foye, Luis Scola, Brook Lopez and Jeremy Lin. Foye was quick to indicate that the Nets have an ideal set-up on paper in spite of their unfavorable perception in terms of where they’ll find themselves at the end of the upcoming season.
“It’s a great because that’s what you need,” he said. “You can’t have a team full of young guys because then for one – they’re going to be competing against each other and two – they ain’t going to know how to work. They’re not going to know what it takes to work every single day to become a better player.”
In terms of playing the role of prognosticator, the shooting guard didn’t suggest a certain number of wins, or proclaim that championships were on the horizon, but Foye did detail a vision that he has for the black and white, one which emanates of optimism, which seems to be the overall vibe surrounding the 2016-17 Nets.
“My vision for us as a team, for one, play hard, for two, have fun doing it,” he said. “Play smart, play together, and at the end of the day, play with pride, not for the name on the back, but the name on the front – you’ll be surprised how many teams don’t do that. If we do that every night, we’ve got a great shot.”
“We’ve got to win, and we can win, this team can win,” he added. “If we play smart, tough and together, anything can happen on any given night.”
Of course, Foye could play another role, just as he did last season: being traded at the deadline from a rebuilding team to a contender. There are worse things.