Joe Johnson is having his say about his last days as a Net, telling two reporters he played with people who made the game hard and chased stats over winning.
As Alex Keh of the New York Times writes, Joe Johnson's line about the Nets on Media Day -- "It’s not that bad here" -- captured the "asphyxiating ennui" of what became the Nets season. Now, with Johnson in Miami, he seems to have coined a new phase that seems to capture his feelings about the Nets he left in February.
"The game isn’t hard. Some teams, some people, have a tendency to make it hard, but it’s not hard. Just move the basketball, get the best available shot."
Similarly, in talking with Sekou Smith of NBA.com, Johnson spoke about playing with "stats-chasing guys who didn't really want to win" and not wanting to "stick around for the fallout of that situation."
"Honestly, this season in Brooklyn I was in a tough situation, playing with a lot of young guys, stat chasing guys that didn't really want to win," said Johnson. "And in an organization that really was trying to put a team around guys like Brook [Lopez], Thaddeus [Young] and myself to help us at least fight for a playoff spot. So when I sat back and looked at all that, I realized it was no reason to even stick around for the fallout of that situation."
No indication who "some people" or the "stat chasing guys" are, but he was talking about a difference between the Nets and Heat and clearly wanted out. Keh writes as well about how he felt when he left Brooklyn for Miami. "Two days after he left Brooklyn, Johnson signed with and, he said, immediately felt reinvigorated by the intensity of his teammates. There was urgency every game."
Since moving to Miami, Johnson has been reinvigorated. The guy who a lot of pundits and fans was done has shot better and In the 24 regular-season games he played for Miami, he averaged 15.0 points per 36 minutes and shot 51.8 percent from the field. The Heat like him so much they're expected to bring him back.
What was Sean Marks saying about culture again?