After the Open House at Barclays Center Wednesday, season ticket-holders were invited to the Calvin Klein Courtside Club for a reception that featured Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson. There was no plan just a gathering of a few hundred fans. But within minutes, something happened: fans started lining up so they could get their picture taken with the new GM and head coach. Dozens of them, in single file or in groups. It was all impromptu.
Marks and Atkinson hadn't won anything and, truth be told, they had missed out on two of their three biggest targets of free agency, Tyler Johnson and Allen Crabbe. Most pundits still have the the Nets at the bottom of the East ...albeit with an asterisk that they have at least stopped the bleeding.
As one Nets insider said, with a sigh, "it's July and everybody is 0-0." Still, there was some hope and more belief that got a thousand or so fans to line up outside Barclays Center on a July night. There was a plan, a strategy going forward. Plan A or B or C or whatever, there was a plan.
"This is an exciting group," Atkinson gushed, as one reporter put it.. "We’re thrilled to get started."
Indeed, the daylong celebration of the plan, from early afternoon press conference to early evening Open House was all about setting goals.
"It’s about bringing high-character, high-quality guys here," Marks told reporters at the press conference. "That’s what we went out and tried to find, and we did that."
While Marks was setting the goals, Atkinson talked about the specifics of the plan: Having Jeremy Lin as the "full-time point guard," Wanting to challenge Brook Lopez, seeing the potential in Anthony Bennett.
"All these guys are going to fit the style we want to implement here with the Nets. We’ll figure out specific roles, but I like the Blueprint," Atkinson added.
Players seem to react well to the overall picture, the plan, the professionalism of the operation.
"Coach Kenny is really big on trying to emphasize trying to improve every day," said Joe Harris, the shooting guard and the last player signed by the Nets. "Him and Sean, they’re not the guys where they’re foreseeing a whole thing about where they want this season to be, how many wins they want to have."
"It really is kind of like starting it from scratch, coming in and revamping the whole thing." Harris added.
"They knew more about my body than I knew myself," said Caris LeVert of the Nets medical intelligence-gathering.
Jeremy Lin knows it won't be easy but signed on anyway because of Atkinson.
"I want to win, I’m 27-years-old and coming into this position. [Coach Atkinson’s] going to do everything he can to help us grow," Lin said, then added that he hoped the excitement, whether fleeting or not, becomes contagious.
"Hey man, if anybody here needs a team to root for, feel free to join the Nets fan base and come root for us," Lin said with just the smallest of nods to what he did on the other side of the river. "I would love to bring as many people as we can to this organization and hopefully we’ll be able to create that following and that momentum and that environment that we would love to have."
- Jeremy Lin candid during introduction as Nets new point guard - Laura Albanese - Newsday
- Nets, With Many New Players, Look to Build Something Lasting - Seth Berkman - New York Times
- Jeremy Lin likes Nets' potential - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- The Nets starting 5 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- New Net wants to move past Linsanity - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Lin has grown since Linsanity with Knicks, now veteran on Nets - New York Daily News
- Nets give this former No. 1 pick one last chance at NBA glory - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Brooklyn says ‘Hello’ to the new Nets - John Torenli - Brooklyn Daily Eagle
- Brooklyn Nets PG Jeremy Lin OK being role model but not a phenomenon - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN
- Jeremy Lin brings Linsanity to Nets - Mike Scotto - AP