Marc Berman caught up with Luis Scola at an NBA event in Las Vegas Thursday. The Argentine power forward is training there with his country's national team... who will play Team USA at 9 p.m. Friday on NBA TV and Facebook
The nine-year NBA veteran pointed to a couple of reasons why he chose the Nets (and why they chose him.)
The first, Scola told Berman, was the lure of New York ... although he said the "renting prices" have given him a little bit of a sticker shock.
"I think New York is one of the best cities in the world — a lot of people question New York. They love to visit but not to live," Scola said. "I’m excited. I like to live there too but I don’t like the renting prices," said Scola, who added, "It has to be in Brooklyn. How far can you go with the challenge of traffic? It’s a good opportunity for me and my family to live in the middle of the city, doing city life, walking to places, taking buses, riding a bike. Just forget about the car and suburban life and 40-minute drive. It’s going to be fun."
The other reason is Kenny Atkinson, their history in Houston, where the Nets head coach got his start ... and his pitch.
"He’s great, a workout/developmental guy. We worked a lot of hours,’’ Scola said. "I had a lot of fun working with him. He’s a good coach and good person and am happy to play for him."
"They’re really trying to develop a good future with a lot of young players and they felt they needed balance. They thought I could help. I thought I could help. At first, they didn’t win a lot of games last year — I was like maybe not a good feeling. But I started talking and looking from another perspective."
The feeling is mutual. At Wednesday’s press conference, Atkinson said of Scola: "I was with him in Houston, so I know him really well. Again, incredible system fit. He fits the way we want to play. He’ll provide great leadership."
Scola will be in Brooklyn for a couple of days next week to do some apartment hunting and meet up with Atkinson. Scola's teammate, Nets stash Juan Pablo Vaulet, is also expected to play vs. Team USA