If you’re looking for a good quote on the atmosphere at Nets training camp, maybe Anthony Bennett said it best...
“Everybody’s pretty cool, pretty chill. No egos ... That’s kind of new for me,” said the four-year vet who’s looking for a new opportunity.
There was a lot of talk, a LOT of talk, about the culture, in its many forms, accountability, performance, team building ... even sleep management.
"I’ve never had —so far, I could be wrong, maybe it’s just a big front— so far, I’ve never seen an organization care for their players holistically, from a 24/7 standpoint, versus when we’re on the court or when we’re practicing,” said Jeremy Lin. “Or at the arena. It’s all encompassing ... like the way you sleep or little stuff like how you set up your bedroom and how it impacts your sleep.”
There was also a concession, as Brook Lopez said, “we may not be the most talented,” but no one seemed to mind. It’s about progress ... five games at a time, as Sean Marks has said.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson talked about his jump shot, saying “my jump shot is getting better, getting lot better,” adding that he’s been spending “30 to 40 minutes a day” on it. “The more work you build in, the more muscle memory kicks in,” he added.
Isaiah Whitehead, picking up on the marketing push, said he believed New York players have more “grit.”
A very confident Beau Beech talked about how he won’t feel that’s made the NBA until he steps on the court “on October 30. When I’m out there on that day, then I’m in the NBA. Until that day, I haven’t fulfilled that dream yet, that goal yet.”
And in a very big news break, Bojan Bogdanovic said of his supposedly harrowing trip across the Aegan Sea in August to escape the violence of the Turkish coup attempt, “It didn’t happen” or maybe it did, but with nowhere the drama of Croatian news reports.
There were both fewer —and more— media present. There was no one there from The Record or ESPN, neither or which are likely to cover the team very much this season. The New York Times coverage was limited to a quote from Lin on whether he and the Nets would follow Colin Kapernick’s example and take a knee rather than stand during the National Anthem. They all covered the Knicks’ Media Day.
On the other hand, there were plenty of Asian and Asian-American media present to cover all things Lin. The Nets point guard even gathered them for a “team” photo.
In general, things were more low-key than they had been in past years. This year, Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson held a separate press conference on the season last week. They strolled through the media scrum but didn’t stop and talk. In past, the coach and GM were as available as the players.
Now, of course, comes the hard work. The Nets will practice daily through Saturday, that last day being the Open Practice at LIU in downtown Brooklyn. We’ll know more then.