It’s another chapter from Sean Marks’ little-things-mean-a-lot book.
Cory Wright, the Nets in-house beat writer, reported this weekend on how the Nets quietly arranged for players to bring family members along on the team plane. It is, for many of them, the longest road trip of their careers, 16 days in all.
As Wright reports...
—Jeremy Lin’s mother proudly wore her son’s jersey courtside during warmups in Denver, flying back with the team to Northern California for games in Oakland and Sacramento.
—Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s brother Zubair flew with the team from Brooklyn to Denver, Golden State and Sacramento.
—Quincy Acy got to spend extra time with his five-year-old son, a scarce commodity in Acy’s nomadic season that has included stops in Dallas and the D-League.
It didn’t end there, either. A couple of wives were on board as well.
"Just somebody that fully knows you your whole life, it’s helpful," Hollis-Jefferson said of having his brother along for part of the trip. "It’s been great. Just having him there, having him around. Him seeing what we do when we’re on the road and just that whole, away from home life, how it can get uncomfortable not being in your own bed. It’s been good."
And it’s not something other teams do.
"This is my first time that a team let him on the plane, so that’s really big," Acy said. "That says a lot about the family environment and the culture that they’re building here. I love it. They had family day at the gym, but this is a great environment. It keeps the mind at ease."
And his son is a big fan of the arrangement too.
"He loves it. He loves all the attention from everybody," Acy said. "All the guys are really great with him. It’s a kid’s dream, be around NBA players."
Players from out west, including Lin, got some time off to visit family and friends. There were dinners and breakfasts, odd couplings that helped with bonding.
"It’s always special. It’s like the one time that a lot of people get to come and watch me play and I always have by far the most family and friends and whatever post-game," Lin said."It’s always special, anytime I get to go home, see the people, a lot of people who helped raise me, or teach me."
None of the stuff like this gets much attention ... building a million dollar family room off the practice court at HSS Training Center or having an interior designer build custom lounge furniture for seven-footers, or letting players bring family members along on a road trip.
But as Acy said of having his son along for the ride or as April Booker talked about how much she appreciates the family room, it matters ... for player retention, player recruiting but most of all just for player well-being.
- NETS TURN ROAD TRIP TO FAMILY TRIP - Cory Wright - Brooklyn Nets