After Archie Goodwin was released by the Suns, then signed and released by the Pelicans, he needed some help in keeping his spirits up. A student of the game, he began to watch NBA games in a new light, even after he joined the Greensboro Swarm of the D (now G) League.
“I watch a lot of games and think like 'could I see myself fitting in with this team?' 'could i see myself fitting in with this team?' he told NetsDaily in an interview last week at Nassau Coliseum. “Because I knew that at the end of the day, it's a business. And as much as I want to stay in one organization my whole career, it's not most likely going to happen.
“So, I always used to look at teams and ask, could i see myself playing with this team with the way they play, this style of offense, with the teammates -- do I think I could fit in.”
It didn’t take long before he settled on the Nets and began watching intensely, at home, on the road.
“Brooklyn fit that from Day 1 when I first seen them play, seen how hard they play, I seen how much together they were. And you could see how good they were at the beginning of the year, before the injuries came,’ Goodwin added.
He was finding the culture amid the x’s and o’s. The watching grew more intense.
“I studied their games, I watched a lot of tape on them.” he told ND. There might be other teams and other games, but if there was a conflict, he would always watch the game, often with his brother who he lives with.
Ultimately, the Nets called him up and he had an early advantage.
“I told Sean (Marks) when I first got here, that when I was released in Phoenix, I got released probably a day before the season started. and watched literally every game that Brooklyn played I watched. me and him (brother Michael) watched every game.
“So when I first got here, I knew pretty much all the sets. I just didn't know the names of the sets. I couldn't see the names, but once I put the names to the sets, I see how they run it. I had seen it before.”
He knew that what he had seen wasn’t fully representative of the way the organization works. He knew that early on in his tenure, two days and a two-year commitment at the end of the season.
“Everybody's first day is their best day. You have to see the ups-and-downs, how the coaches react to the players whether they're winning or losing. That’s when you know that they genuinely treat family, genuinely care and love and that whether we show respect back to them.”
Now, after a month or so at the end of the season and two months training and scrimmaging at HSS Training Center?
“I love it here, I love the situation that's here, I love the organization, I love how they're family-oriented. I love the players on the team and I want to be a part of this for a long time to come. ... Truth is, I really love this organization and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
“I'm in a blessed position where I am.”
He said two things have impressed him about the culture: the family-friendly amenities, things as simple as letting family members watch the players at practice
“You can bring people who are close to you into the facilities without it being a problem,” Goodwin said. “And that's big because people like (my brother), he's here with me all year, he's supporting me. So for me to be able to bring him around, to see what we're doing every day in and out is being me because I know he wants to experience it, meet the players. coaches because he's here all the time it gives him an opportunity to shake hands, talk to all the guys, interact with the guys that I'm talking to, seeing every day in and out.
“That's really big to me.”
What else is big, he said, is the honesty he sees in talking to Marks and Kenny Atkinson ... and how it contrasts with where else he’s been.
“I always appreciate an organization that can tell you exactly what it is that they want from you and where they're headed to in the future with you ... and what it is that they plan to help you with as both a player and as a person to help the team,” Goodwin explained.
“The situation here in Brooklyn, talking to Sean a lot, talking to Kenny a lot. They really give me a clear understanding of what it is they want from me and how hard they want me to work and what they expect from me as the season goes on, as the year comes around that makes it so much easier to know, okay, this is what I need to focus on. I know what I need to do. “
Goodwin, who’s still only 22, notes correctly that, “Some guys that will be drafted are older than me. In fact, 20 of the 60 players the Nets worked this spring are older than him and he’s going into his fifth year.
He will be playing in the Summer League, a rarity for a fifth year player. Doesn’t bother him.
“So at the end of the day, it doesn’t phase me that I'm playing,” he said of his summer league gig which starts in two weeks. “I talked to Kenny and Sean and this something they want me to do and I'm all for it.”
Goodwin is in the gym every day. “I can’t tell you everything I'm doing because I don’t want everybody to know what I'm doing, he said with a smile. “You’ll have to wait and see.
He admits he needs to be more consistent, be a better knock-down shooter, better ball-handler. He calls the 20-point game he had on the last day of the season not a good game. He made turnovers, he missed free throws.
Nothing about next season, of course, is settled yet. He has a team option, due at the end of the month, but if the team wants him to play in summer league starting July 7, that’s a good indication he’ll be around, that he’s a keeper. Still, with D’Angelo Russell, joining the club, that’s more minutes that need to be parsed out.
“I know I'm going to get better. I know we're going to bet better.”