Four Nets were in uniform this weekend as FIBA action started to ramp up ... and the NBA held its semi-annual Africa Game in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was the star of the weekend for the Nets as he played a well-rounded game in the NBA Africa Game. A last minute replacement on Team World, RHJ played half the game scoring seven points on 3-of-4 shooting, adding four rebounds, three assists and a steal. He did commit five personals and turned the ball over four times.
The high point of Hollis-Jefferson’s day was an alley-oop from the Knicks Courtney Lee.
Team World beat Team Africa, 108-97. Victor Oladipo led both teams with 28 points and won the MVP.
On Friday, in a FIBA Europe “friendly,” Team Russia beat Team Finland, with Mozgov scoring six points on 3-of-3 shooting, grabbing eight rebounds and handing out three assists in 23 minutes.
Also, in an interview with a Russian radio station Saturday, Mozgov praised the Nets for their family atmosphere. He revealed that immediately after the Nets-Lakers trade, while he was in Brooklyn, the organization sent a gift to his wife in Los Angeles.
Also Saturday, Nets stash Aleksandar Vezenkov had another big game for Bulgaria in the FIBA World Cup Pre-Qualifiers. Playing at home vs. Belarus, the 6’9” Vezenkov scored 15 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and handed out one assist. It’s his second straight double-double. He shot 5-of-9, 1-of-4 from three. Four days ago, he had a 13/13/5 game vs. Portugal.
On its Facebook page, Bulgarian Basketball described how Vezenkov took over the game when Belarus got within three in the second half. He started with some psych.
After being fouled, he headed to the visitor’s bench. The Belarus reserves seemed confused by what the F.C. Barcelona wing was looking for. Vezenkov just wanted a towel to wipe his sweat. The Belarusians apparently did not want to help him.
Returning to the court, Vezenkov made both free throws, then hit a three, stole the ball and dunked at the other end. That drove the score up to 55:44. Bulgaria ultimately won, 78-68.
The Nets two-way hire, Yakuba “Billy” Ouattara, did not play in Team France’s easy “friendly” win over Tunisia on Saturday. It appears he had a bigger role to fill.