The Times gathered some coaches and others to offer advice to the Nets and Knicks on how to proceed after a season where the two teams won a combined total of 57 games, two fewer than the Raptors.
The Knicks advice came from a variety of coaches, fans, podcasters and announcers. The Nets advice came from three coaches — Mike Fratello, winner of 666 NBA games who’s now with YES; Nancy Liebermann, the Brooklyn-born Hall of Famer and assistant coach of the Kings; and Butch Beard! Yes, the Nets head coach in the 1990’s! To a man, the coaches preached patience. The Times also talked to a fan in Queens who wants the Nets to go for a superstar.
Here’s some excerpts...
“The toughest thing, I think, in a situation like the Nets are in, is to stay the course and not deviate. Philadelphia was getting killed for a while there. Everybody was making fun of the Process. The Process looks pretty good right now, doesn’t it? You just had to wait through it.”
“They’re really a young team. But those guys, I’m telling you it’s one of these types of teams that the minute they start to really make some hay, you’re going to turn around and go ‘Wow.’ They aren’t going to win the division next year, but they’re definitely making some strides internally. Sometimes you can’t see success because we are looking at wins and losses from the outside, but internally it’s almost like what Philadelphia did.”
“The best thing the Nets can do is continue to stay out of the limelight, which goes against the grain of what they’ve always been trying to do because their main problem in their entire existence has been being second-class citizens in their own market. They’ve never had a real fan base. The one thing you can’t say or write anymore is that the arena isn’t worth a damn — I love watching games at Barclays. Same thing with the franchise...
“So stay under the radar, let all the pressure be on the Knicks, and build your team.”
The Nets fan, Victor Batine, thinks the Nets should go for broke, but offers no roadmap...
“The key is the Nets are trying to build on draft picks, but I think they need to try to do some trades,” Batine told the Times. “They have to be able to bring in a superstar. This is a beautiful facility, but a lot of these guys want nice practice facilities out in the country. This whole thing can turn around if we bring in a LeBron.”
Good luck with that, Vic. Times should have called us.
- New Coach? New Players? Prayers? How to Fix the Knicks (and Nets) - Marc Stein, Harvey Araton & Malika Andrews - New York Times
- Nets have a nice team, but are a long way from big success - Neil Best - Newsday