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Ed Davis sees potential in Brooklyn, enamored of coaching staff and culture

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He spoke with the media for the first time via conference call, Tuesday.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets made plenty of moves this offseason, but only two were made through free agency. The newest Net to be officially announced by the team is Ed Davis, the 6’10” journeyman from Portland.

Davis spoke to the media on a conference call Tuesday.

“The main thing is they definitely came out aggressive when July 1 hit, so I definitely wanted to go to where I was wanted, so that had a lot to do with it,” said Davis. “I told my agent day one I wanted to go somewhere where I was definitely wanted, and Brooklyn showed that early,” he added later in the interview.

Davis hinted at something important when recalling his talks with Sean Marks and the Nets. They want to compete and have no plans of tanking.

“Me being a veteran, I’m not that young of a player, but I know what I signed up for and all I’ve been hearing from the front office and the coaching staff is we’re trying to win. Obviously, you have to develop no matter if it’s a young team or an older team. You still want to keep getting better.”

The recruitment process also came with a little bit of help from former teammate Allen Crabbe and former Net Jeremy Lin. Their biggest sell? The coaching staff and where the organization is headed.

“I talked to Allen (Crabbe) and Jeremy (Lin) a little bit about the coaching staff and things like that and how the organization was run and it was nothing but great things. I think this team has potential definitely. We can try to make this push into the playoffs this year and it’s going to be a challenge, but that’s one of the reasons why I’m here.”

Davis goes from a 49-win playoff team in Portland to a 28-win team in Brooklyn. The Nets are a team that competed last year, but talking playoffs is a bit of stretch considering their circumstances. Still, Davis believes the Nets can be this season’s Indiana Pacers the surprise of the league.

“I feel like every year there’s a couple teams that finished at the bottom and then surprised the NBA. You saw that last year with the Pacers. You just never know with a long season what could happen, trades, injuries, things like that. My mindset is we’re trying to make the playoffs and I’m pretty sure everybody else on the roster has to have that mindset too.”

At 29-years-old, Davis is the third oldest player on the team behind Jared Dudley (33) and DeMarre Carroll (31). He’s been on four teams prior to Brooklyn and he explains how his experience in the league – on and off the court – is something Marks was intrigued with.

”That’s another reason why (Sean and) Kenny brought me here, for the off-the-court stuff and my personal experience, things I’ve been through, getting traded, not playing, things like that. Some of that knowledge goes a long way because I know a couple of the guys that I looked up to early in my career that helped me out a lot about things, showing me things, helping me understand how to be a professional, that goes a long way.”

This is crucial. Several insiders feel that Davis is the perfect mentor for 20-year-old rising star, Jarrett Allen. They believe Davis’ work ethic, along with his rebounding, defense and pick-and-roll game is something Allen can replicate.

He explained how important it was when he came into the league, needing guidance from some of the veterans, namely Tayshaun Prince and Reggie Evans.

“Being one of the older guys we have on the team I definitely have to set that example, do all those small things,” Davis replied when asked about being a leader for the young guys.

Davis joked Kenny Atkinson hasn’t told him to start working on his 3-point shot — he’s taken two in his career. Currently, he’s focused on his body. As for his comfort level in Brooklyn? He’ll get some help from his former teammates in Portland, now with Brooklyn, Crabbe and Shabazz Napier.

“I saw AC [Allen Crabbe] in Vegas so I spoke to him, caught up on everything and just continued talking about the coaching staff and the whole organization. I was talking to Shabazz earlier in free agency and gave him advice as to what to expect. Then I talked to him after he signed. We all have a solid relationship, I played a lot of basketball with them in Portland. We’re definitely comfortable with one another on them.”

It’s a similar script that you hear a lot from free agents as to why they were even interested in the first place. They all seem to like what they see, between playing with a developing group that has potential and a reputable coaching staff/front office that continues to grow with time.

Playing on a one-year deal, Davis has something to prove – a chip on his shoulder if you will – just like many others on the team and within the organization.

A very big chip. For example. Earlier in the day, to initiate “Dunk Week,” the NBA posted images of what appears to be Davis getting dunked on.

Au contraire, said Davis.

And indeed, the Nets proved it...