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Joe Harris: Nets’ optimism grounded in ‘extreme competitiveness’

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Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Joe Harris, along with Jarrett Allen and some WWE stars, spent some time this week talking to pediatric patients at the Brooklyn Hospital Center and while there ahared some thoughts with reporters on why he’s optimistic about the Nets prospects for 2019.

He mentioned the “new faces” —seven in all— but also spoke about how the core group gets along ... and is very competitive.

“We definitely have some new pieces to the team, but I think just being around everybody so far this offseason — although it’s relatively young — I think we have a lot of reasons to be optimistic,” said Harris, as reported by Ed Easton Jr of Hoops Habit. “If anything, we have an extremely competitive group and I think a lot of our younger players are gonna make significant jumps.”

Harris didn’t say who in particular but he told Brian Lewis at another recent event, “I’ve seen D’Angelo take considerable strides,” speaking about D’Angelo Russell.

The 26-year-old might have been talking about himself as well. His dramatic improvement in three point shooting and ability to finish won him the only big contract —$16 million over two years— of the off-season.

Harris wouldn’t mention specific goals for the season, wouldn’t use the “P” word, as some of his teammates have. He just wants to get out on the court.

“All I know is I’m really excited for the season to get going and I know everyone else is,” Harris said. “I’m not gonna go out here guaranteeing anything that’s gonna happen. I know we are gonna go out and compete every single night.”

Harris turns 27 in a few weeks, making him one of the Nets veterans, just slightly older than the team’s average age of 25. That makes them about the fifth youngest in the NBA.