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NetsDaily Off-Season Report - No. 18

And we’re back, for our 11th big year! Every weekend, we’ll be updating the Nets’ off-season with bits and pieces of information, gossip, etc. to help take the edge off 28-54.

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Wild and Crazy Guys

As Spencer Dinwiddie said in talking with Tom Dowd of the Nets official site, he hasn’t seen Dzanan Musa or Rodions Kurucs play but he likes them after meeting the two Euros.

“They seem like they’re great basketball minds,” said Dinwiddie of the rookies. “Very confident guys. I haven’t really seen them play, so I couldn’t really evaluate them. But I know our coaching staff and organization are extremely high on them. I think they’re going to be welcome additions to the squad.”

Musa, who played 75 games last season then worked out for six NBA teams, was never supposed to play in the summer league, but Kurucs couldn’t play because of buyout issues.

So, we will have to wait and see. We don’t know how good they are, unlike Knicks fans who believe, rightly it appears, that Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson are solid prospects.

Here’s what we do know: they’re having a good time... together. They knew each other a bit from competing in FIBA tournaments in Europe. Musa recalled the first time the two met up —in an FIBA U16 tournament— during the Nets press conference the day after the Draft.

“Actually, my first game was against this guy with the national team. He kicked our ass. He scored against us like 20, 30 points. He dunked on us like eight times. So, I remember this guy,” Musa said, a sardonic smile on his face.

Since then, the two have become fast friends, touring Coney Island with Nets public address announcer Olivier Sedra.

Attending the NBA’s rookie orientation, per Kurucs tweets...

So what were they banging to in the back seat of a black car? How about Russian mock-gangsta rap, according to our sources, who span the globe. Here ya go...

Said one of our sources...

“Awesome non-conformist move to be banging to Russian mock-gangsta rap on your way from a rookie transition program (the goal of which is to make you into a corporate-friendly vegetable).”

Another, less anonymous source, suggested the choice makes sense. It makes basketball references.

“The lyrics are priceless,” noted Irina Pavlova, former overseer of Prokhorov’s investments in Brooklyn. “The shout-out to the Bulls is very Russian (that’s kinda where NBA b-ball stopped there) but ‘marijuana is my numbah one-nah’ is so Adam Sandler.”

We wonder which of the two came up with the selection. You would think Musa, who is the more extroverted of the two, but we’re going with Kurucs, who we definitely think is hiding an unconventional side. Then again, as we noted earlier, we don’t know much about either of them.

Number please ... update

It appears that Rodions Kurucs is going with No. 00. He was given No. 17 during the June 22 rookie press conference but that was before Ed Davis, whose Twitter handle incorporates No. 17, was signed. So Davis gets No. 17 and Kurucs nada, aka 00.

So to recap, here’s our best guesses on the new guys’ numbers, from a variety of sources.

—Dzanan Musa, No. 30

—Rodions Kurucs, No. 00

Ed Davis, No. 17

Shabazz Napier, No. 13

Kenneth Faried, No. 35

Jared Dudley, No. 6

Treveon Graham, No. 21

—Theo Pinson, No. 4

—Jordan McLaughlin, No. 10

—Mitch Creek, No. 55.

Again, the Nets still have two training camp invitations left.

The Stans

A stan is not a fan. A stan or more appropriately from an historic perspective, a Stan, is a fan obsessed with one player ... or play-uh. Eminem famously introduced Stan into the lexicon in his 2000 hit of the same name. Stan was obsessed with Eminem. He kept writing letters to the rapper ... and got increasingly upset when he got no reply.

So Alex Kennedy, who writes (and well) for Hoopshype, tried this week to identify the “craziest stans,” asking fellow reporters for their nominations. One former Net and two current ones made the list. The former Net of course is Jeremy Lin (as if you couldn’t have guessed.)

Lin’s stans got votes from two of the writers Kennedy asked for comment about who had the most aggressive or belligerent fans...

Wrote Eric Pincus of Basketball Insider...

The Lakers had Jeremy Lin for a year and I found his fans to be extremely vocal, passionate and, to a degree, irrationally defensive when it came to anything concerning the point guard. I didn’t have much negative stuff to say about Lin, but anything I posted was scrutinized extensively. I could name other players who have strong fans, but no one is close to the Lin masses.”

Arash Markazi of ESPN agreed...

“When Jeremy Lin was on the Lakers, I got introduced his fans because anytime he had a poor game, there would be a ton of people defending him.”

In the category of players whose stans are surprising, both D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie, got notice.

Pincus again...

“Interestingly, there are quite a few diehards who believe D’Angelo Russell is the best player in the NBA. Also, there were way too many people who believed Kendall Marshall should be a starting point guard in the NBA. Solid guy, decent player, but not an NBA starter.”

And Markazi again...

“The one that was the most surprising to me was D’Angelo Russell. I like D’Angelo. But, my goodness, if I said anything even slightly critical about him on Twitter, there were many people who came to his defense. I actually had to take a break from Twitter one night because I said something about how trading D’Angelo to the Nets was a good move because it would put the Lakers in position to have a lot of cap space in the summer. But the D’Angelo Russell fans thought I was saying, ‘It was good to get rid of D’Angelo Russell.’ I was getting it from every direction. I was just trying to say that this was a good move for the Lakers, yet it was fans of the Lakers who were killing me. I guess that’s how I learned what a ‘stan’ is – it’s when their support for the player takes precedence over their support for the team.”

Under which players have a surprising among of fans, there sits Spencer Dinwiddie.

Rob Perez, AKA World Wide Wob, has been impressed...

“Zaza’s fans impressed me the most [and I thought he led all role players in stans] until I was introduced to Spencer Dinwiddie‘s stans. My goodness. You’d think this group was a bunch of bots based on the sheer quantity of posts that they can get into everyone’s mentions. Nope, they’re just that religious about Spencer Dinwiddie – who participates in the campaigning himself, which only adds fuel to their fire. They don’t forget either. They keep lists like Steve Buscemi in the movie “Billy Madison” and they will only take you off their list if you call them personally to apologize. Respect, Spencer Dinwiddie!”

We, of course, like stans. When their favorite player moves to Brooklyn, their most obsessed fans follow them and dramatically increase the number of our followers! When Lin arrived, we got several hundred of new followers, most of whom took off for Atlanta when he did. Surprisingly, we found that the legion of DLo stans was almost as great as Lin’s. (We were hopeful that Yuta Watanabe would give us a big boost of Japanese stans, but alas, he signed with the Thunder.)

Bottom line, of course, is how can we complain about stans. We are Nets stans!

Milton Doyle, gone but not bitter

Ben Stinar, writing for Amico Hoops, interviewed Milton Doyle, the Nets two-way last season, about his new gig in Spain and his time in the G-League and with the Nets. Doyle got caught up in the backcourt logjam and when the Nets needed space for their various deals, they dumped his rights. But Doyle, who went undrafted in 2017, is not bitter.

He credits the environment and coaching staffs in Long Island and Brooklyn for some of his success as a player.

“It was great our team was more like a college feel,” he said of Long Island. “Six or seven of us came in together. It was like a brotherhood. All the coaches were players’ coaches.”

He says as well that he learned a lot from the experience and had broad praise for the organization despite not getting re-signed.

“Everybody was like a big brother to me,” he said. “Everybody took me under their wing.”

Specifically, he had nice things to say about Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks.

“Great guy, great coach, energetic all the time,” Doyle said of Atkinson. “Sean is more laid back; he is a real cool guy,” he said. “Everybody in Brooklyn made it feel like home.”

Finally, like a number of other young players, Doyle praised D’Angelo Russell.

“He has the ability to be an All-Star,” Doyle said of DLo. “All the ability, all the tools to be an All-Star in this league.”

Doyle isn’t a star or at this point, an NBA player, but as a Nets fan, you have to be happy that even after being cut, he had nothing but positives to say about the organization ... and for the right reasons: development, family environment, coaching.

Stats for all occasions

Just keeping up with the latest numbers, here’s a couple of stats that offer some positive vibes. First, from our Nick LeTourneau...

Then, from Erick Mesola, a related tweet...

Dinwiddie and Davis had differing reactions to the second list. Dinwiddie liked what he saw...

Davis, the veteran, not so much...

More on Mitch

Although a lot has been written in Australia about Mitch Creek’s signing with the Nets, Brooklyn hasn’t announced it yet. No matter. It will happen. It does seem odd, however, that the Nets would have a need a 26-year-old guard, Creek though does fit in with one aspect of the Nets offense. Creek plays multiple positions, with scoring, rebounding and passing skills. Position-less, you might say.

Ridiculous Upside, the SB Nation site that covers the G-League and international aspects of the game, touched on this versatility in a series of tweets Sunday.

Creek is likely to spend most, if not all, of the season with Long Island, but he looks like a fan favorite wherever he plays. Fans like versatile players.

Final Note

First Shake Shack, now Chick-fill-A. According to The Real Deal, the popular chicken place, has signed a lease for a location across from Barclays Center, two doors down from Shake Shack...

Chick-fil-A has signed another lease in New York City across from the Barclays Center at 166 Flatbush Avenue, according to property records. The lease — signed on July 19 — leaves the terms and square footage unclear. But the one-story property currently spans roughly 14,700 feet, according to PropertyShark.

The stretch of small spaces across Flatbush from Barclays was supposed to blossom with retail after Barclays opened six years ago next month. But it’s taken a while.