Tag: New Jersey Nets

pau gasol tweet photo

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Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• Pau Gasol is in Chad right now, working with UNICEF on important food crisis in the country and trying to bring light to it, and he spoke with ESPNLA.com about it. Yes, Gasol talks about Dwight Howard and the Princeton offense, but all of that is secondary (at best) to the humanitarian crisis in Africa. One of the best reads today.

• With it looking like Howard will miss the start of the season for the Lakers. If so, look for Gasol to slide to the five and Jordan Hill to get starter’s minutes.

• One last Lakers thought. Could Dwight Howard play the “lighten the locker room” role that Lamar Odom played for the team?

• The new VORPed shooting charts are amazing. I’m going to spend a lot of time on those.

• If you’re not weary of the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate, well, why not? You should be. But here are some numbers on it.

• The new Barclays Center in Brooklyn has an intentional rust-style design on the outside. It’s not loved by all.

• There have been a few reviews of Kevin Durant’s movie “Thunderstruck” that says it doesn’t suck as much as you expect.

Five NBA players who should host Saturday Night Live. I love the idea of Blake Griffin.

• Jeremy Lin is getting mobbed in Hong Kong, and admits the Rockets will be “young and inexperienced.”

• A fantastic story on the best wheelchair basketball player in the world.

• Ime Udoka has been hired as an assistant coach with the Spurs.

• A report the Cavaliers are happy with Omri Casspi and may not trade him this season. Well, at least until they get an offer they like. (Right now there is a steady flow of reports on how teams love what a player has done/improved on this summer. Take them with a lot of salt.)

• An interview with rookie Blazers center Meyers Leonard. You know, the next guy in line for the Blazer big man curse.

Someone wrote a musical about the NBA lockout. Ken Berger and Howard Beck will hang out in the lobby of the theater eating pizza.

• Wes Unseld Jr. is joining the Orlando Magic staff.

• The Warriors have an advisory committee put together for the new stadium they want to build in San Francisco.

• A report saying the NBA could someday return to Vancouver. Don’t bet on it.

• Shelden Williams has inked a deal with Chalon in France.

• Anthony Mason Jr. will compete against Williams after signing with the French team Cholet.

• Rashad McCants was going to play with SIG Strasbourg in France but failed his physical.

Deron Williams is hanging out with a preppy President Clinton

Deron Williams Bill Clinton

We bring you this photo with little comment, you can have at it yourselves.

We know that Deron Williams has hung out with and played some ball with President Barack Obama. We know he got a hug from Michelle Obama in London like the rest of Team USA after their first game. She’s kind of their team mom. I think she gave them all orange slices and a juice box afterwards.

But D-Will is also running with former president Bill Clinton. Well, running with might not be the right words. Playing golf with. Both were at the Barclays pro-am last week and Williams tweeted out that photo.

Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie for this one.

Kevin Garnett has made more in NBA salary than anyone. Ever.

Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett calls out to his team mates as the Celtics take on the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of a NBA basketball game in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kevin Garnett took a pay cut to come back to the Boston Celtics this year. It’s three years, $34 million. We’d all like a pay cut like that.

But it was still enough — with his new contract Kevin Garnett passes Shaquille O’Neal as highest career earner in NBA history.

WarriorsWorld tweeted out a new list updated with current NBA contracts, and here is the top 10:

1. Kevin Garnett $328,562,398
2. Shaquille O’Neal $292, 198, 327
3. Kobe Bryant $279,738,062
4. Tim Duncan $224,709,155
5. Dirk Nowitzki $204,063,985
6. Joe Johnson $198,647,490
7. Jason Kidd $193,855,468
8. Ray Allen $181,127,360
9. Chris Webber $178,230,218
10. Paul Pierce $169,486,218

If you rolled your eyes at those guys, at least they care all great players, but No. 12 on the list is Jermaine O’Neal. LeBron is 24th, but he has a couple big contracts ahead of him.

What about Michael Jordan? He’s 87th at $90 million. But his endorsement money (to this day) would vault him way, way up the list.

What did Joe Johnson do when he got traded? Traded himself on NBA2K.

Chicago Bulls v Atlanta Hawks - Game Six

How did Joe Johnson learn he was traded from the Hawks to the Nets? He got a phone call that morning from the GMs involved that it was likely to go down later in that day, the new Nets wingman told Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated.

But that wasn’t the best part of the story or the exchange.

Johnson: So around noon, I’m sitting there playing a video game, and I look at ESPN, and there it is: “Breaking news.” And I had just gotten off the phone with them!…

SI.com: What video game were you playing?

Johnson: NBA 2K.

SI.com: And were you playing with the Hawks? Did you immediately reset and switch to the Nets?

Johnson: [Laughing] Me and my home boy, we just kind of sporadically pick teams — we kind of just close our eyes and pick one. But I did go right away and trade myself to the Nets, and I’ve been playing with them since.

And Johnson said he was fair, he did the trade as it went down, he didn’t stack the deck for the Nets on 2K. Which is totally what Mikhail Prokhorov would have tried to do, if he played video games.

Go read the rest of the Johnson interview, there is some good stuff in there.

Lopez, Johnson think the Nets can win a ring. This year.

Deron Williams, Joe Johnson

I’m going to mock them a little for it. Some of you are going to mock them a lot for it in the comments and on twitter. It’s clear why.

But ask yourself this — do you want a key player on a good team to say they can’t win a ring this year? Do you want Joe Johnson to say “we really hope we can get home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and maybe advance to the second round, that would be a success?”

No, you want them to think ring. Even when they are not going to win it. And so Johnson and Brook Lopez of the Nets have said what they should, in separate interviews they both talked title.

Johnson has a good interview with Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated talking about how shocking rents are in New York, how he was playing NBA 2K12 when he was told about the trade, then he instantly traded himself on the game, and how he wants a ring.

That’s what we are shooting for — the ring. There’s no need to sell ourselves short. You talk about gelling and figuring it out, and I think we have the perfect pieces: a great point guard, a great center. I don’t think any of our positions are the same or overlap at all.

Lopez was on the other side of the globe — the Philippines — last week for an NBA event and when asked he told the Philippines Star that he thought the Nets were a title team.

“Obviously our main goal is no question the NBA championship. I think it is realistic for us. We’re already a good playoff team so with the addition of other pieces, we can target the ring,” said Lopez, who was recently re-signed by the Nets to a four-year deal.

The Nets have a good core — Johnson, Lopez, Deron Williams will be the leader, and Gerald Wallace. Also on the roster are Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Reggie Evans and I think people are going to like Mirza Teletovic’s game.

The Nets are going to be a fun to watch, a quality offense team, not a contender but good. They are going to put up a lot of points. But they are going to give up a lot of points too, and that end of the floor is the question. How good they are, how far they go will be about their defense. I see a respectable team that will be at best a four and more likely a five or six seed in the East.

But the Nets themselves, they see bigger things.