February 21, 2019
Ruth J Morrison

Ruth J Morrison

Expectations for the Nets are heightened with the addition of new players chief among them, defensive players, Ed Davis, and Kenneth Faried

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

KEISHA: Welcome back to What's The 411Sports. We're in a New York state of mind with our “New York Sports Report” and we are going to talk about our Brooklyn Nets. It was media day across the NBA and the Brooklyn Nets had their own, and there were a good number of (Nets) players who really think that they have enough pieces to do significantly better this year than last, playoffs even.

While there is some that are a little more cautious and just believing that they'll get more wins without going so far as to say that they would make the playoffs. Mike, are the players right to be cautiously optimistic, or should they be more aggressive in their thinking and their beliefs on how they're going to do this season?

MIKE: No, I think that they're right to be cautious here because yeah, I think the over-under is something like 31 or maybe even thirty-two wins for the Nets for the wins for the upcoming season. They won 27 or 28 games last year. So, and I know that doesn't seem like much improvement, but I think that there's no question in my mind that this team will wind up winning more games than they did last season. They know that people can look at that and say well, you know, it's not much of an improvement. But when your win column is really that depleted and you don't have much it's good to pick up on something.

I think Kenny (Atkinson), he's gotten comfortable here. Now. I saw him in an interview on the Yes Network about a week or two ago. And the guy just seems like he's very upbeat. I like his energy. I think that the big focus for this team, of course, is going to be defense right? Because they know that without a doubt that that's one of the things that really hurt them over the last couple of seasons.

That first quarter, like sometimes the first five, ten minutes of the game they’re in it and then all of a sudden everything just seems to fall apart and then by the end of the first quarter, they're down by 15 points. And, I think that those collapses are something that they're really going to try to look to avoid.

You can't knock this team's heart. I can't tell you how many Net games we've seen over the last several years, a couple of years, and they're in it, right even back when Lionel Hollins was coaching. Yeah, they were not winning many games but there were times where they'd be playing tight games against the Cleveland Cavaliers or even when the Knicks were somewhat competitive and they would keep games close.

You mentioned off air I know you might want to speak about it. But Ed Davis, I think is really someone that people are going to want to keep an eye on this year. This guy's tough-minded, no question about it. And I think the rebounding is something that he's going to lead a big focus on for them.

KEISHA: Yeah and Kenneth Faried, I actually like him too. I think he's going to be a really nice piece for the Brooklyn Nets and I think that you know, I think that aiming for more wins than last year is attainable. So, I'm, just quick, I have decided that for the remaining quarter of this year. I'm going to set goals for myself.

I've never done it really in a formalized, formalized manner and I'm going to do it because that is one of the keys for highly successful people and if it works for them why not try it. So you set smart goals and S.M.A.R.T is an acronym and the "A" stands for attainable, and I think that saying that you're going to win more games than last year is attainable.

So I looked at last year's playoff standings and the Wizards had the eighth spot. They were the last team to make the playoffs and they won 43 games. Last year, the Nets won 28. So that's a differential of 15 games. Now, the Nets had an increase of eight games from the year prior to last year. So in order to kind of ...I guess if they can make the playoff that means they have to make, they have to double. Now, it may not be impossible, but because it's like, all right, you won eight games last year why not win eight more. But you've got a lot of new pieces coming in. So I think it might be a little too aggressive to say that you can win 16 games with new pieces. But I definitely, I definitely see more wins for the team. I say about, I'll say 38.

MIKE: All right, okay.

Carmelo Anthony’s surprise pronouncement about his role in Houston; Tiger Wins; Brooklyn Nets culture continuity

Keisha Wilson and Mike McDonald, the hosts of What’s The 411Sports, are discussing:

Jimmy Butler’s impending trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves;
• The NBA allowing Mark Cuban to keep his team amid the numerous sexual harassment allegations against Dallas Maverick employees;
Odell Beckham, Jr.’s feeling that he could and wants to be more useful to the New York Giants;
Tiger Woods winning his first major golf tournament in five years
• Why some NBA players don’t want to play with LeBron James
Carmelo Anthony acknowledged that he will do whatever it takes to help Houston Rockets win;
• The Brooklyn Nets media day, and;
• The New York Yankees clinch a wild-card spot and Didi Gregorius injures his wrist

The elephant in the room, a trade rumor involving Spencer Dinwiddie was a troubling thought

All over the country NBA teams held Media Day today, a day when NBA teams give the media access to players. The Brooklyn Nets held its media day today in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and if you were expecting any bombshell announcements, so sorry, the atmosphere was pretty much the same since Sean Marks took the helm as Nets general manager.

There was no over the top hyperbole. The team is still on message, it’s all about a positive culture, focused on mental and physical development, teamwork, and staying on task. And, as such, from the players’ perspective, the outlook is mostly positive. To a man, everyone was talking in the most positive of tones about their teammates, like they are all best buds. New players including veterans seemed to be genuinely happy to be in Brooklyn. Each player is looking forward to tipoff to start showing the naysayers and those that are not checking for the Nets that they are a team to reckon with. And, as the theme song from the old sitcom The Jefferson’s goes, “we’re moving on up” was an underlying theme.

At the moment, it appears that Marks and his team did their job during the offseason by bringing in defensive players like Ed Davis, who is known for his defensive prowess. With these additions, the Nets should have the pieces it needs to close out more games than it did last season. There were so many close games that the Nets lost because of lack of defense.

“I know there is a stat that about 25, 26 games that we lost by five points or less,” said Nets guard/forward Allen Crabbe. “If you give us half of those games, that’s what, close to 40 wins and anything can happen with 40 wins … in the East. I feel like with the key additions that we got this offseason is going to help us in areas in that we needed help in and I think we’re going to get over that hump and really give ourselves a chance this season.’’

Now how long will it take for the new guys to gel with the core of players from last season?

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie cautiously stated, “I don’t know, I don’t know…but in terms of the culture, and everything that we are doing, we’re doing all the right things, spending time together on and off the court, putting in the work, and all those things. But in terms of putting a hard fast timeline to it, it’s hard to do it. You have a lot of young guys and we all have to continue to improve both individually and collectively.”

"Knowing how the rebuild process goes, we're going to have to slowly get back," added Nets center Jarrett Allen, who is going into his second season as a professional. “It's just small steps we're taking."

Now, looming in the background with all of this positivity is the chatter that Dinwiddie, a 4-year veteran, and the player who held the Nets together while Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell were out with injuries, could be part of a trade deal for Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Being in trade rumors all summer I guess is two pieces: I want to be here. I love being here. I'm happy that they didn't (trade me). On the flip side, the spectrum of teams calling me (meant) obviously I played well," Dinwiddie said. "I've been on the other side of the situation where obviously nobody really cared what I was doing. It's cool in that respect. I guess mildly stressful, but at the same time, I can't control it, so it doesn't too much matter."

 

TIP IN: Talk of the three-point shot was a running theme throughout Nets Media Day

 

Dez Bryant hanging out with Jerry Jones in Jones' booth watching a Beyonce concert has many people speculating about a possible Bryant return to the Cowboys, although not likely

In this video, Keisha Wilson and Mike McDonald, hosts of What's The 411Sports are talking about Dez Bryant and Jerry Jones; Jimmy Butler; Le'Veon Bell; Larry Nance on LeBron James; the Seattle Storm; Serena Williams; Josh Gordon; Spencer Dinwiddie; and the Phoenix Suns.

The Jimmy Butler story about Butler looking to leave the Minnesota Timberwolves is heating up the "interwebs".

Reportedly Butler is looking to leave Minnesota before training camp. And, lately three (3) teams are reported to be favorites; Los Angeles Clippers; New York Knicks; and surprisingly, the Brooklyn Nets.

WATCH VIDEO: NBA Commissioner David Stern on the opening of the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets

 

"It's beautiful, it's opening night, it's Brooklyn, we're very excited," said an enthusiastic David J. Stern, Commissioner, National Basketball Association, to What's The 411's sports correspondent, Andrew Rosario, about the Barclays Center, the new home of the former New Jersey Nets now Brooklyn Nets.

Expressing what it means to have the Nets in Brooklyn, Commissioner Stern stated, "It means that this very large city unto itself, known as Brooklyn is going to be a great addition to the NBA and a great competitor with the (New York) Knicks."

Commissioner Stern Reflects on Singular Moment of his Career

Approximately 10 days ago, Commissioner Stern announced that he would retire in 2014.

Reflecting on a single moment in his career, Commissioner Stern said that before he became commissioner "people said that this league would not survive because it was too black, and I am proud of America, I am proud of our players, and I am delighted that we have one of the most successful groups of young men earning on average $5 million apiece and being received with accolades around the world."

When questioned about the success of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), Commissioner Stern stated, "they're great, maybe we can get a team here in Brooklyn so we could have a competition with the Liberty. ...It sets us apart, women's basketball we're going to be the major league that has a successful women's presence."

 

 

WATCH VIDEO: It's the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs Game 1 and Knicks fans are watching their team at Stumble Inn 

 

In their first game of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs, the New York Knicks are in Boston playing the Celtics.

So, What's The 411's sports correspondent, Andrew Rosario, decides to check in with Knicks' fans at Manhattan's Stumble Inn.

 

Crimsonsanity sets in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

With No. 14-seeded Harvard's 68-62 upset win over No. 3-seeded New Mexico in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Crimsonsanity is starting to set in.

So, is Crimsonsanity? NBA fans and media all know the "Linsanity" that went on last season when Lin was a player with the New York Knicks. Harvard is the alma mater of Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin. It is also Harvard's first NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament victory ever. Add to that Jeremy Lin's tweet after the Harvard win, "YYYYYEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!! HARVARD winssss!!! hahahahhah i told you," and now we have "Crimsonsanity".

Not surprisingly, already there are Harvard Crimson Upset City t-shirts available. Capitalism does rule.

Meanwhile here at What's The 411, despite the upset, our sports reporters' NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four picks remain intact.

Here's a quick reference for you:

Kalise McKnight's NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four Picks

Kalise likes Duke to take it all.

But, before we get there, in the Final Four, Kalise likes:

• Duke
• Wisconsin
• Kansas
• Miami

He expects that Duke and Kansas will "duke it out" (pun intended) in the championship round in Atlanta.

He believes Duke has the confidence from being battle-tested through a tough out-of-conference schedule. Duke has beaten a lot of NCAA tourney teams VCU, Minnesota, Davidson, Temple, and Louisville. Duke also beat Kentucky, last year's champion. Its ACC foes: Miami, UNC, and NC State, which are also in the NCAA tourney, no problem.

Moreover, Kalise strongly believes that you can't overlook how a team is coached.

"Coach K is one of the best coaches in basketball, period," he said emphatically. "He just coached the USA Men's Basketball team to a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics and he has multiple NCAA titles at Duke."

"The team has shooters; the point guards play at the NBA level, the big men and defense post D. The only flaw is that athletic wing players or tough hard-nose teams usually give Duke problems. The teams that could prevent a Duke final four appearance are Memphis and Michigan State, but I'm sticking with Duke," Kalise continued.

Crystal Lynn's NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four Picks

As for Crystal Lynn, her Final Four picks are:
• Notre Dame
• Memphis
• Michigan
• Butler

She has Memphis and Butler in the Championship game, with Butler winning it all.

T.A. Moreland's NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four Picks

T.A. thinks Georgetown will win it all.

• Indiana
• Georgetown
• Michigan State
• Kansas State

"I like Kansas State as my sleeper," T.A. said. "Michigan State just always seems to be ready to play come tournament time. I have to have some love for my alma mater: Indiana. But, ultimately, it's the Georgetown Hoyas who have gone 14-2 in their last 16 games including an 11-game winning streak who will win it all."

Andrew Rosario's NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four Picks

Andrew's picks for the Final Four are:
• Louisville
• Memphis
• Wisconsin
• Arizona

Andrew picks Louisville and Wisconsin for the Final 2, with Louisville winning it all.

Interestingly, no one picked Gonzaga to make it to the Final Four; no NC State, UNC, Iona, or L.I.U.-Brooklyn.
Well, L.I.U.-Brooklyn got bumped out of contention altogether by James Madison University before the Round of 64 got started. Wishful thinking on my part, as Iona and L.I.U. were real long shots, but hey, I gotta root for the home teams!

As for What's The 411's hot shot sports reporters, time will tell who's right, if at all.

The National Championship game is on April 8.

Who are your picks? Hit us up on Facebook at WhatIsThe411 or on Twitter @WhatsThe411TV.

WATCH VIDEO: Jason Kidd meets New York media as head coach of Brooklyn Nets

What's The 411TV's, Andrew Rosario, takes us inside the press conference held at the Barclays Center announcing that Jason Kidd, a recently retired NBA basketball player including the Nets as one of his former teams, is the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

Gary Sussman, Vice President, Public Relations, made the announcement to the media, while Nets General Manager Billy King accompanied Jason Kidd to the press table and made the opening remarks.

Also in attendance were Brett Yormark, CEO, Brooklyn Nets; and Bruce Ratner, Chairman, Forest City Ratner Companies and Developer of the Barclays Center.

Previously a point guard in the NBA, Kidd was a ten-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA First Team member, and a nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. He won an NBA Championship in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, and was a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner during his pro career, as part of Team USA in 2000 and 2008. Immediately prior to this first head coaching position with the Brooklyn Nets, Kidd played for the New York Knicks. Kidd played for the Nets from 2001 through 2008.

General Manager Billy King announced today that the Brooklyn Nets have re-signed free agent forward/center Andray Blatche and have also signed free agent guard Shaun Livingston.

In his first season with the Nets, the 6'11'' Blatche averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 51.2% from the field in 19.0 minutes per game, and was the only Net to appear in all 82 games. The eight-year veteran, who spent his first seven seasons with the Washington Wizards, holds career averages of 9.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks over 491 games (184 starts).

Livingston, an eight-year NBA veteran who has played for seven different teams, averaged 6.3 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.4 rebounds on 48% shooting over 66 games (16 starts) last season for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards. After being acquired by the Cavaliers on December 25, 2012, the 6'7'' Livingston averaged 7.1 points and 3.6 assists while shooting 48% from the field in 23.0 minutes over 49 games (12 starts). Livingston, who was the 4th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, holds career averages of 6.7 points and 3.5 assists in 390 contests.

Billy King Issues Statement on Jason Kidd

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge and was placed on interim probation nearly a year after he smashed his Cadillac SUV into a utility pole on eastern Long Island, reports the Associated Press.

In exchange for the guilty plea, Kidd agreed to speak to Long Island high school students about the dangers of drunken driving. If he fulfills his community service, his plea will be reduced to a violation — driving while ability impaired — when he returns to court on Sept. 30.

Kidd, who retired as an NBA player after last season, was recently hired to coach the Brooklyn Nets — the team he took to two NBA Finals as a player when the franchise played in New Jersey as the New Jersey Nets.

In response to this news, Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King issued the following statement:

"Jason has taken responsibility for his actions, and fully realizes that he needs to grow from this experience. We are confident he will make these strides on a personal level and have a positive effect on others as well."

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