Day 1 of Net’s training camp was more of the same. Yes, there was some debate about the propensity of Brooklyn’s attack and the team’s positional versatility, but for the most part, reporters wanted to take a look at how this group has recovered from what can best be described as a turbulent off-season after a miserable one. regular season and playoffs.
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, Brooklyn’s star player Kevin Durant asked for a trade in a saga that lasted nearly two full months, and it reportedly got so bad that Durant turned heads to his general manager, Sean Marks, called , and his head coach, Steve Nash. That was only ironed out during a meeting between the Nets and Durant in Los Angeles on August 22, several weeks after KD’s original trade request.
Only briefly commenting on the whole ordeal during Monday’s Media Day, Nash shed some light on how he and his star player smoothed things out to build a new future together, while trying to cast some doubt on the alleged ultimatum of kd.
“We’re fine. Were good. Since we spoke, it’s like nothing has changed,” says Nash. “I have a long history with Kevin. I like the guy. Families have problems, we had a moment and it’s behind us. That’s what happens. And it’s a very common situation in the league – we’re all in pain, seething to go through what we went through last year. Not being able to overcome all those setbacks and sometimes you lose perspective because you expect to win. But the reality is that we were able to talk and discuss what we can improve from last year and also keep the perspective. ”
Nash went on to say that Durant’s request “didn’t really bother him” and wasn’t too surprising. As an NBA player for 18 years and now a head coach for two, Nash is what you would call a veteran of this sort of thing.
“Knowing Kevin as long as I have, it didn’t really bother me as anyone might think – that’s part of being a competitor. I wasn’t overly surprised, and I wasn’t even overly concerned. This is something I thought we’d tackle it in time, and we did and here we are, and we’re looking forward to it,” said Nash, who is entering his third year in Brooklyn.
“And I think there’s something in this that we can all grow from. So sometimes when things like that happen, the outside world makes a big deal out of it; from the inside, we see it as an opportunity to grow. And I think we are in a good position to start the season.
“And no matter how everyone wants to talk about our trauma all the time, we’ve been through this for us. I played in the league for whatever, 17, 18 years. I’m here now, year three, seen it all, all done, it doesn’t affect me in the way it might affect people on the street or the media. So it was never such a big deal for me. I always thought we’d have our moment. We discussed it and we chose a course, and we’re all lucky to be back in the gym working together. And I’m excited. The energy has been excellent.”
As for the coverage that Durant gave Joe Tsai an ultimatum, Nash said, wait a minute, it wasn’t like that.
“Many reported cases are incorrect. Many things that are reported are not 100 percent accurate. You have fragmented bits of truth. You have things that are downright not true. It happens. It’s the nature of the media today,” said Nash, who did not elaborate. The original story about the ultimatum came from Shams Charania. Tsai quickly tweeted a vote of confidence in both Marks and Nash.
Markieff Morris hilariously compared the whole ordeal to breaking up and getting back together with a significant other, dropping a one-liner already in the running as the signature training camp quote.
“This is the NBA game. Break up with a friend and you’ll come back to her. Same s-, same s-. There are differences until you get it,” Morris said. “We broke up with my wife a few times and we’re still married!”
Aside from Kumbaya moments, Nash also touched on the smooth rotation of the center, a big topic of Media Day. First, Brooklyn head coach echoed Marks’ positive sentiments on Monday about sophomore center, Day’Ron Sharpe, giving all sorts of praise for the 20-year-old’s work ethic this off-season.
“I think Day’Ron is a man who has put in a lot of time this summer. We worked hard for him and he responded, he got a lot better,” said Nash. “The opportunities are there for him to earn minutes. But there is certainly competition.”
The obvious mid-spot competition is Nicolas Claxton, which Marks gushed about on Monday. However, Nash quoted another player who could land several minutes at the 5: the aforementioned Morris, who played 24 percent of his total minutes at center for the Miami Heat last season.
“He’s a 5,” Nash said bluntly before explaining Morris’s extensive skills. “It’s great to have such a veteran in our group. Someone with experience, toughness. He’s been deep into the playoffs and has done a lot of things that can help our group as we navigate everything that comes your way during the season.”
Morris shared his experience manning the small-ball 5 position throughout his 11-year career, stating that while he doesn’t necessarily see himself as a center in the same way Nash does, he certainly feels comfortable with fulfilling all required roles. from him as he fights for a spot on the Brooklyn roster.
“I played a little bit, man, it was really team-to-team. Really, it’s all it takes. Played a little. I wouldn’t call myself a center,” Morris said, before concluding, “whatever Steve calls me, that’s me.”
Morris told reporters last year he thought the Nets were “soft”, “just pointless point”. When we played against them, they were soft. Just go straight up into their chest. That’s what we did.”
Another candidate among the 5? Brooklyn’s resident All-NBA level jack of all trades, Ben Simmons. Although he played little central in his four NBA seasons, he is no longer on a team whose best player is a nominally big man.
“One hundred percent,” Nash said to a question about Simmons playing the 5. He can play point guard, he can play center. Very versatile player…
“It seems to me that he is quite close to the player we had in mind. He is going to make a big impact for us.”
Morris also praised what he’s seen so far of Simmons, who he says looks “amazing” like the player he was in Philadelphia, the four years he played there before holding out last year. Morris added, “he’s as strong as hell.”