Pro players at Duke? It happens every year, only they're not technically pros just yet.
That'll change in a little more than a month, when the Brooklyn Nets fly down to Durham to spend five days at Duke and operate their training camp on the Blue Devils' campus. The school and the NBA organization announced the decision Wednesday. Why is Brooklyn doing this? Connections between the two. Nets general manager Billy King played at Duke in the '80s and was captain of the '88 Final Four squad -- the year he won national Defensive Player of the Year.
"With many new players and a new staff, going on the road for training camp will offer a unique opportunity for our players to bond and focus solely on basketball as they prepare for this season," King said. "Duke University offers first class basketball facilities and will provide an optimum training environment for our team."
There are Duke connections outside of King. The Nets drafted Mason Plumlee in June at No. 22. New Nets coach Jason Kidd played under Coach K during the 2008 Olympics. Deron Williams, Nets starting point guard, played for the U.S. in '08 and 2012. This is pretty great, and something we don't see too much at the NBA-college level. The NFL of course has a lot of its teams go through training camp at different college campuses. Now could the NBA start something of a trend? Wouldn't be a bad idea. The entities could use all the good will and communication possible in order to better the relationship between the NCAA and the NBA. This would seem to help, if nothing else.