Tag:New Jersey Nets
Posted on: November 22, 2011 5:44 pm

Deron Williams drops 50 for Besiktas video

Posted by Ben Golliver

Now that's more like it.

When an NBA All-Star in his prime signs to play internationally, the immediate expectation is that he will receive a hero's welcome and proceed to dominate on the court. It hasn't been that easy for New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams. Since inking a contract with Turkey's Besiktas last summer, Williams has admitted that the team isn't selling out its 3,200-person stadium and has expressed frustration that the NBA lockout is still ongoing. He's been averaging 20.5 points, 6.8 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game for Besiktas in Turkish league play, according to DraftExpress.com, but those aren't the charity game numbers that many people were expecting from one of the world's elite players against non-NBA competition.

On Tuesday, Williams finally delivered the type of international smackdown that many had anticpated, dumping in 50 points in a 105-94 Eurochallenge Cup win over German professional club Goettingen, according to the team's official site. DraftExpress.com reported that Williams shot 17-for-23 from the field, hitting seven 3-pointers.

Here's video of Deron Williams' 50-point explosion via YouTube user TheDrizzleIsLocal.

Hat Tip: Sportando.net.
Posted on: November 5, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 1:52 pm

Deron Williams: I'm not committing to New Jersey

Posted by Ben Golliverderon-williams-nets

Deron Williams just posted the equivalent of a personal ad on his official blog this weekend, reminding any NBA general managers that are paying attention that he will be a free agent next summer and is definitely interested in entertaining their offers.

At the end of a lengthy blog post about life on and off the court in Turkey, where he is playing for Besiktas, Williams drops the following paragraph for no apparent reason other than to increase the stress level of New Jersey Nets fans.

The lockout is still going…if the CBA is finalized and I'll need to come back to the NBA, I think it takes some time for them to get everything on paper, maybe three or four weeks. If we make a deal, I'll try to come back as soon as possible. Also, as far as living,  I don't have a place in New Jersey yet. I don't want to buy anywhere, just planning to rent for now. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do after the NBA season. We'll see…

First, it would make sense for Williams to rent even if he was committed to the Nets. New Jersey is a team in flux, planning a move to Brooklyn that will include a name change re-branding. There's no reason to buy now. That's just logistically logical. If he wants to re-sign with the Nets, he would either need to buy in Brooklyn and commute to New Jersey this season or buy in New Jersey and commute to Brooklyn in the future. Either way, less than ideal. There's real value in waiting.

Of course, the travel logistics are not the major deciding factor here. The Nets sport one of the worst rosters in the league and they took a major gamble in trading Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, two first round picks and monetary considerations to acquire Williams without any assurances that he would re-sign long-term. The ongoing NBA lockout has wiped out -- at least so far -- the one season the Nets were guaranteed to have his services and it has delayed and compressed (or cancelled) the free agency period that the Nets had hoped to use to find a big-name to help convince Williams to re-sign. In other words, the Nets are a mess compounded by another, much larger mess. 

Williams is 27 now. He lost a year of his prime to a trade and he's losing another year of his prime to NBA negotiations. He wants to win now and he will have plenty of suitors next summer who will be able to make a compelling financial offer while also promising a better chance at postseason success. New Jersey will exit the lockout with the ability to make Williams the best possible financial offer but Williams' Turkish experience and his "keeping my options open" stance here suggests that far more than money will play into his summer 2012 decision-making process. 

Hat tip: HoopsHype.com
Posted on: October 31, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 5:51 pm

Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian to divorce

Posted by Royce Young

And now for today's "You know there's a lockout when..." post of the day:

Kim Kardashian and Nets forward Kris Humphries have filed for divorce, according to TMZ. Ah, who am I kidding -- lockout or not, that's big news.
We're told even though the marriage was short, she will not seek an annulment. It's a garden variety divorce, in which Kim cites "irreconcilable differences." We're told the date of separation is listed as today, Oct. 31, 2011.

Kim has hired disso-queen Laura Wasser, who has repped the likes of Britney Spears, Maria Shriver, Angelina Jolie, Ryan Reynolds, and Robyn Gibson, Mel's almost ex-wife.
The couple was married for 72 days and did have a prenuptual agreement. Humphries reportedly spent $2 million on her engagement ring. I'd say chance are good with it just being 72 days that it falls under the return policy. Lucky for Kris.

TMZ reports that Humphries is "bummed":
Kris Humphries desperately tried to save his marriage to Kim Kardashian, because he's telling friends ... he doesn't believe in divorce.

Kris, who's a religious guy, is telling friends he and Kim discussed the possibility of divorce, but he believed they could work their problems out.
The two wed over the summer in a ceremony that reportedly cost $10 million. Meaning as TMZ calculated, that's $138,888 for every day they were married. However, E! paid out a reported $17 million for the television special for the wedding.

(If you were wondering, Humphries made $3.2 million a double-double starting power forward for the Nets last season. And he's made about $16.9 million total in his career.)

Humphries does have free agency to look forward once the lockout ends though. And without Kardashian pushing for a primetime location, a bunch of teams probably like their chances a bit better now.

Unfortunate for Kris and Kim as it's a shame any time a marriage ends. But I'm sure those sitting courtside in opposing arenas might have much sympathy.

Related: Kim Kardashian preferred Danilo Gallinari instead of Kris Humphries?
Posted on: October 29, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 4:24 pm

Scammer allegedly takes Kris Humphries for $100K+

Posted by Ben Golliverkris-humphries

Kris Humphries has allegedly been taken for a major ride by a scam artist, and we're not referring to his wife or his in-laws.

Humphries, a free agent forward who most recently played for the New Jersey Nets, and is perhaps best known as reality television star Kim Kardashian's better half, has reportedly been hustled out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by an investment scam artist.

TMZ.com reports that Andrey Hicks ran a million-dollar investment scam that ensnared Humphries.
Andrey C. Hicks was a guest at Kim and Kris Humphries televised wedding bonanza in August ... and sat right behind the happy couple during the rehearsal dinner.

Officials believe Andrey lied to several investors -- including Kris -- telling them, among other things, that he was a Harvard graduate ... when in fact, he was kicked out of the University after 3 semesters for crappy grades. Officials say Andrey only took 1 math class at Harvard ... and got a D-. Officials claim 27-year-old Hicks stole $1.7 million from various investors ... and sources close to Kris tell us the NBA star accounted for hundreds of thousands of dollars himself.

Hicks was arrested in Canada on Friday and charged with wire fraud. Officials believe he was trying to flee to Switzerland. If convicted, Hicks could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Basketball-Reference.com reports that Humphries' career NBA earnings top $16 million. He's also earned approximately $4.3 gazillion dollars by agreeing to turn his life into a soap opera by marrying Kardashian. A 26-year-old free agent, Humphries figures to be in line for a fairly sizeable pay day thanks to the fact that he averaged a double-double (albeit on a terrible team) last season.

In other words, save your tears for someone who needs them. Humphries should emerge from this just fine. 

Hat tip: NetsDaily.com

Related: Kim Kardashian preferred Danilo Gallinari instead of Kris Humphries? 
Posted on: October 19, 2011 9:43 am

Shaq wants to own an NBA team... in Newark

By Matt Moore

Shaquille O'Neal has probably the widest array of outside-basketball interests of any current or former player. He's a sherrif, he dances, it's a whole big world for Shaq. And in an interview with the New York Times, Shaq revealed that he wants to take on a new role, NBA owner, but not just anywhere, in his hometown of Newark. 

You’ve talked about owning a team someday. Do you still want to do that?

A.Yes. And I’m looking forward to bringing a team to Newark. I haven’t spoken to Mayor Booker about it yet, but I’m working on it. I know Newark can support an N.B.A. team. And I’m going to be one of the guys that’s going to bring a team there.
via Q. and A. With Shaquille ONeal - NYTimes.com.

So with the Nets moving to Brooklyn, there will be room in New Jersey. But of course, that means a team has to go there. So Shaq wants to buy a team, and then move it to New Jersey. That should go over like gangbusters.

Side note, can you imagine Shaq in on these NBA labor discussions? No gag order in the world could contain him. Shaq and Jordan sharing a boardroom would be pretty prolific in terms of progressing the power of modern athletes. But O'Neal needs the money, the team, and the partners to get a team first. We're a long ways off from a team in Newark, if ever. The Q&A does reveal that O'Neal's running for undersherriff in Florida, though, so he's got that going for him.  
Posted on: October 8, 2011 4:06 pm

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

Posted by Ben Golliver

A few days back
, we noted that New Jersey Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams, who signed to play with Besiktas of Turkey during the ongoing NBA lockout, is struggling to adapt to the European game. 

On Friday, Williams penned a diary entry on ESPN.com in which he discusses the transition to Besiktas. He notes that its a great bonding experience for his family, that he's still getting used to the spacing of the European game, that he's slowly building chemistry with his new teammates and that he's still getting back into 5-on-5 game shape.

All interesting details. But the following was buried at the bottom, and it sure jumps out. 
The arena we play at seats 3,200 people max, so it's not quite the same environment of an NBA game and it hasn't been full yet because these aren't the really big games. Once we start the Turkish league games, it will be different, I think. But the fans that have been at the games are really good fans. They're really into the game nonstop from tip-off and knowledgeable about it. They've been great to play in front of. 
Yes, you read that correctly. A high-profile NBA All-Star who is arguably one of the top 10 basketball players in the world cannot fill a 3,200 person stadium while playing for one of the higher-profile international professional teams. Williams isn't necessarily a high-flyer, but he plays an exciting game, boasting great vision, an array of attacking dribble moves and an ability to finish in a variety of ways. He's one of those guys near the top of the list of NBA players you would "pay to see," as the saying goes, yet he's drawing a crowd that is no more than 20 percent of an averge NBA crowd.

There's certainly value in landing a high-flight player like Williams, and perhaps Besiktas has some incredible marketing campaigns going on outside the arena to further capitalize on his presence, but it's fair to wonder whether they are getting their money's worth on the multi-million dollar contract they reportedly paid him. Ticket sales are the bread and butter of basketball economics. That base generally needs to get covered if you hope to recoup a major salary investment like the one Besiktas and its sponsor made in Williams.

On the bright side, at least Besiktas is outdrawing the Las Vegas "Lockout League," which struggled to bring in 50 fans on some days. In the end, Williams' experience is Turkey is simply further proof that the NBA and its players badly need each other to reach their respective economic best interests.
Posted on: September 26, 2011 10:51 am

Nets change name to... Brooklyn Nets

By Matt Moore

The New Jersey Nets held a press conference Monday to announce the official name of the Nets when they move to Brooklyn. And the winner is... the Brooklyn Nets. 


There had been rampant speculation about a possible name change for the team upon its relocation to the new Barclays Center in 2012. My personal favorite was the Brooklyn Hipsters, but that was a longshot. The name is a loaded issue. On the one hand, the Nets have a lot of history, dating back to the ABA. More importantly, sadly, rebranding is really expensive. In the midst of what many expect to be a lengthy lockout that could sacrifice the entire season, spending the money to rebrand everything from banners and jerseys to merchandise and letterhead probably isn't feasible in a dead income year. 

On the other hand, the name is the Nets. It's unoriginal, lacks any real identity, and seems like something an office full of unimaginative people would come up with.

But for Prokrhorov, Ratner, Jay-Z et al, the important part of the name is the "Brooklyn" part. That's the key to their success, the untold riches headed their way, a real shot to compete with the Knicks for the New York market, however unlikely that may be.

To slip off on a tangent here, it's remarkable that no one's batting an eye at the move for the Nets. Yes, the arena is only a short trip away. But there are kids in Jersey who won't be able to attend those games and will be, in essence, losing their team. Now it's only a small number of people, and that's why no one really cares. But we're a country that celebrates individualism, that fights to protect individualism, and in general, we get a little squeamish about utilitarianism. However, that's the opposite in this case. We don't care if the Nets move, or the Hornets are contracted, or the Kings slip town because we care about the most people. Just an interesting little offset.

Anyway, yeah, the Nets. Let's hear your thoughts on the "name change" in the comments.  
Posted on: September 24, 2011 2:36 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 2:36 pm

First up for each team in a post-lockout world

Posted by Royce Young

So the lockout could be ending soon, depending on who you're listening to. Maybe it extends into the season, but if it doesn't and a deal gets settled in the next few weeks, we're going to have one heck of a free agency period. Really, no matter when it's settled, we're going to have one wild free agency period.

(Unless we were to miss all of 2011-12 and you combined this class with next year's group. Now that would be something.)

If you thought the summer of 2010 was a frenzy, try cramming it all into a two-week period. Maybe I'm just thinking of how horrible it'll be for me. Regardless, you can be sure that all 30 teams have a pre-written itinerary on what they want to accomplish once the lockout is lifted. They have been planning, plotting and preparing to target the players they want or finish up a few final transactions on the roster.

But what's the first order of business for everybody? What's the priority, the thing that each team wants to get done right away? Here's a stab at each team's top job.

Atlanta Hawks: It really appears that the Hawks are ready and willing to let Jamal Crawford walk, but there's still a decision to made whether or not they want to compete for him in the free agent market. He was a key part of the team that made a somewhat surprising run to the Eastern Semifinals and re-signing him could be a priority. Problem is, they don't really have the funds for it.

Boston Celtics: What happens with Jeff Green? The Celtics have already tendered him a qualifying offer, but someone surely will extend him an offer sheet. The Celtics have issues at center still and Glen Davis is unrestricted, but figuring out Jeff Green's situation is probably weighing heaviest on Danny Ainge's mind.

Charlotte Bobcats: The Bobcats made a big splash in the draft, but if that's going to matter, they've got to get Bismack Biyombo on the team. His buyout could still be a major issue and though he says he'll be on the team when training camp starts, that's definitely up in the air.

Chicago Bulls: Wing scorer. Say it with me, wing scorer. Derrick Rose needs help (and an extension) in a big time way and it's up to Gar Foreman and company to find that help. Jamal Crawford maybe? Caron Butler? J.R. Smith if he wasn't in China? Someone has to give Rose a little offensive help and that's the top priority for the Bulls.

Cleveland Cavaliers: First thing? Putting Baron Davis on the scales to make sure he doesn't weigh 300 pounds. After that, there isn't a whole lot to be done in Cleveland. The club's rebuilding around their two lottery picks and you don't want to crowd the roster in a way that stunts their development.

Dallas Mavericks: The defending champs have a whole lot on their plate once the lockout ends. Caron Butler's contract is up. So is J.J. Barea's. So is DeShawn Stevenson's. So is Brian Cardinal's (just kidding -- well it is up, but you know what I mean). But the first order of business for Mark Cuban is to get Tyson Chandler re-signed. Not just that though, but to get him re-signed to a number that makes sense for the make-up of the roster.

Denver Nuggets: Despite the lockout, the Nuggets have kind of been gutted. J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and Wilson Chandler are in China until at least March. Danilo Gallinari signed in Italy but has an NBA out. But all of that doesn't matter near as much as getting Nene re-signed. Without Nene, it doesn't matter. With Nene, there's still something worth building around.

Detroit Pistons: The Pistons are kind of trying to quietly usher out the old and bring in some new. Tayshaun Prince is a free agent, but I don't think they care. What'll be most interesting is how they handle Rodney Stuckey. The Pistons drafted Brandon Knight in June with Stuckey already their point guard. Do they want Knight to take over? Do they want to play them together? Share the role? Sorting out Stuckey's future is definitely what Joe Dumars has to do first.

Golden State Warriors: The Warriors could be players in free agency, but really, it's about deciding once and for all if Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry really are the backcourt tandem of the future for the team. If there's a time to move on, it's now when both of their values are still high. The Warriors flirted with dealing Ellis last season but it didn't happen. They're probably planning on revisiting that.

Houston Rockets: First order of business: Properly sending off Yao with a jersey retirement ceremony. After that, the Rockets are fairly settled, though you know Daryl Morey is just itching to pick up a phone and start transacting once the lockout's over.

Indiana Pacers: The Pacers have a number of expiring deals and aren't likely looking to re-sign them (maybe Josh McRoberts, maybe Jeff Foster). Larry Bird has been hunting more pieces to add to his mediocre roster for a while and you can be sure the Pacers are going to target some of the bigger free agent names in this class.

Los Angeles Clippers: Eric Gordon is ready for an extension, but the Clippers better be ready to match any offer DeAndre Jordan gets. You might not think that's a big deal, but forget Chris Kaman. The future of the Clips frontcourt is Blake Griffin and Jordan. You seven-footer from Texas A&M finally started figuring himself out a little last season and he's not far off from becoming a major defensive impact player.

Los Angeles Lakers: Shannon Brown's unrestricted, but he's really not that much of an impact player to be that concerned with. The Lakers might have to focus on how to re-structure the roster to suit a new CBA that could greatly cut into their total salary. Will they have to move Lamar Odom? Metta World Peace? But first things first: Giving Kobe and Mike Brown a proper introduction and letting them figure out the direction of the offense.

Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol. That's it for Memphis. It'd be nice to get Shane Battier back, but it's all about Gasol.

Miami Heat: It's kind of been overlooked, but Pat Riley and the Heat have a busy couple weeks waiting on them. Mike Bibby, Jamaal Magloire, Juwan Howard, Erick Dampier and James Jones are all unrestricted and Mario Chalmers is restricted. It's decision time for the Heat. Do they start restocking with veteran talent or look to get younger and develop?

Milwaukee Bucks: That first practice in Milwaukee is something Scott Skiles has probably been thinking about for a while. "Brandon, this is Stephen. Stephen, this is Brandon." The Bucks have some new talent as Stephen Jackson joins Brandon Jennings, but how will they get along?

Minnesota Timberwolves: Here's what David Kahn's to-do list looks like: 1) Hug Ricky. 2) Hug Darko. 3) Overpay a questionable free agent at a position you already have three guys. What it should look like: 1) Convince Kevin Love somehow to sign an extension. 2) Get rid of Michael Beasley and let Derrick Williams have the starting small forward spot all to himself. 3) Tell Rick Adelman to do his thing.

New Jersey Nets: Kris Humphies is an important piece of business but his re-signing goes hand in hand with the larger thing: Proving to Deron Williams that this is a place he wants to re-sign. The Nets have to take advantage right away of showing Williams they're serious about winning. And you do that by getting him some immediate help.

New Orleans Hornets: It's all about David West for the Hornets. Yes, he suffered a major knee injury last season. But he chose to become an unrestricted free agent and a team like the Nets is likely to come calling quickly. Can the Hornets hang on to Chris Paul's buddy?

New York Knicks: The Knicks have a little bit coming off the books but really they need to try and resist the urge to do something drastic in this free agency period. Which they will because of the big names coming up in 2012. Still, they want to field a solid team for this season -- and Mike D'Antoni needs them too -- so adding a quality veteran to help on the inside would be good.

Oklahoma City Thunder: The young Thunder roster is pretty much entirely set up. But Sam Presti has something to do right away once the lockout ends -- get Russell Westbrook his extension. Presti brought Kevin Durant his at midnight last July to make sure there was no doubt about locking up his superstar. Presti better be stalking Westbrook's house on the whim he lockout ends so he can extend the same treatment to his other star.

Orlando Magic: First order of business for Otis Smith and the Magic? Resume begging Dwight Howard to stay. One way to show it would be to get him some help, but Smith sort of laid those cards on the table last year in the Gilbert Arenas/Hedo Turkoglu trade. So it's back to convincing Howard there's a plan for the future and that it'll get better.

Philadelphia 76ers: Someone is ready and willing to give Thaddeus Young a serious offer, so the Sixers better be ready to match anything and everything.

Phoenix Suns: Steve Nash's trade value will be highest at the beginning of the season, so it's up to Lance Blanks and Robert Sarver to figure out if they're ready to move on. Aaron Brooks is a restricted free agent so if the Suns lock him up by matching an offer sheet, that'll be an indication that the Suns are preparing for life without Nash.

Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers are in love with Nicolas Batum, so extending him could be the first order of business, but really, the Blazers need to find a new general manager first. And whoever that guy is needs to decide that if for the off chance someone gives Greg Oden an offer, if he's willing to match. Oden already has an $8.8 qualifying offer, which is huge, so once Oden signs that, he'll likely be signing with the Blazers for another year.

Sacramento Kings: The Jimmer-Tyreke backcourt is going to be an interesting experiment, but Marcus Thornton is quietly one of the more intriguing free agents out there. The Bulls are likely looking at him long and hard right now. He's restricted, so the Kings could keep him, but the question is, with Tyreke moving off the ball for good and Jimmer handling the point, is it worth paying Thornton to just have him come off the bench?

San Antonio Spurs: Um, I guess just resume the typical day-to-day of the Spurs. Gregg Popovich is the longest tenured coach with a team and R.C. Buford probably isn't looking to go do anything drastic in this market. The Spurs are definitely aging, but there's not a lot to be done about that right now.

Toronto Raptors: Assuming the Raptors actually have Jonas Valanciunas for next season, Dwane Casey and company have to figure out if he's ready to cover for Andrea Bargnani on the inside. Can those two really play together and handle enough rebounding and defensive duties? The Raptors are in a place where they have to wait and see with some young players and aren't likely targeting any big names in the open market.

Utah Jazz: Most likely, Andrei Kirilenko won't be re-signing with the Jazz. So Kevin O'Connor will have to make a choice when the lockout's over: Does he try and restock a roster that can maybe squeak out the eight-seed, or does he commit to rebuilding around Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors and others and just let them play it out? The Jazz would love to get some wing scoring help, so O'Connor will probably at least look that direction, but we'll have to see how serious he is.

Washington Wizards: It's not an earth-shattering decision, but Nick Young is a restricted free agent. And with his scoring ability, someone is ready to pay him. Do the Wizards want to keep him? Do they want to look elsewhere and maybe target say, Marcus Thornton? Or do they just let Young walk and see what Jordan Crawford's got?
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