Now that the Nets have completed their offseason reload, it’s time to get to work.
The additions of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko have transformed the Nets from just another playoff contender into a legitimate finals contender—at least on paper.
We’ve seen teams in all sports spend money and load up in the offseason only to fall flat on their faces. Just ask the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles. They added a ton of salaries and missed the playoffs.
The Dodgers spent money like crazy last winter to acquire the likes of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Zack Greinke. It took nearly half the season for Don Mattingly’s crew to finally get it together. They were in first place as of Tuesday.
And our lovable Bronx Bombers have spent a couple billions of dollars on players’ salaries in the last decade and have just one World Series championship to show for it.
The 2004 Lakers, with Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Gary Payton, also come to mind.
Those examples prove that it takes more than just money and talent to win. Chemistry and the managing of egos are just as important.
Will Pierce be willing to sacrifice some of his game for the likes of Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson? Will Garnett make the same sacrifice? Will Johnson be willing to take fewer shots? Will Lopez get frustrated if he goes three or four times down the court without getting a quality look?
These are all questions that need to be answered in training camp.
Nets General Manager Billy King has made several bold moves in the last couple of years, like bringing in the likes of Johnson and Gerald Wallace. The Nets were talented last season, but it took a third of the season to get things going. Their 14-14 start doomed former coach Avery Johnson.
Will Jason Kidd’s squad get a quick start out of the blocks? They need to in order to challenge the Heat, Bulls and Pacers.