Nets new additions Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry have been the talk of the town the last few months.
In addition to bringing a championship pedigree to Brooklyn, that high profile quartet is also expected to provide leadership and a mental toughness many believed the Nets lacked last season.
Point guard Deron Williams validated that observation when he admitted at Nets media day on Monday that the team played “soft” in its loss to the Bulls in Game 7 in the first round of the NBA playoffs last season.
Terry, who compared this Nets team with the Dallas Mavericks squad that beat the Miami Heat in six games to win the NBA championship in 2011, expects his new team to be mentally tough.
“There wasn’t a lot of nonsense going on with that group,” Terry said of the 2010-2011 Dallas team. “And I can envision the same thing with this group, with myself, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and guys who have been around.”
The moves Nets General Manager Billy King made in the offseason is one of the reasons why backup forward Andray Blatche opted to re-sign with the Nets.
“I had a couple of options to go different places. Even some places where they wanted me to fight for a starting position,” said Blatche. “But I came back here because of loyalty, and I also see what they have going on here, and I want to be a part of it.”
Blatche, who averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in a reserve role last season, will join a bench that includes Terry, Reggie Evans, Andrei Kirilenko and Shaun Livingston.
“[The bench] is going to be very important,” said Blatche. “There are going to be some games where [the starters] are going to depend on us to bring the energy.” For the second consecutive season, it’s practically a new team with a new coach and new expectations.
Said Blatche: “In my head, we’re the best team.”