August 22, 2012
Tyshawn Takes His 1st Barclays Center Tour

Wednesday afternoon, rookie guard Tyshawn Taylor took a ride into Brooklyn for an up-close look at the Nets' future home. Barclays Center opens on September 28, with the first regular-season game set for November 1 against the Knicks, and Taylor is already caught up imagining all the "million things" that he thinks will be running through his head during that NBA debut.

"It was exciting," Taylor said. "I had a good time viewing it. I think it's coming along well. It's kind of hard to envision how everything's going to play out and how they're gonna have it. But to see it at this point, I think it's even going to be a better feeling when it's done, because I got to see it at this stage."

Taylor thought the glass-encased practice court offered a unique dimension to the arena, and was impressed by the amount of space in the locker room, through he knows that rookie status means he'll likely have last pick. Yet he's still hoping to end up next to the man starting at his position, point guard Deron Williams.

"I want to soak up as much information from him as possible, talk to him as much as possible, get on his nerves a little bit if I have to -- just so he knows that I'm there," Taylor said. "I get the last spot, so I don't know if anyone else wants to sit next to him, but they can just leave that spot for me."

And after four years at Kansas, Taylor can envision the impact playing at Barclays Center will have on the college players who hit the floor for various events and tournaments, starting with Kentucky and Maryland facing off in the Barclays Center Classic on November 9. As he points out, it's always easier to overlay NBA ambitions on reality when you're suiting up in the same locker room, but there's another angle to this one:

"I think everything for kids our age, when you think about the Barclays Center, you think about the Nets, you think about JAY Z automatically," Taylor said. "So I know as college kids, they're thinking there's a possibility that JAY Z's going to be at that game. And that's just exciting. I think it's going to be fun, man, and hopefully I get to check one of those college games out."

For more from Tyshawn's Tour, check out this exclusive Photo Gallery.

--Posted by Ben Couch at 6:49 p.m.

August 17, 2012
Back(-to-Back Golds) in Brooklyn

Back in Brooklyn just days after winning his second Gold Medal -- and becoming just one of eight basketball players to do so back-to-back -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams checked in to discuss the Olympics, his Wednesday tour of the Barclays Center and the upcoming season.

Nets Blog: What does it feel like to win this Second Gold Medal?

Deron Williams: It means a lot. I think it's really special to be an Olympian, to have that honor just to be an Olympian. But to win two Gold Medals is a great accomplishment -- there's only eight people that have done that as far as basketball is concerned. I definitely feel honored to have had the opportunity.

Nets Blog: Anything additional to being the first Net to win one, as we head into Brooklyn?

Deron: Jason Kidd won one! Oh, wait -- he was with the Mavs. That's definitely exciting, too, to be the first Net.

Nets Blog: What was the vibe like with this team versus the 2008 one?

Deron: It was pretty similar. We had five guys from that team, the '08 team, and it was pretty much the same vibe. Everybody got along and everybody was a great guy to be around on and off the court. When that happens, it makes the experience that much better.

Nets Blog: As a point guard, how challenging is it to develop a rapport and flow with that much talent on the floor?

Deron: It's a little bit of both: it's easier, just because you have so many weapons and you know it can come from anywhere on any given night. But for the most part, you don't play like you do during the season; you kind of have to adapt and adjust, and that takes some getting used to. But I think it's fun, and I think we enjoyed it.

Nets Blog: This team found success with smaller lineups. What kind of adjustments did you make playing alongside very different point guards in Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook?

Deron : It was pretty easy: just play basketball, really. That's what it came down to. Whoever got it, could really just bring it up. And sometiems you were playing off the ball and that's not a big deal.

Nets Blog: What was it like being on the court for and getting to watch that Nigeria game, when y'all put up an Olympic record 156 points?

Deron: It was just fun. It's one of those things -- you just don't know when it's going to happen, a team catching fire like that. It was a fun game to be a part of, fun to watch from the bench, a great moment for us in the Olympics.

Nets Blog: How much have you thought about your future with the Olympic program?

Deron: It's definitely a possibility. I don't know what will happen in the next four years, so I can't really say I will or won't be.

Nets Blog: That Gold Medal seems to be traveling everywhere with you. Is it not leaving your immediate possession for a while?

Deron: No. People keep asking to see it. I need to go put it down somewhere, put it up in a safe place.

Nets Blog: You've been to visit Barclays Center a few times in recent months. What do you think of the progress, and how excited are you that it's actually opening in just over a month?

Deron: I'll be surprised if it's open in a month, from looking at it. (Laughs) I kept messing with them: 'You guys got a lot of work to do in the next 43 days.' We'll see, but I went a week before I left (for the Olympics) -- so about six weeks ago -- and the changes from then to now, you definitely can see them. And I went a couple of months before that, and it didn't look anything like it does now, then. So they're definitley making progress. They're working on it 24-7, they've got the scoreboard up. I went and saw my suite, where my family's going to sit during games. So that was cool.

Nets Blog: Nice. Now the roster's close to finalized, how do you feel about the team's offseason moves?

Deron: I thought we made great moves. I think we'll put a great team out there. It should be an exciting team. Only time will tell how good we can be, once we get into training camp and see how we mesh and jell.

Nets Blog: Did you learn anything about Mirza Teletovic while playing in Europe?

Deron: I've seen him, some highlights and stuff like that. He looks like he knows how to play. I know he's older, like 28, so probably more ready to play now than somebody who's 20 or 21.

Nets Blog: Any other message for Nets fans?

Deron: I'm just looking forward to having a good team out there and going into Brooklyn. It's going to be exciting for us, it's going to be exciting for the fans and the people of Brooklyn. We're just excited to get out there and represent them.

--Posted by Ben Couch at 10:38 a.m.

August 12, 2012
Billy King London Blog: Day 5

Bit of a lark, this: In a exclusive, General Manager Billy King checks in from London while taking in the men's basketball medal round at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Follow him @bkdefend on Twitter. All photos are from Billy's Instagram (also @bkdefend).

Pre-packed today in anticipation of a USA win, with a 3 p.m. tip for the game. So we headed off early -- wanted to be there for the start.

The game was a close one. Spain gave us everything they had, but our guys were determined to get the Gold Medal. It was an impressive team win. We walked out of the arena with NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana, and he and his wife were as excited as we were. Great to meet one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

Off to the post game party. Should be fun.

--Posted by Billy King at 2:23 p.m. EDT

August 11, 2012
Billy King London Blog: Day 4

Bit of a lark, this: In a exclusive, General Manager Billy King checks in from London while taking in the men's basketball medal round at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Follow him @bkdefend on Twitter. All photos are from Billy's Instagram (also @bkdefend).

Today was another sightseeing day for the family. We jumped on the Tube and headed to The Tower of London. The kids were excited about seeing different things: My son wanted to see the guard guarding the crown jewels, while my daughter wanted to see the jewels themselves. We ran into Lennox Lewis, touring with his family, which was funny because Evander Holyfield was staying at our hotel.

Spent the rest of the day relaxing with the family. Ordered "take-away" food -- as they say here -- and had dinner in the room. I'm ready for the Gold Medal game tomorrow. Are you?

--Posted by Billy King at 8:15 p.m. EDT

August 10, 2012
Billy King London Blog: Day 3

Bit of a lark, this: In a exclusive, General Manager Billy King checks in from London while taking in the men's basketball medal round at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Follow him @bkdefend on Twitter. All photos are from Billy's Instagram (also @bkdefend).

Well, the morning started early as text messages were coming in about the trade. I had known about it for a day, so I wasn't surprised. The Atlantic Division is going to be fun this year. Good thing we've got Brooklyn's Backcourt in tow.

Spent the day with family once again, starting off in the Knightsbridge area. After lunch we went to Hyde Park. Within Hyde Park, we ventured to Kensington Palace. Impressive. Well, maybe not as impressive as Buckingham Palace -- but still pretty nice.

We then had a mission to find Princess Diana Memorial Playground. The kids were ecstatic once they saw it. It was one of the most amazing places we visited.

After that, we headed to the game: Team USA taking on Argentina in the Men's Basketball Semifinals. In this game, I saw a more focused group. The defense got better as the game progressed, and Deron led the rally that broke it open in the 2nd half. He continually found Carmelo, who once again shot the ball great. Good win for Team USA.

Deron's wife, Amy Williams, joined us for the subway ride back, which was jammed and hot. Since it's her birthday today, my kids gave her a big hug and wished her "Happy Birthday."

--Posted by Billy King at 9:27 p.m. EDT

August 9, 2012
Billy King London Blog: Day 2

Today was all about sightseeing with the family. We took the Tube to see Westminster Abbey and also Big Ben. Went for a ride on the London Eye:

... and got a great view of the city:

When we touched down, our kids -- of course -- found a playground, which made the day.

Melanie and I finished things off by joining Coach Johnson and his lovely wife Cassandra for dinner.

--Posted by Billy King at 6:45 p.m. EDT

August 8, 2012
Billy King London Blog: Day 1

Bit of a lark, this: In a exclusive, General Manager Billy King checks in from London while taking in the men's basketball medal round at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Follow him @bkdefend on Twitter. All photos are from Billy's Instagram (also @bkdefend).

Landed in sunny London today. I'm joined by Melanie, my wife, along with our kids, Natane and Reggie. My niece -- who lives in Brooklyn -- is in tow.

We arrived safely at our hotel, but the rooms weren't ready, and we grabbed breakfast at lunch time: 12 noon. But the goal was to stay up as long as possible, so after eating we headed for a walk. Just 10 minutes from the hotel, we made it to Buckingham Palace. What an amazing place.

The rooms were finally ready around 2:30 pm, and it was nap time. We all needed a nap in order to make the 10:15 tip fully awake.

After a nice long nap, I headed to Team USA's hotel headquarters to pick up the tickets. I ran into Women's National Team coach Geno Auriemma in the lobby. We chatted for a bit, and then it was off to find our tickets. Looking for them, I stopped into the Team USA family meal room. While there, ran into Deron's brother and his son, D.J.

Made my way up toward the USA Basketball office. Noticed the Team USA meeting room and saw Coach K was sitting in the room by himself going over his game notes, so I poked my head in. He and I chatted about his family and my family and I wished him luck, letting him get back to his work.

We took the Tube to the game, where we sat with Coach Johnson and his family. The game was never in doubt. If we just focus on defense and run our offense, we should be ok. Day 1 was a good day.

--Posted by Billy King at 8:42 p.m. EDT

July 31, 2012
Team USA vs. Tunisia Live Chat

--Posted by Ben Couch at 11:07 a.m.

July 26, 2012
The Battle of the Boroughs
(... And 81 Other Games)

It's coming. The Brooklyn Nets' Inaugural Season Schedule has been released, and the slate begins with a Barclays Center spectacular against the now-East River rivals, the New York Knicks. The November 1 game will air on TNT as part of the cable network's premiere night for the 2012-13 season.

The matchups are going to be big: Brooklyn's Backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson set against the Knicks' three-pronged frontcourt of Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler; rising sophomores MarShon Brooks and Iman Shumpert; the Nets futures of rookies Tyshawn Taylor and Tornike Shengelia versus the Nets past of long-time franchise player Jason Kidd, now a backup in New York.

And that won't be the only marquee moment: Barclays Center will feature a high-profile matchup on Christmas Day, when the Nets host the Boston Celtics at noon, tipping off the NBA's day-long slate of games. That will mark Boston's second trip to Brooklyn, and the teams' third head-to-head contest of the season. Let's take a look at the rest of the action, month by month:

After opening against the Knicks, the Nets will complete a three-game homestand against the Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves. Their first road trip will be a Florida two-step to Miami and Orlando. Their first West Coast swing comes a week later, when they head to Sacramento, Los Angeles and Oakland, kicking off a stretch that includes six-of-eight games on the road; the month closes with them heading to Boston, Orlando and Miami.

Home: 8 | Road: 7 | Total: 15 | Back-to-Back: 2

This will be a home-heavy month for the Nets, who play more than 60 percent of their December games at Barclays Center. The schedule includes the only visits Oklahoma City, Golden State and Utah will make to Brooklyn, as well as Atlantic Division matchups with the Knicks, 76ers and Celtics. The Nets run into two stretches where they'll play four games in five nights, with the latter part of a five-in-seven run from Dec. 25-31.

Home: 10 | Road: 6 | Total: 16 | Back-to-Back: 4

A balanced month, January -- and the New Year -- will open on the road with three games in four nights, the last at home against the Kings. The NBA Champion Miami Heat will make their only Brooklyn trip (Jan. 30), as do the Suns and Pacers. The Nets will embark on a four-game road trip from Jan. 21-26, taking a short trip to Madison Square Garden before heading to Minnesota, Memphis and Houston.

Home: 7 | Road: 8 | Total: 15 | Back-to-Back: 3

As the season slides into the second half of the schedule, February brings with it All-Star Weekend, this year in Houston from Feb. 15-17. Even in a short month, the Nets are crammed into three back-to-backs -- all part of three-in-four stretches -- and host four Western Conference stalwarts (Lakers, Spurs, Rockets and Grizzlies).

Home: 7 | Road: 5 | Total: 12 | Back-to-Back: 3

There's no way around it -- this is a brutal month for the Nets, one that could well determine their final position in the standings. Brooklyn opens playing four of six games on the road, getting only a two-game homestand before launching on an astounding seven-game trip to close out March. They'll visit, in order: Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles (Clippers), Phoenix, Portland, Denver and Utah, traveling more than 7,000 miles in 14 days while playing playoff-caliber opponents. And that's before we mention the six -- 6! -- back-to-backs and a run of five games in seven nights from March 6-12.


Home: 4 | Road: 11 | Total: 15 | Back-to-Back: 6

The final month levels out, with one three-game road trip splitting a pair of homestands. It's all Eastern Conference from this point out, with divisional games against Philly, Boston and Toronto and the final two games of this inaugural schedule set for Brooklyn against the Wizards and Pistons.

Home: 5 | Road: 4 | Total: 9 | Back-to-Back: 3
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--Posted by Ben Couch at 7 p.m.

July 11, 2012
Summer League: Day 3

--Posted by Ben Couch at 10:33 a.m.
(Updated at 8:37 p.m.)

July 10, 2012
Summer League: Day 2

The Nets took on the Celtics in the opening contest of the AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League, falling 82-73 after leading by as many as 17 points. Al Thornton led the team with 16 points, adding 8 rebounds. MarShon Brooks added 13 points and 4 assists. Game Recap | Box Score | SL Home

The Nets jumped ahead early, leading by 14 at halftime, but struggled to score in the second half. When Jonathan Gibson caught fire in the final period, scoring 15 of his 17 points, the Celtics took the lead for good. Here are today's takeaways:

  • The kid is all right. MarShon Brooks finally made a field goal, cutting for a first-quarter layup after missing his first 11 Summer League shots. He remained aggressive throughout, probing the defense to find his spots and finishing the game with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting (3-6 FTs). He added four assists, and could've had a few more, notably running a textbook pick-and-roll with center Jeff Foote, who missed the layup.
  • Adam Morrison has midrange game. After a quiet opener, Morrison showed he's not just a spot-up shooter, scoring three baskets between 5 and 15 feet away. He also chased down 10 rebounds, recording the game's only double-double.
  • Bryant Dunston and Tornike Shengelia know from physical. Brooklyn baseball legend Shawon Dunston's nephew threw his body around all game, pulling down 10 rebounds in 21 minutes. Shengelia followed up on a solid debut with 8 points and 4 boards in 14 minutes, running the floor well and throwing down a few impressive dunks.
  • Tyshawn Taylor is a work in progress. The rookie showed some impressive flashes -- nailing 4-of-9 shots (1-3 3Ps) and throwing down a dunk on the break -- but committed 7 turnovers without an assist. Several times, Taylor seemed committed to a pre-made decision rather than reacting to the defense. Something to track during the rest of the week.

--Posted by Ben Couch at 2:43 p.m.
(Updated at 8:37 p.m.)

July 9, 2012
Nets Open Summer League with Loss

The Nets took on the Magic in the opening contest of the AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League, falling 92-88 after coming back from 22 points down to tie the game in the final minutes. Al Thornton led the team with 18 points and 7 rebounds, while rookie Tyshawn Taylor posted 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Game Recap | Box Score | SL Home

The Nets got behind early in this one, trailing by 15 after one, gradually pulling their way back into the game when the Magic began missing free throws (they finished 23-for-3; 62.2%). Orlando was able to close out on the strength of a three-point play by Andrew Nicholson. Not the ideal debut, but there were several takeaways:

  • MarShon Brooks had a bad day. Yes. The most talented player in the game spent most of the day scoreless, finishing with three points (all free throws), four turnovers and an 0-for-10 shooting line. But there are four remaining games, and based on last season's NBA success, I'm pretty confident Brooks will be better in all four. So is he.
  • Tyshawn Taylor can slice. The Nets' rookie showed ability off the dribble, creating openings for drives and dishes. Loosed himself for jumpers a few times, but with a noticeable hitch in his shot. Chalk that up to game-action rust unless it's still there by Friday. If he keeps himself under control -- the main question coming out of Kansas -- he could boost the second unit with some up-tempo play.

    Also, his transition three to tie the game was ice cold. Perhaps unwise, but hey -- Chauncey Billups made that his shot, and he won a ring. So there's that.
  • Toko Shengelia will teach us the Georgian word for "hustle." Twenty-one-year-old Georgian forward Tornike Shengelia was selected straight out of the "draft-and-stash" handbook, but then flipped the script to get on the floor in front of the Nets' coaching staff for Summer League Training Camp. Still adjusting to the NBA whistles -- he picked up five fouls in 18 minutes -- Shengelia does not shy from contact, hitting the deck for loose balls and attempting to take charges. He also showed good passing instincts, finding the open man out of the double team and one-touching a transition pass to a cutting teammate for two.

    Shengelia's already got an NBA body: 6-foot-9 and 228 pounds; sanding some of those rough edges off his game could result in a roster spot and minutes this fall.
  • Al Thornton remains aggressive. The former first-round pick showed the talent that got him there, putting up a team-high 18 points. But he also shot just 6-for-14 (.428) -- a percentage that will need to improve for him to shake his reputation as an inefficient volume shooter on offense.
  • Carleton Scott has been putting in work. Not known for his outside shot at Notre Dame (.360 career 3P%), Scott nailed 3-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc Monday. He finished 6-of-9 overall, scoring 16 points and helping fuel the second-half comeback to tie.

--Posted by Ben Couch at 4:29 p.m.

July 6, 2012
Summer Camp Continues for Nets

On the second day of Summer League Training Camp, Brooklyn Nets coach Avery Johnson met with media in between the day's two practice sessions. During the portion of the scrimmage open to media, guards MarShon Brooks and Tyshawn Taylor looked smooth, penetrating to the basket or shaking defenders for open looks. Additionally, rookie forward Tornike Shengelia showed a high motor, notably pressing Brooks from the baseline without fouling for an entire possession.

Tyshawn Taylor

Jeff Foote

--Posted by Ben Couch at 6:05 p.m.
July 5, 2012
Amidst the Moratorium, Nets Open Summer League Camp

With free agency underway, but league business shut down through July 11, the Brooklyn Nets have focused on preparations for next week's Orlando Pro Summer League, bringing in 15 players they hope will prove a successful unit by Monday's opener. Second-year guard MarShon Brooks highlights the roster, along with 2012 second-round picks Tyshawn Taylor and Tornike Shengelia. Also along for the ride will be former first-round pick Adam Morrison, Julian Wright and Al Thornton. Edwin Ubiles, the D-League Rookie of the Year, will have a chance to earn minutes at 2-guard.

MarShon Brooks

"Toko" Shengelia

Taylor Ready to Take the Floor

Point guard Tyshawn Taylor, whom the Nets acquired on Draft night in a deal with the Trail Blazers, is itching to get out there already:

"I just want to come out here and play, play well. I want to show my coaches a little bit of what I can do, what they can expect from me on both ends of the court. And just play, man, just play and have fun. I haven't played competition, competitive basketball in so long -- I've just been training and working out -- so to get up and down, play 5-on-5, is gonna be fun. I'm looking forward to it."

--Posted by Ben Couch at 7:51 p.m.
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