Nenad Krstic Chat Transcript
It was December 22, 2006 - Nenad Krstic's career was on the rise in his third season as a Net. The Serbian Center was averaging 16.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and a .526 field-goal percentage.
In the third quarter of a battle against the LA Lakers, Krstic caught a pass in the lane, backed down his defender, and suddenly, his knee gave out. The seven-footer crumbled to the court ? the obvious pain showing on his face - clutching his left knee. The diagnosis was a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He underwent surgery in January 2007 and quickly began a long and arduous rehabilitation.
His work ethic pushed his progress ahead of schedule and he was back in time for training camp in October 2007. In his debut game, during the 2007 preseason, Krstic scored 11 points on 5-of-5 from the field. It brought back great memories and with it, perhaps unfair expectations of the old Krstic instantly appearing.
After that game he struggled with his conditioning and confidence, and the speed of the game. In late November the Nets felt he would be better served building up these attributes outside of games, and this has been his daily routine. He's eager to return to the court with his teammates, and start practicing again later this month.
Nenad joined the fans for a live chat on Tuesday, January 15 and talked about his return, his nickname "Curly" and more. If you missed the live chat, the transcript is below.
Zach East Brunswick: What was the worst part about getting hurt?
Nenad Krstic : Just the whole rehab. The worst thing was the first 10 days. I couldn't walk, on either leg. I was on crutches and it was really bad.
Special_Delivery (Englewood Cliffs): Hi Nenad! Do you feel like you've added more muscle than you had before the injury?
Nenad Krstic : Yes, definitely. Before training camp I was about 280 and that was with more muscle, because during rehab I could really concentrate on upper body, since that area wasn't injured. I gained at least 10 pounds of muscle on my upper body during that time.
Frazer (Columbus): When are you coming back we would be sweet with you
Nenad Krstic : Hopefully if everything is OK, and things are going well right now, probably, I will travel with the team on the West Coast trip. If everything goes good there, I'm hoping by February 1 can be ready to contribute to the team on the floor.
Jandric (Philippines): With the Nets' current success with the athleticism of Josh and Sean, how does it affect your role in this team? Would it prefer reclaiming the starting center position or would coming off the bench be alright? Looking forward to having you back!
Nenad Krstic : For me, right now, it doesn't matter. I'm happy with how Josh and Sean are playing. I just want to get healthy and on the court. Whether or not that's as a starter or from the bench doesn't matter right now.
Carlos (Davie): How tough was it mentally, for you to leave the court in late November and go back to rehabilitation?
Nenad Krstic : It was really, really hard, especially because I had a goal to make it for opening night, which I made, but then I had to go back to rehab. It was tough. Like you said, mentally, it was hard. I know my knee is fine now and I'm past that and I'm in a good frame of mind to come back and help the Nets.
Alex (Fort Lee): Hi Nenad, I know you have been training a lot and I would like to know how your signature mid-range jumpshot is going. It was really valuable for the Nets to have a shooting big man.
Nenad Krstic : Shooting has not been a problem for me during the rehab. I just couldn't run and jump. But I could shoot! I may even have extended my range to the three-point line with all this time shooting during rehab.
Plainsboro: Hi Curly, Where did your nickname come from? - Kris
Nenad Krstic : First of all, it's not Curly. Coach asked me when I first came here and I told him "KRLE" which was my nickname from a kid in Serbia, which is a short version of Krstic. But coach couldn't pronounce it, so he just called me "Curly". And now, somehow that stuck.
Katie (Lebanon, NJ): As an international player, has the transition to a different style of play and culture been difficult? If so, how?
Nenad Krstic : Yes, it was really hard. In my first year I knew no English. Everything was different, the game, the food, the people. Also, I didn't play much at the beginning and it took me about 6 months to get acclimated. Now, it seems like I've been here for a long time and I really feel comfortable. But the adjustment at first, was tough.
gatineau: Nenad are you going to play for serbia, we really need you.
Nenad Krstic : Yeah, definitely! We have a new coach and he'll be visiting me this weekend and I'm very excited about playing for Serbia. It's an honor to play for my National Team and I'm looking forward to playing this summer.
Answ3r (France): What's your opinion about the results of the team, and the lack of domination inside
Nenad Krstic : It's hard to say, we have a strong front court, with talented players. I can't really agree with you on that. Our two young guys are doing a fine job and Jason Collins is playing well and helping us alot. Jamal is a good teammate. I can't agree with you there. I think we have a good inside presence and it's only going to get better.
AJ PISCATAWAY : do u think u can run with the team on the west cost trip
Nenad Krstic : There is a plan that maybe I can. It's hard on the West Coast sometimes, but maybe I can get into a shootaround. Mostly, though I will work on my own, on my conditioning and things like that. I will be paying attention and working on my conditioning and try and get back into the flow of being a regular with the team on this trip, but without participating in all the practices, maybe just the shootarounds.
Nenad Krstic : Thank you for the questions. I appreciate the interest of all Nets fans. You've been very supportive of me during my rehab and I can't wait to get on the court and help the Nets win games. Thanks again.