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Dennis Horner, Back in the Big Leagues

March 30, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.On Friday, the NETS announced the signing of F Dennis Horner to a 10-day contract. Horner, who originally made the team out of training camp, had been playing with the NETS' NBA D-League affiliate Springfield Armor since being waived in January.

It might have taken two months, but forward Dennis Horner has once again punched his NBA ticket, afforded an opportunity after some unfortunate injuries left the Nets short-handed heading into a four-game West Coast swing. In 25 games (20 starts) with the team's D-League affiliate Springfield Armor, the 6-foot-9 stretch '4' had been averaging 17.0 points and 8.5 rebounds while shooting .471 from the field and .373 from long range.

We were able to catch up with Horner once the team plane touched down in California. How's it feel to be back?

Dennis Horner: Oh, man. It feels great to be back. It's a dream, still, and I've been working for it, to get back here.

NETS: How'd you find out?

Horner: Well first, my agent called me, and said he'd spoken with (Nets general manager) Billy (King) and they were thinking about bringing me up because of the injuries they had last night. And then Milton Lee, the GM of the Springfield Armor, he called up and let me know.

NETS: Nice that you get to start with a West Coast trip?

Horner: I'll take anything, but this is pretty nice out here. I'm in California can't complain, right?

NETS: Have you gotten any idea of the expectations the Nets hold for this current stint?

Horner: Not yet, no. I really don't know. I haven't talked to anybody about that stuff, no.

NETS: When you returned to the Armor in January, it looked like you went through a bit of an adjustment period before experiencing your recent team and invidual success. What was going on then, and how did things develop positively from there?

Horner: It was just getting my wind back was the one thing, because I didn't get much (game) time with the Nets earlier. I had to get my conditioning back. I talked to Coach (Bob) MacKinnon and Milton and they told me, 'You've just got to stay in there. It usually happens when people just get back.' I got in the flow of things, and felt out how my teammates played and adjusted to them, and we've been on a roll.

NETS: Down in the D-League, how do players view success, in terms of individual callups and team victories?

Horner: I think, as a whole, if your team is winning, people will notice you. When your team is winning and guys are playing well, they get brought up.

NETS: While it's obviously a kick to be called up yourself, what was it like to see teammates like Jeff Foote and Jerry Smith earn NBA time earlier in the year?

Horner: Oh, man. it's great. They're your teammates that you've been working with and working hard all year with. And to finally see them get an accomplishment, it makes you want to play better and play harder. And (then) maybe you can get one, too.

For more on Dennis Horner, revisit our preseason feature on the three Armor players (Horner, Jerry Smith, JamesOn Curry) who participated in NETS training camp.


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