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April 23, 2012

Bobby, Having Made His Marks ...

Nets Assistant GM Bobby Marks started with the team as an intern 17 years ago. We caught up with Marks after last night's final game in New Jersey: After all the time you've spent here, what runs through your head as this comes to a close?

Bobby Marks: A lot of emotions. As I've said, this organization pretty much raised me, since I was young. And 17 years later, it's sad that this ends, but I'm excited about going to Brooklyn. That in mind, what excites you about the upcoming move?

Bobby Marks: I just think it's exciting to be part of a community and a hometown team, similar to the Knicks and the Rangers and the Mets go through, to have that built-in fanbase – that's the excitement. And also the arena; it's exciting to go into a state-of-the-art arena. While a lot must be coming to mind, are there any particular memories standing out?

Bobby Marks: Yeah, I mean, probably the proudest moment was how we rebounded after we lost Game Three up in Boston. We wound up winning Games Four, Five and Six to go into the Finals for the first year and just have these guys, the heart that those teams back in the day really showed. Everyone always talks about Game Five, Indiana, which kind of catapulted the organization to another level and stuff. But Game Four, in Boston, with that environment was something that really stands out. With all the ups and downs you've witnessed, what's motivated you to keep progressing within the same organization?

Bobby Marks: You know, it's a unique job. I mean, what's the alternative at the end of the day? It's an exciting field to be in: there's tons of highs and lows; we've experienced a lot of highs, some lows. But I see a lot of kids dying to get into this field – that really motivates me.

--Posted by Ben Couch at 11:17 p.m.

Alumni Offer Up a Few Memories

Nets Assistant GM Bobby Marks started with the team as an intern 17 years ago. We caught up with Marks after last night's final game in New Jersey:

"They'll be able to create that atmosphere in the new place. That being said, not all arenas are equal, and from what I'm hearing the new one is going to be spectacular and will hopefully be a place that people will want to come (to) and be a part of something special and really enjoy themselves and have some nice comforts while they're there."
–Todd MacCulloch, Center

"I think the legacy would be one, going to the finals two years in the row, opening a new arena, The Meadowlands in 1981. The fans in New Jersey are very intelligent, they know basketball. They are going to be disappointed that the team is leaving but Brooklyn is not that far away so hopefully people still come out."
–Albert King, Small Forward

"I live in New Jersey so I go to a lot of games, I'm around a lot. I'm happy to come back now, especially for a big night with all these players, coaches, and a sellout crowd saying farewell to the franchise here. It's a little bit sad but also I think about the good times that I had here. It was a wonderful experience overall."
–Kerry Kittles, Shooting Guard

"A lot of players came through New Jersey and played for the Nets. We had the glory days when they went to two championships with Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, and Richard Jefferson. It's great to have the turnout that they had, a lot of the ex-players and some of my former teammates. It's bittersweet. They are moving to Brooklyn so it is going to be interesting. We are going to have two teams in New York. We will see what happens."
–Kenny Anderson, Point Guard

--Posted by Ben Couch at 9:23 p.m.

April 16, 2012

Green Gets the Start

Nets coach Avery Johnson revealed before tonight's game that Gerald Green and Jordan Williams would get their first starts of the season tonight against the Heat. We caught up with Green before the game to discuss the lineup shift: So good news from coach today?

Gerald Green: Yeah, I'm excited. It's always good to go against the best, one of the best in the league. It's a good opportunity for me – not really to showcase my talent, but to go against the top competition. That's what it's all about – playing against the better competition. I'm definitely going to be up for this game; I can't wait for it to start. After getting two 10-days and the season guarantee, does this feel like another step forward for you?

Gerald Green: Uhm ... not really, you know what? Because my whole goal is just try to win as many games as I can here. I'm not really trying to have individual goals for myself. My individual goal, I accomplished that: getting back into the league. So that's been everything for me. This is always a good confidence booster for me knowing that the team has faith in me to start me tonight, and I'm going to go out there and try to do the same things I've been doing coming off the bench. Coach said he didn't tell you earlier because he didn't want you amped up and losing sleep. That kind of thing can be an issue for you?

Gerald Green: Yeah, it is. But I think that I'm a lot older now. I understand that you've got to focus and get your mind right and stuff, but I think the reason he didn't do it is to stay in the same mindset that I've been doing, not knowing, which is pretty good. Because I think if he told me last night, I would've been a little fired; but I wouldn't have been too much, because I understand you've got to treat every game the same. Your role off the bench is pretty scoring-oriented. Does that change going into a game starting, knowing you might have to stretch it out?

Gerald Green: I don't think so. I think that they're still going to want me to be aggressive. Obviously, now the tempo's going to start with me, how I come into the game or how I approach the game. I'm going to let the game come to me a little more than I would coming off the bench. But at the same time, I think I've got to still have the mentality: be aggressive, take open shots, try to get teammates involved, run the floor, rebound – try to do all the things I'm supposed to do; I've just got to do it a faster pace now that I'm starting.

UPDATE: Gerald started slowly, putting up a scoreless, 0-for-6 first half, but recovered to shoot 6-of-11 in the final two periods, totaling 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting. Jordan Williams put up two points and four rebounds in 32 minutes.

--Posted by Ben Couch at 7:13 p.m.

April 14, 2012

Morrow's Temple Run Tips

If you've paid attention to Anthony Morrow's Twitter feed (@BlackBoiPachino), you might well have noticed some prodigious Temple Run scores. The two-guard has been chasing teammate Deron Williams' high score of 4.5 million, edging ever closer, but topping out for now at 4.3 mil. Here's a few tips from Morrow for your own attempt to topple D-Will's Nets team high:

  • You gotta get the wings, and you gotta get the boost in the beginning.
  • You've got to fully activate all the little stuff, like the magnet and things, run fast (boost), all that stuff.
  • You've just got to keep playing until you get better. I thought I was never going to get a million, and now it's easy.

Morrow's motivated: "I have to beat his score. I was getting so mad when people would call me and text me, and it messes me up – I get thrown out. I'd go crazy, man." And he's ready to not only pass Deron, but also the 5 million plateau. He promised to get it right then. Stay tuned.

--Posted by Ben Couch at 7:18 p.m.

April 6, 2012

Lopez Shut Down for Season

Nets general manager Billy King met with media before Friday's game against the Wizards, and informed them center Brook Lopez – who had played only five games this season after breaking his foot in the final preseason game – would not return before end of the year.

King said the decision resulted from a discussion with the 24-year-old center and Lopez's agent, Arn Tellem.

"He is healing nicely, but with 10 games to go and him being a (restricted) free agent and looking for the future, we'll sit him down for the rest of this year."

After talking with Lopez, King said the center understood that most of his basketball career rests in front of him, though he'd like to be back on the court. Though Gerald Wallace was acquired after Lopez went down for the second time, when an ankle sprain re-aggravated the original break, King didn't worry about not having a chance to see his best three players – those two and star guard Deron Williams – together on court.

"We can see that in October," King said, alluding to next preseason. "We saw what Brook and Deron looked like in Dallas (when Lopez scored 38 points), with Gerald Green. Gerald Wallace has made an impact now, so I think that will just enhance our team."

That scenario in mind, King believes the team's roster is headed in the right direction, with great versatility because of multi-position players like Wallace, Green and Brooks. He's also encouraged that Lopez has gained strength while rehabbing the ankle, a sentiment echoed by Coach Avery Johnson, who said postgame that the team plans to incorporate Lopez into the team's "Summer League Program."

"He's not going to play summer league, but we have some ideas with how we can help him get better this summer and get him ready for training camp this year."

--Posted by Ben Couch at 7:13 p.m.

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