Brooklyn Nets Exit Interviews: Top Quotes
Seven Nets met the media for exit interviews on Wednesday at HSS Training Center
See what the Nets had to say at Wednesday's exit interviews after their season ended Tuesday night.
On expectations arriving in Brooklyn:
“Just coming in to a team that won (28) games and didn’t really get any big free agents, so it wasn’t like we were supposed to win 42 games, supposed to be the sixth seed. Expectations were a little lower. But we took it one day at a time, we worked, we grind, we followed behind our leader in Kenny and like I said, we had a successful, fun year.”
On if success can lure free agents:
“It’s hard for me to speak on that because I’m not a top guy. I don’t really know what goes through their minds, what they want out of things. I guess guys like myself, like JD, and everybody else would probably say, this is a top-notch organization. They run everything right from top to bottom. They take care of you. They say family and they stand by that. Like JD just said, with the whole performance team it’s detailed they’re not just doing it to do it. You see the results and you see why you’re doing this and doing that and not practicing and all those little things. I appreciate it.”
On Jarrett Allen:
“I’ve been seeing it all year. I believe highly in JA. I think that he should be borderline All-Star center in the near future. He’s got some things that he needs to work on. You know he just turned 21. I know a lot of y’all give him a hard time, but I think he’s going to have a hell of a career and being here is definitely going to help that out a lot.”
On reflecting on success so far:
I don’t do time off. I’ll be traveling tomorrow, but I’ll be working the day after. That’s kind of the way this works. That’s part of the reason I’m here, part of the reason I am who I am. I’m going back into a time chamber, man. This is just the start. That’s the same thing I said last year when everybody thought that was the ceiling. He finally broke out, he finally showed what he is. And I came back this year and was better, and I plan on doing that for the rest of my career."
On describing Nets franchise:
"I’ve been in two other places in my tenure in the league. This is a fairy-tale experience, man. They really care about you. It’s easy to come to work every day. It’s a joy to come to work every day, and that’s top down from management to performance staff, all that. In terms of practice, we’re very cognizant of the body and trying to keep guys healthy, keep them strong throughout the year. So, you’re going to have all the P.T.s, all the soft-tissue (massages), everything that you’re going to need. We’ve got a nutritionist who’s going to help us in that area, too. It’s just a very players-focused situation. Even in regards to your family. They’re going to send flowers to your parents, they’re going to make sure that, if you have a newborn, he gets to come to as many games as possible. All of it is players-first. That’s the culture they’ve built here, and it’s been a pleasure to be a part of it."
On next step for Nets:
"I think the main thing we’re all going to be focused on is just personal improvement, man to man, one through 15. Obviously, we know there’s going to be some turnover because we have so many free agents. It’s just unlikely we bring back the exact same roster. But that’s what we’ve got to be focused on right now. That’s kind of the way it is. After July 1, we’ll have a more concrete view of who we’re going to be and what we’re going to be and I can probably better answer that question."
On what people don't know about his experience in Brooklyn:
“It’s a lot of love in Brooklyn. I would say, I know from being someone that’s easily pointed out – people in Brooklyn love seeing you – but they let you have your space. It’s a big city. You’re gonna have your space. You’re gonna have your enjoyment. You’re gonna enjoy this destination.”
On being nominated for NBA Community Assist Award:
“It’ll mean a lot. It’s been my goal since I’ve been here, just to be active in the community just to try to give back all I have. I have more than I need and I know others want more of what they don’t have. So I’m just trying to give back to them.”
On working on 3-point shooting:
“I think it’s repetition. All my life I’ve been a back to the basket big. Growing up, you learn to shoot hook shots, not three-pointers. I think it’s just me getting reps over and over and getting comfortable back there, and just getting reps in the game.”
On the season:
"That just shows what type of group we are. All the success we had a team and organization just comes back to putting the right people in place to be a recipe together that’s going to result in success. We’ve got a lot of guys that’s been up and down, been through the ringer and back, so for us to start off like that and get everybody riled about the Nets once again having another Nets season. For us to just to turn it around like that it shows what type of a group we have."
On going to playoffs and getting back:
"Yeah, once you get a taste of the playoffs – I couldn’t imagine not making it back to the playoffs. Give credit to LeBron and those guys who do it so many consecutive years. That playoff experience is beautiful. So just being the best I can be this summer and making sure the people we’re going to be around are making the same improvement and growth going into the summer and finishing the summer strong going to the season and I think we can do something special. That’s my ultimate goal, just being a part of something special."
On memorable moments from this season:
"I would say that Sacramento game was crazy. I’ve been on the other end of being up like that and talking trash to a player or something and telling them the game is over, it’s over. The start of the fourth quarter. It’s over. There’s no way you guys are going to win. And the player looking at me like, ‘yeah alright.’ I’ve been on that end so for me to be on that end and players talking to me like that and I’m the player that’s like, ‘yeah alright, we’ll see.’ It just brings chills because I just remember being in that position and a young player at that. That game, there’s so many games where I just surprised myself individually. The Cleveland game going into All-Star break. Charlotte game, the birthday thing. That Orlando game was pretty sick. At the end of the day, I’m still a fan of good basketball and individual players. I was watching Dame Lillard last night and I remember coming into the league and talking so much trash to this dude. Because I’m from Louisville man, Louisville Lip, Muhammad Ali, ya’ll know that’s what we do. So I’m talking so much trash to this dude. To be four years in man, I’m taking my hat off because I learned so much from this dude. When we’re on the court it’s like we hate each other but I really, it’s like a role model, you’re looking up to somebody and watching them perform at that level to where you want to be. We just lost in the playoffs, my first experience, so to see him go to another round or do whatever that is and watch him do it, that’s the steps that I want to take so that’s a heckuva year man."
On what he'll work on in the offseason:
"I feel like I’m attacking every part. In specific, still working on my strength. I think I’ll always be working on that, getting stronger, shooting, passing, just skills that every guard wants to work on in the offseason."
On changing perception of the Nets:
"For us, it doesn’t really seem like we came out of nowhere. From the outside, it may seem that way. We know the type of work we put in the offseason and all the way through the year, so we knew coming in what our goals were and where we were headed."
On carrying over rehab experience:
"That rehab was extremely tough. Even when I was back playing I still continued to do it. I think that just showed a lot of resiliency and it was great because it was an every day things and all type of day thing. It was huge. The performance staff did a great job, coaches, teammates, everybody had their hands in there. It was huge."
On the season:
“Overall a great season. Just where we were last year to winning 28 games, to making the playoffs, a lot of ups and downs – I think it was a great season, man, when you reflect back on it. Of course you didn’t want to lose the way we did against the Sixers. But they were the better team, and you can only grow from there.”
On changing perception of the Nets:
“Of course. I think if you’re a top tier player this is an organization you want to be at, just from coaching to the performance. It’s a place you want to be. Even the fans; that playoff game was crazy. I think this is definitely an organization you want to be at. And it changed…our young core kinda helped change some of the perspective of these top-tier players. You’ve got to see; it‘s all in the recruiting process. Now it’s all in the media process, too; y’all got to put out good stuff.”
On possibly returning next season:
“The biggest thing, you’ve got to let your agents take care of that. At the end of the day this is definitely a place us veterans want to be because the performance is really good with our body; they do a good job with us. So that’s something you’ve got to let your agent take care of and if it makes sense for your career, that’s what you do. But at the end of the day it’s all about we play this game for your family, to support your family and all that, so at the end of the day you’ve just got to do what’s best for you. And I can’t dictate what’s best for Jared or Ed. So at the end of the day you’ve just got to do what’s best for you.”
On what this season meant for him:
"I think individually, you know, out of sight, out of mind. And so for me, my role in Phoenix was just to be a leader off the court, not really on the court. And so they had two young draft picks, the fourth pick and the eighth pick in Bender and Chriss, and so I wasn’t even really practicing. The roles were totally reversed. It was just being a good veteran. What I think teams will figure out is, yes, you can have a couple guys like that, but it’s better, you get more out of your young players when your vets play and kind of show them. ‘Cause they can see, hey, I’m more talented, I’m more athletic than this person, I have more tools, but why are they more successful at such an older age? And so they see that, and you give them the little tricks and the trades. And so for me it’s being able to play, showing the good game, showing the IQ, showing, you know, just leadership, so people see that. Like I say, if I was back in Phoenix and I didn’t play again, I could be out of the league. I don’t think that’s the case now."
On the 2018-19 season:
"I just think just the development we saw in training camp, just the talent we have here and the ups and downs, it’s even more gratifying when you go on an eight-game losing streak and people count you out and you come back on a seven-game winning streak and you’re just fighting. Some of our big wins this year, at Houston, at Denver, some of our comebacks down 26 in the fourth to Sacramento on that road trip, the at Orlando comeback. There were a lot of highlights here for them to build on. And just seeing guys take on their opportunities. D-Lo, after Caris gets hurt and him getting to the All-Star (Game). Spencer, his tear he was going on for that Sixth Man (award). You just saw a lot of—on this team, which is very rare, you basically had 15 guys who really, really contributed to wins. Rondae starting to not (playing), getting DNPs to a game-winner at Sacramento; Shabazz, DNPs, I think he had like 24 in the fourth, I mean 24 in Chicago, won that game for us. So, this team has a lot of good depth, a lot of good chemistry for us, man, and a good building block to lay the foundation here."
On Kenny Atkinson and accountability:
"I haven’t played for a coach like Kenny for a while, probably since Larry Brown, where he’s just so attention to detail and so on top of players and coaches for excellence. So when it comes to practice, getting on ballboys for being lazy, getting on players for not knowing what they’re supposed to do. And I really like it, I really appreciate it because, in this league, so much politics go on. Sometimes the best player doesn’t always get to play. And I can honestly say you saw Kenny, early on in the season, some of our best players like D’Angelo weren’t playing fourth quarters. And you see how—I always believe that you gotta earn what you’re given, and so him being able to have to earn that respect and earn his trust, it made him into an All-Star. And you see that now. Every fourth quarter, we need D’Angelo. And it took a while for that. It took a while for certain players and you can respect that because it’s not like that in a lot of situations, especially young teams."
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