Brook Lopez: We’re looking to surprise people
With the new NBA season still a week way from tipping off, many fans and pundits already believe the Brooklyn Nets will finish with the worst record in the association. It isn’t difficult to think of them as such, as they have one of the weaker rosters on paper.
But the team’s starting center and former All-Star, Brook Lopez, remains positive. He wants to surprise people by stringing some wins together and not finishing the season as cellar-dwellers.
“Internally, we’re not looking at the season like we’re taking it off. We’re looking to surprise people. We’ve all been working together for a long time now, since way before training camp. We’re talking months. We have confidence in one another. We know a lot of our guys, they have an opportunity to come here and show something special, to show the league what they can do in a team setting.”
But, as Lopez said, it will be their familiarity with one another and teamwork that will be their biggest weapon.
The Nets also hired an experienced coach in Kenny Atkinson, who served as the Atlanta Hawks‘ assistant the past three seasons. The 49-year old bench tactician welcomes the challenge of coaching a team with nothing to look forward to in the next couple of years in the draft, as they do not own a series of picks over the next four years. The one thing they currently have going for them is being under the cap. At $18 million under, the Nets have a lot of flexibility when the trade deadline comes, and in free agency next summer.
Their goal of surprising people this season is a very difficult task to achieve, but with a new coach, players who are willing to work hard, and their fans who will be cheering for them no matter what, it is not entirely impossible.