Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King was a guest on the Hoops Show with Eric Smith and Paul Jones on Sportsnet Radio the Fan 590 Thursday night and he discussed his team’s issues in dealing with Hurricane Sandy as well as how the new players are fitting in.
The Nets were supposed to open their season Thursday night against the cross-town rival New York Knicks but the game was forced to be postponed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The Nets will now play their first game at the Barclays Center by hosting the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night, a game which can be seen live on Sportsnet.
King said he is looking forward to getting down to business in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“We’ve got all our guys safely in a hotel and now I am ready to play a game,” he said.
Even getting the players to practise has been an issue for the Nets as they were forced to carpool to get to practice on Thursday, but they appear to have worked out all of the logistics and the players’ focus has returned to basketball.
“Once the guys realized that their families were safe and they were safe, and the concern for everybody in the area that had lost things, they were able to focus on basketball,” King explained. “Two good days of practice. The anxiety has subsided. Deron (Williams) was like, ‘I am ready to play now.’”
In the offseason, the Nets brought in a few new faces including Joe Johnson, Andray Blatche and Mirza Teletovic. King believes his team is talented but knows they will need time to get on the same page.
“I think we are deep. We have a lot of depth at a lot of positions and I guess the biggest thing now is just trying to figure out how to play together,” King said. “You have Joe Johnson, who played in a system pretty much his whole career, now coming in and fitting in with Deron (Williams). We added Andray Blatche who came from another situation.
“The biggest thing is one, I think we are deep, we have a lot of talent and two, it’s going to take us a little while to get it to gel and click because there is so much newness to it.”
But he could not put a timetable on how long it would take before we saw the Nets in top form, noting that it didn’t take long for Boston to win a title after they acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen but that it took much longer for Miami’s Big Three to figure out how to play together before they were able to claim a championship.
“You can’t put a timetable on it. I think it just happens,” King said, cautioning that the Nets may not be a finished product. “You sort of see it as the season goes on and you may have to tweak it to make it work — subtract some players and add some players to make it work.
“But I think after 20 games, how you are at that point, that’s what you are going to be for the season. From a manager’s standpoint you look at your team after the first 20 games and that’s how your season’s going to go.”