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Brooklyn Nets held players-only meeting after loss to Portland Trail Blazers

Joe Johnson NetsThe Brooklyn Nets came into the season with championship aspirations. They have plenty of time to turn their misfortunes around, but a 3-7 record was not the start they were looking for. Adding veterans like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to a roster that already included Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez was supposed to be a recipe for success. That has not been the case.

On Monday, the Nets lost a home game against the Portland Trail Blazer — their fourth loss in five games. According to Tim Bontemps of the NY Post, the locker room remained closed for 25 minutes after the game and was a “ghost town” when the doors finally opened. Johnson said the players had just held a players-only meeting.

“Just talking about the game, and what we’ve got to figure out,” Johnson said. “We’ve just got to get some chemistry, because when we get stagnant to where we can’t get a bucket, we have to have something we can go to and we’ve just got to figure it out.”

Chemistry is likely one problem, but the Nets have to be concerned about the durability of Pierce and Garnett. KG is nursing an ankle injury and has averaged just 6.9 points per game this season. He is shooting just 30.9% from the field. Pierce is averaging 13.2 points while battling a groin injury. Still, Johnson stuck with chemistry as the main issue.

“Chemistry,” Johnson reiterated when asked about Brooklyn’s struggles. “It seems like at one point in time we have pretty good chemistry … then we just look like we don’t know what we’re out there doing.

“We get a little frustrated when the defensive schemes stop working, guys stop making shots and then the scheme is kind of out of the window. We’ve just got to stick to the game plan and see what we can do to get out of this.”

Pierce and Garnett are huge names with championship experience, but Nets fans have to be wondering if they simply have logged too many minutes throughout their careers to make another NBA Finals run. At this point, I don’t see it happening.

Jason Kidd leans to Joe Johnson taking last shot for Brooklyn Nets

Joe Johnson NetsThe Brooklyn Nets have a star-filled roster this season, but head coach Jason Kidd believes Joe Johnson might be the team’s closer.

Kidd cited statistics when saying that Johnson might be the guy to get the final shot for the team, though he thinks the most important thing is to make the best basketball play.

“Well, if you’re into analytics, you would look at Joe Johnson as the clear-cut, of the guy taking the last-second shot. He was 9 for 10 with 24 seconds or less, so that would be your guy that could, who’s the closer,” Kidd said Tuesday, per The Brooklyn Game.

“But the game of basketball is something that, you put five guys out there and you draw up a play for your- for one player, most of the time it doesn’t end up being that one guy taking that shot. He creates a problem, which results in one of his teammates getting a wide open look, and make or miss, it’s the right basketball play. So for us, it’s about making the right basketball play at the end. But if you’re looking at stats, which a lot of you guys do, Joe Johnson is the name that comes first.”

In addition to Johnson, the Nets have proven stars like Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. All of those players are talented and have shown over the years that they can deliver at the end of games (some to more of an extent than others).

Maybe the stats are in Johnson’s favor, but I’m not sure he’s a better end-of-game option than Williams or Garnett. My guess is things will change depending on the situation.

Chest bump to Beyond the Buzzer

Jay-Z reportedly selling his stake in Brooklyn Nets to Jason Kidd

Jay-Z-Jason-KiddJason Kidd is the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and spent more than six seasons with the team as a player. Now, he is reportedly taking his investment in the team to the next level.

According to the NY Post’s Page Six, Jay-Z is selling his minority ownership stake in the Nets to Kidd for roughly $500,000. Jay-Z, who has broken into the world of sports agency, owned 1/15th of a percent of the team. The move was reportedly pushed for by the team’s other owners.

“Other owners want to give Jason a part ownership of the team, and urged Jay to sell his shares to him,” a source reportedly told Page Six.

Interestingly enough, the Post also noted that it was Kidd who helped convince Jay-Z to become involved with the Nets in 2003 when Kidd was a star point guard for the then-New Jersey Nets. Now that Roc Nation is looking to represent professional sports stars like Robinson Cano and Kevin Durant — and even a certain college superstar — the relationship between Jay-Z and Kidd has seemingly come full circle.

UPDATE: According to NetsDaily, Jay-Z is selling half of his shares to Kidd and the other half to one of the Nets’s current minority owners.

Nets.com now forwards to Boston Celtics team website

Nets.com Celtics

The folks behind the Nets.com website are at it again. This time they’ve set up the domain to forward to the official website of the Boston Celtics.

In case you’re unfamiliar, the people running Nets.com have made a habit of teasing the Brooklyn Nets. Last October, the website featured a photo of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with his tongue sticking out, likely because of Cuban’s feud with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The next month, the Nets.com site redirected to the official website of the New York Knicks. Now it’s redirecting to the Celtics’ site. I’d say the site would be forwarding to the Atlantic Division rival Philadelphia 76ers next, but the Nets.com people probably don’t care enough about the Sixers to make that change.

H/T Barstool Sports Boston

Jason Terry: Brooklyn Nets will win championship, Deron Williams will be MVP

Jason-Terry-Paul-Pierce-Kevin-Garnett-NetsJason Terry started drinking the Kool-Aid the moment he signed with the Boston Celtics, and it appears he is going to do the same with the Brooklyn Nets. The 35-year-old sharpshooter got a Celtics championship tattoo before he played a single game in green. Now that he has been traded to the Nets, he’s already talking about bringing a championship to New York.

“We are going to kick butt and take names, and hopefully that’s gonna end up in a championship,” Terry told ESPN New York 98.7 FM on Thursday. “There’s something in the air here that says the Brooklyn Nets will be the NBA champions next year.”

In addition to winning a championship, Terry believes point guard Deron Williams now has the players he needs around him to win a league MVP.

“I’m saying Deron Williams for MVP, with the pieces we have here,” Terry said.

In order to win an NBA championship, Brooklyn will likely have to go through the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Given the way LeBron James has played over the past two seasons, that looks like a tall task even with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce now wearing Nets uniforms. However, Terry feels he and Jason Kidd hold the key to beating Miami.

“I’m not concerned. We have the formula,” he said, via the NY Daily News. “Jason Kidd and I are the only ones to crack that code.”

Terry is known as a great veteran leader, and this is one of the reasons why. He radiates confidence and tries to pass it on to his teammates. Personally, I feel that Pierce, Garnett and Terry are too old to take down the Heat. They were showing serious signs of age in Boston, and there’s no reason that won’t continue next season. It’s going to take a lot more than trash talk to get through Miami.

Kevin Garnett: Trade to Brooklyn Nets ‘forced on us a little bit’

Paul Pierce Kevin GarnettKevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry were traded to the Brooklyn Nets in June as part of a surprising multi-player deal. The three players are expected to solidify an already strong roster and potentially lead Brooklyn to a title run. The trade was jarring because not many expected to see happen Pierce and KG dealt in the final years of their career.

Garnett, 37, was considering retirement this offseason and, Pierce, 35, wanted to play the rest of his career for the Boston Celtics. But things didn’t work out that way. The Celtics decided to officially break up the team that won them an NBA championship in 2008, which didn’t give the players the chance to have the ending they wanted.

“For six years I embraced the same thing [as Pierce] did,” Garnett said of his relationship with the Celtics in an interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “Obviously not to his magnitude, but it was enough to where we made our stamp and this is where we are and where we’re going to be.

“And then what that changed, it’s almost like you have to deal with it,” Garnett told MacMullan, reflecting on the trade. “It’s not time to be emotional, it’s not time to be reflective. Now you have to make a decision on what’s best for you going forward. And that was the most difficult out of all of this.

“That things were pushed on us, forced on us a little bit … you didn’t see the fairy tale ending.”

Pierce expressed a similar feeling about the trade. He admitted to MacMullan that he didn’t feel like he had the full organizational support the way other franchise players around the league did, and it hurt him.

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Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce traded to Brooklyn Nets for Kris Humphries, others

Paul Pierce Kevin GarnettThe Boston Celtics have officially blown things up. Earlier this week, they released head coach Doc Rivers from his contract and allowed him to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for a first-round draft pick. On Thursday, Boston agreed to a deal that will send Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets.

Now, Boston is officially rebuilding. The Big Three Danny Ainge assembled in 2007 of Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen is all gone. The team was assembled to win a title, and it did just that. The Celtics will reportedly receive three first-round picks from the Nets in addition to Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks and Keith Bogans.

In making a deal with Brooklyn, the Celtics were thinking very long term. None of the players they received will make any type of significant impact, but the NBA requires salaries to be equal in any trade. The trade was more about the draft picks, with Boston receiving a first-rounder in 2014, 2016 and 2018. By possibly 2016 or certainly 2018, Pierce, Garnett and Terry will have all retired. The hope for Boston is that it gets an early draft pick out of the deal at some point in the future — even if it’s the very distant future.

While many Celtics fans are outraged that Pierce will not be retiring in a green uniform, Ainge had little choice. Paying Pierce and Garnett the type of money they deserve was simply out of the question. Now, you have to wonder if Rajon Rondo will be the next superstar leaving town. We’ll get into that a bit more later.