New York Jets RB Le’veon Bell laughs off spot in Top 10 rushers’ poll

Le’veon Bell of the New York Jets appeared in an ESPN poll ranking the league’s top rushers but didn’t appear satisfied with his slot.

An appearance in a top-ten list organized by ESPN would be cause for celebration for many NFL running backs. As Le’veon Bell has proven, however, he’s not like most professional rushers.

The New York Jets starter showed up on the list organized by the network, polling 50 NFL personnel to determine the league’s top rushers. Such a list was bookended by New Yorkers, with Saquon Barkley topping the list and Bell rounding things out. The rankings premiered on ESPN’s morning talk show Get Up!.

Bell was smiling upon learning his spot…but only in the form of sarcastic laughter.

Bell’s reaction was mocked by some, some of whom felt the slot should’ve gone to someone else (Green Bay’s Aaron Jones was a popular proposed substitute). The second-year Jet responded by expressing hope that this season will be played and vowing to right the wrongs of 2019.

Added to the Jets on a four-year, $52.5 million deal last offseason, Bell, 28, ran for only 789 yards last season, his lowest full-season tally since entering the league in 2013. That came after he sat out the entire 2018 season due to a contract dispute with his original employers from Pittsburgh. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted that Bell channeled his inner Bart Scott and texted him “can’t wait” after the Jets selected Mekhi Becton in the first round of April’s draft.

The 2020 outlook is a bit brighter for Bell after the Jets upgraded their offensive line. He currently ranks sixth amongst active NFL rushers in career yardage (6,125). The leader of that list, Frank Gore (15,347) joined the Jets as a spell option earlier this offseason.

New York is currently slated to open their season on September 13 at Buffalo.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie Tests Positive for COVID-19 a 2nd time, Will Not Travel to Orlando with team

Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets

You ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go your way, and you find yourself asking, how can today possibly get any worse? And then low and behold, something else terrible happens and it immediately gets worse? That has been the last several months for our Brooklyn Nets.

Spencer Dinwiddie, who was hopeful to travel with the Nets to Orlando despite being infected with COVID-19 and showing symptoms, tested positive for a 2nd time on Monday, thus ending any hopes of returning to the hardwood once the season resumes. Dinwiddie updated fans and commended the Nets organization in several tweets earlier on Tuesday afternoon:

Dinwiddie is the 6th player on the Nets roster to have tested positive for COVID-19 since March and the 2nd Net in the last two weeks, as DeAndre Jordan also tested positive for the virus. Unlike Jordan, who immediately stated he would not be playing in Orlando, Dinwiddie’s goal was to rehab as much as he can and see where things stood before the team left to Orlando. Unfortunately, Dinwiddie fell short of his goal and will be watching what’s left of the Nets compete from the comfort of his home. The Brooklyn point guard did leave fans on a positive note by tweeting out the following:

With Dinwiddie officially out, the team has some tough roster decisions to make. Who will start at point guard? Which players will step up and attempt to match the production that was given to the Nets on a nightly basis from Dinwiddie, DeAndre, and Wilson Chandler? As NetsDaily pointed out, here is what the remaining roster looks like for Brooklyn:

It seems as though newcomer Tyler Johnson will get big minutes now, paired with the likes of Chiozza and Temple backing up Caris LeVert and Joe Harris. TLC will also be in that mix. Reserves such as Jeremiah Martin and Dzanan Musa could see an increase in playing time if there is any injury to the guards mentioned previously.

It will be interesting to watch how interim HC Jacque Vaughn handles this new roster and what lineups he decides to use in Orlando. There are several fans out there (myself included) that believe Vaughn is coaching for the Nets HC job next year, which could be a motivating factor for this team to perform well and exceed expectations. The Nets may not be the team they were when the season ended in March, but this team still has some fight left in them.

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Former Net Vince Carter Officially Retires: One of the Greatest Athletes to ever put on an NBA Uniform

Brooklyn Nets, Vince Carter

In the history of the NBA, how many players can say that their career spanned over 4 decades? The answer is only one: Vince Carter. The 8 time All-Star officially retired earlier today on The Ringer’s “Winging It” podcast. The decision did not come as a surprise, as Carter has been hinting at his retirement all season and the Atlanta Hawks were not invited to participate in Orlando when the NBA resumes in late July. You can see his official retirement statement in the tweet below:

Recapping Vince Carter’s Prolific NBA Career

Vince Carter was selected #5 overall in the 1998 draft by the Golden State Warriors, but was instantly traded to the Raptors for his teammate and the #4 pick in the draft, Antawn Jamison. Carter bust onto the scene with Toronto, averaging 18.3 ppg and 5.7 rpg in his rookie season, and quickly became known for his high flying, earth-shattering finishes at the rim. These finishes would usually result in a highlight-reel dunk but occasionally, Carter would opt for the acrobatic layup instead. Carter instantly became one of the most popular players in the league among young fans and garnered the nickname “Air Canada.” He was responsible for one of the greatest Slam Dunk contest performances of all time and also delivered one of the most disrespectful in-game dunks of all time during the 2000 Olympics, both videos can be seen below:

In Carter’s second year, his ppg ballooned up to 25.7 and alongside his cousin Tracy McGrady, and the two brought the Raptors to their first ever playoff appearance. After McGrady was dealt in the following season, Carter established himself among the top #2 guards in the league, averaging a career best 27.6 ppg in just his 3rd season. Carter even had a cameo as himself in the movie Like Mike (2002), as the player Calvin Cambridge (main character in Like Mike) had to make a play against in order to send his fictional team, the LA Knights, to the playoffs, despite losing his ability to play basketball “like Michael Jordan.” Like Michael Jordan, Carter had played his college ball at North Carolina, and the two (at their peaks) shared an elite athleticism trait rivaled by few in the NBA. In 2003, Carter gave up his all-star spot so Michael Jordan could play in the final all-star game of his career.

After 6 stellar seasons in Toronto, Carter was traded to the New Jersey Nets in the after 20 games into the 2004 season. The Nets, coming off back to back Finals appearances the two years prior, needed to fill a scoring void after losing Kenyon Martin to the Nuggets, and believed Carter was the man to do so. While the Nets never returned to an NBA Finals with Vince Carter, the combination of Carter/Kidd/Jefferson proved to be a dominant force in the East. VC benefited substantially from Kidd’s play-making ability and the two connected on so many beautiful ally-oops, as seen below:

Nets fans fell in love with “Vinsanity” since they had never been witness to such an athletic monster on their team. In other words, Carter was the closest thing to MJ that Nets fans would ever have the privilege of watching. Carter would go on to play 5 seasons with the Nets, averaging 23.6 ppg over that span. The Nets made the playoffs 3 out of the 5 seasons Carter was there, but unfortunately the team fell apart after the 2006-2007 season, as Jason Kidd was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2007-2008 season and Carter was dealt to the Magic in the summer of 2009.

While many believed Carter’s career to be over after his tenure with the Nets, VC continued to defy the odds. Carter was able to be a great complement to Dwight Howard and in two seasons with Orlando, managed to average 16.3 ppg. In the 2009-2010 playoffs, Carter helped the Magic reach the Eastern Conference Finals, before losing 4 games to 2 against the Boston Celtics. It was the only time in Carter’s career he would reach conference finals series.  After his stint in Orlando, Carter would go on to play for 5 more teams, including the Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Kings, and Hawks.

While he never won a championship, he was always viewed as a great teammate and an overall positive contributor to every team he’s ever been a part of. Carter was able to last as long as he did in the NBA due to his ability to adjust his role according to whatever the team he was playing for at that time needed. Even in the last several years, he developed into a great 3 and D player, mixing in the occasional highlight reel dunk/layup. He is no doubt a 1st ballot Hall-of-Famer and will be go down as one of the greatest athletes to ever play the sport of basketball.

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Brooklyn Nets: Tyler Johnson In, Theo Pinson Out

Tyler Johnson, Brooklyn Nets

Late last night, the Brooklyn Nets made one of the first big moves of pre-Orlando free agency by signing veteran Tyler Johnson. The 28-year-old guard, who has played for the Heat and the Suns in his 7 year career, will continue his journey as a key player in the rotation for the Nets. Johnson was having a down year for the Suns before play was suspended, averaging only 5.7 points in limited playing time, but Net’s fans hope he’s able to capture some of the same magic he had early in his career with the Heat.

Nets Have Had their Eye on Tyler Johnson for a While

This isn’t the first time the Nets showed interest in Johnson. Back in 2016, the Nets had put out a $50 million offer sheet for Johnson, that was matched by the Miami Heat. Now a guard has been added to the mix, general manager Sean Marks has a decision to make on Chris Chiozza. Chiozza gave the Nets some great minutes down the stretch as a backup option to Spencer Dinwiddie but is currently a free agent. He is not guaranteed a spot on the roster but many Nets fans feel bringing Chiozza back would be in the team’s best interest, especially with Kyrie Irving sidelined until next season.

With Tyler Johnson coming in, the Nets also decided to permanently waive fan-favorite Theo Pinson. What Pinson lacked in on-court production he made up as a motivator on the bench. Whether it was celebrating big baskets by dancing on the sidelines or constantly hyping up teammates after significant plays, Pinson helped create the culture in Brooklyn that helped propel the team to a playoff run last year and made the team attractive enough for two of the biggest superstars in the league to want to play here. Every great team needs a hype man and Pinson for the last few years was that guy.

Unfortunately in attempting to build a championship roster, Marks has had to make certain sacrifices along the way. In cutting Pinson, allowing David Nwaba (another fan favorite) to sign a two year deal with the Rockets, and trading away the Net’s best player from a year ago in D’Angelo Russell, Marks has shown he’s willing to make the tough decision to take this team to the next level.

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Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant Buys 5% Ownership in MLS Team Philadelphia Union

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant is a 2x NBA Champion, 10x NBA All Star, one of the most dangerous scorers of all-time, and now, a part owner of the Philadelphia Union. Durant purchased a 5% ownership stake in the club, with possibility to add another 5% in the future. For those unfamiliar with the Union, they are Philly’s official MLS team.  The Union were added to the MLS in 2010 as an expansion team and plays their home matches at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The club officially announced their partnership with Kevin Durant on Twitter earlier today in a series of several tweets:

Durant also tweeted his excitement to join the Philadelphia Union ownership team.

 

KD has had an interesting (and somewhat scary) last few months. After rehabbing for the majority of the year from his Achilles Tendon injury suffered in last year’s NBA championship, Durant was one of several Nets diagnosed with COVID-19 shortly after the season was suspended in March. Thankfully, KD and the other players infected were able to recover 100% from the virus.

In the last few weeks, many fans and members of the media began speculating whether Durant would return to the court when the NBA resumes play in late July. Durant set the record straight in an https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“>interview with Marc Spears earlier this month, stating he has no intentions to play basketball until next season.

With Durant’s basketball return set in stone for next season, it seems he has been mainly focusing on building his off-the-court business, and who could blame him? Durant has already acted in the movie “Thunderstruck,” is heavily involved with Thirty Five Media and their show, “The Boardroom,” and has endorsement deals with Nike, Sprint, Gatorade, Panini, General Electric, and 2K Sports. Now that he has added “owner of a professional sports team” to his list of accomplishments, I am sure he is already focusing on his next big off-the-court endeavor.

The NBA Set to Approve Return of 22 Team Format and Finish Regular Season

New York Knicks, Steph Curry

Finally, the announcement basketball fans have been waiting months to hear. The NBA WILL continue the 2019-2020 season. The season will begin on July 31st and the last game of an NBA Finals would be played on October 12th. While insider Shams Charania has noted in a tweet that “there is a lot of work still to be done…still protocols, health and safety measures that need to be addressed,” it seems as though Adam Silver has finally figured out a unique way to bring back the NBA. Check out the full Adrian Wojnarowski tweet below:

The Format of the NBA’s Return

The plan features 22 out of the 30 teams that will be returning for the rest of the season, with 13 teams from the Western Conference and 9 teams from the Eastern Conference. There will be 8 regular season games left for each team and they will all be played in a Orlando. Players will be able to eat at outdoor restaurants and golf in the area as long as they maintain social distancing.

Along with the 16 teams that currently hold playoff berths, 6 additional teams will have a chance to make a desperate push for the playoffs: the New Orleans Pelicans, Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and San Antonio Spurs. Here is a graphic of every team returning:

The plan is as follows: if the 9th seed is 4 or more games behind the 8th seed, then the 8th seed will retain their spot in the playoffs. If the 9th seed is 3 or fewer games behind the 8th seed, there will be a play-in tournament which will feature single-elimination for 9th and double-elimination for 8th.

The Winners

Teams on the cusp of the playoffs (listed above) will have a legitimate shot to get into the playoffs. There have been many rumors that the NBA would love to see a Zion Williamson vs. Lebron James round 1, which in part, motivated them to create this format. It also encourages a superstar such as Damian Lillard, who has been questioning whether or not he would return to the hardwood if he wasn’t playing for a postseason opportunity, to come back since the Trail Blazers are only 3.5 games behind the 8th place Grizzlies. It gives these teams a glimmer of hope to make a postseason push in 8 games.

The Losers

Unfortunately with this 22 team format, you have a few more losers than winners. The 8 teams (Knicks, Hawks, Timberwolves, Bulls, Warriors, Pistons, Cavaliers, Hornets) that were not invited to return for this season will miss out on valuable time to develop their (for the most part) young rosters and gain momentum leading into next season.

Atlanta Hawks Coach Lloyd Pierce, expressed his disappointment regarding the decision for the NBA to not include all 30 teams back. Pierce, who was recently on The Jump with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, said: “I coach the youngest team in the NBA. And the biggest thing we can benefit from is playing basketball, and the game has been taken away from all of us at this point. If the season is going to resume and we’re still not a part of it, it hurts our growth, it hurts our product, it hurts our ability to continue the momentum that we need going into next season. They need game experience and so we need to play basketball, we want to play basketball.”

The Reality

We have officially entered the “return of professional sports post the COVID-19 outbreak” time period. Will the eventual return of this NBA season be perfect? Absolutely not. This is a learning process for all sports, especially given the restrictions due to the still-ongoing global pandemic. Kudos to the NBA for at least formulating a sufficient plan to give several teams who’s seasons ended prematurely a chance to fight their way into the postseason and satisfying the majority of NBA teams. For those who are upset with this format or prefer the approach the NHL took, with all due respect, go kick rocks. Just be happy we’re getting a finish to what already was shaping up to be a great season.

 

Brooklyn Nets: Sources believe Nets Internally Discussing Trade Options for Bradley Beal

For many weeks, the rumor among Brooklyn Nets fans has been the possibility of the Brooklyn franchise bringing in a 3rd star to accompany Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. On Thursday afternoon, those rumors were confirmed by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News in the following tweet/article:

Beal has proved to be one of the league’s most efficient scorers, especially in this most recent season without his usual running mate John Wall. Although he was snubbed from the all-star team this year due to the Wizards abysmal record, Beal was averaging a career-best 30.5 ppg on 52% from the field before the season was suspended. From an offensive standpoint, Beal would be an improvement over the young Caris LeVert and create a dynamic trio of professional shot makers in Brooklyn’s starting lineup. As an undersized 2 guard, the only critique on Beal has been his defense. Beal found himself having to defend his play on the defensive end this year after being called out by several in the media as one of the worst defenders in the NBA.

3 Factors to Consider in a Beal to Brooklyn Trade

Obviously there are several variables to consider during these discussions regarding how this trade can happen. For one, would the Washington Wizards be willing to part with Beal? He has said in the past that he would like to retire a Wizard and has a great relationship with the city of Washington D.C. He even gets along great with his co-star John Wall. But with the Wizards struggling mightily in recent years, it seems that this would be the perfect time for the team to acquire assets and get younger. Moving Beal makes sense from the Wizards perspective, assuming they don’t believe they can keep trying to build around John Wall and Bradley Beal to create a championship contender.

Two, how much do the Nets really want to give up for a Beal? Is Sean Marks willing to part with young talents such as Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen? Would Spencer Dinwiddie be involved? How many draft picks would Brooklyn be willing to give up? Sean Marks has to ask himself if he’s willing to mortgage the future of the franchise in order to acquire a player who he believes will get Brooklyn closer to a championship. It’s going to cost the Nets regardless since Beal will be in the 2nd year of a $72 million dollar deal. Hopefully, Marks can find a way to trade for Beal without giving away the farm.

And finally, does Bradley Beal want to play in Brooklyn? As the 1b to Wall’s 1a, Beal will have to accept the “Chris Bosh” role in this potential Big 3 with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the lineup. If Beal is willing to sacrifice some of his offensive production, be the 3rd cog in the system, and improve on defense, he will no doubt be an excellent fit on this team.

It will be extremely interesting to see how this plays out. Marks has been an aggressive GM for Brooklyn thus far and it has paid off. A deal of this magnitude could make or break the next five years for the Brooklyn Nets. Will Marks be willing to make the sacrifice to acquire Beal? Beal is no doubt a great player but does trading for him make Brooklyn a title contender? All I know is there has never been and will never be a professional sports league with more drama than the NBA. That’s why the NBA is often televised on TNT…their tagline is “We Know Drama.”

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Brooklyn Nets: Tyronn Lue Expresses Interest in Coaching the Nets

Brooklyn Nets, Sean Marks

It feels like it’s only a matter of time before the Brooklyn Nets bring in Tyronn Lue for an official interview.  Lue, currently an assistant coach for Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers, has been in high demand ever since he won a championship with the Cavaliers in 2016. Lue turned down a 3 year, $18M deal to coach Lebron and the Lakers in May last year. Lue has now expressed interest in coaching the Brooklyn Nets and with the team letting Kenny Atkinson go shortly before the season was suspended, it seems as though Lue will be a top candidate for yet another lucrative coaching opportunity.

Multiple Former Nets Endorse Lue as next Brooklyn Head Coach

Lue has received ringing endorsements from former Nets, Richard Jefferson, and Paul Pierce. Jefferson, a member of the Cavaliers championship team Lue coached in 2016, spoke about why he thinks Lue would be a great fit for Brooklyn: “There are so many great young coaches out there who deserve an opportunity. T-Lue, to me, is the No. 1 young coach. He can coach. He can do all that stuff. He has a proven track record. So do I think T-Lue can coach this team? Do I think he can be successful? Yes.” (quote from New York Daily News article by Stefan Bondy)

Jefferson played 17 seasons in the NBA before retiring, his most efficient years being for the Nets, and has become an excellent analyst for Nets games on the YES network pairing wonderfully with Ian Eagle and Sarah Kustok. Jefferson has mentioned in the past he would not be open to coaching currently.

Paul Pierce, who played for Brooklyn in the 2013-2014 season, also gave Lue a glowing recommendation for the position on ESPN’s “The Jump” Tuesday, saying “I think he would be a great fit. Are they going to be a championship-caliber team if you put Ty Lue in there and add (Kevin Durant) with Kyrie Irving? Yes. Can they do it? We have yet to see. Or it has yet to happen. But a great fit all across the board, I believe.”

It’s interesting to see former players giving Lue the nod to be the next Brooklyn HC. Many fans (myself included) believe Lue’s success in Cleveland was attributed to the stellar play of Lebron James and Kyrie Irving, more so than it was his coaching savvy. One can make the argument when you’re the coach of a Top 3 player of all time, success should come often and easily.

Nevertheless, Lue has had success with Kyrie Irving in the past. He will have to mesh well with Durant as well, which should be an easy task given Durant’s style of play and reputation as a “coach-able” player. If Lue becomes the Nets HC, he will have his work cut out for him in an Eastern Conference that has drastically improved in the last several years.

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Brooklyn Nets: All-Time Starting Five Lineup

Brooklyn Nets, Joe Johnson

If the Brooklyn Nets were able to create a starting five featuring their best position players of all time, regardless of which period the players played in, who would that starting five be? This starting five can feature any player on the team after the Nets joined the NBA in 1976, so I will NOT be including Julius Erving and Rick Barry on this list.

My All-Time Starting Nets Five

Center: Brook Lopez

Career Stats: 16.8 ppg 6.4 RPG, 9 seasons with NJN/BKN

This position might have been the most difficult to select. There were several solid options to choose from, including Derrick Coleman and Jayson Williams, who played very solid basketball for the Nets in the ’90s, to old-timer Daryl Dawkins who was a dunk machine in the ’80s. I ended up going with Brook Lopez due to his consistent scoring and ability to play a true 5. The other players on the list were undersized centers and were better suited as Power Forwards.

A talented scoring big man drafted by the Nets from Stanford, Lopez’s 9-year tenure with the Nets often goes overlooked, as he was always one of the more quiet personalities on the team. Lopez offensively had all the tools to be an all-star center: post up scoring ability, great mid-range game, and he could even hit the open three on occasion. At his peak, Lopez averaged over 20 points per game for the Nets and helped with their transition from New Jersey to Brooklyn. The big knock on Lopez was and will always be his lack of rebounding, as he never averaged more than 9 rebounds per game in any season. Lopez was also viewed as “soft” on defense, and while he averaged more than 1.5 blocks throughout his career, he never struck fear into his opponents.

Power Forward: Kenyon Martin 

Career Stats: 12.3 ppg, 6.8 RPG, 4 seasons with NJN

Yes, K-mart’s career numbers will not wow anybody. Derrick Coleman averaged more points and rebounds than K-Mart so did Buck Williams. Obviously, from a historical standpoint, Kevin Garnett is the greatest PF to ever play for the Nets, but he played for the Nets well after his prime. K-Mart only played in NJ for 4 seasons, but his presence was so significant in New Jersey  I’m sure many Nets fans would assume he played there longer.

K-Mart was a pivotal member of the Nets teams that represented the Eastern Conference in back to back NBA Finals. Even as a limited shooter (his jump shot was one of the ugliest in the NBA) and undersized big man, Martin relied heavily on his athleticism and energy to score and make plays for his team.  He brought an intensity to the Nets that was unprecedented and upon Jason Kidd’s arrival, quickly became one of Kidd’s favorite players to set up for shots around the rim. From diving for loose balls every night to high flying two-handed dunks, Martin was an extremely fun player to watch, and he always seemed to elevate his game during the playoffs (see his ppg and RPG higher in playoff appearances with NJN).

Small Forward: Kevin Durant

Career Stats: 27.0 ppg, 7.1 RPG, 0 seasons with NJN 

Technically, Durant 100% qualifies for this list. While he hasn’t played in a Nets uniform yet, there is no small forward in the history of the franchise that has accomplished anything close what to KD has. Durant is a former MVP (2013 – 14 season), 2-time NBA champion (won Finals MVP in both), 4-time scoring champion, and a 10-time all-star. He is arguably the best scorer in the last decade, and he is just 31 years old. The Nets will await to see if Durant can return to an elite level next season, almost 2 years removed from the Achilles injury he suffered in the 2018 – 19 NBA Finals.

Other small forwards considered: Richard Jefferson, Bojan Bogdanović, Keith Van Horn, Kendall Gill, and the interchangeable SF/SG players, Vince Carter and Joe Johnson.

Shooting Guard: Vince Carter

Career Stats: 16.7 ppg, 4.5 seasons with NJN

VC joined the Nets in 2004 after 7 great years with Toronto and instantly developed chemistry with teammate Jason Kidd. The loss of K-Mart to Denver became a distant memory in the eyes of Nets fans, as Carter provided fans with highlight-reel dunks and alley-oops on a nightly basis. Two of the best Vince Carter plays on the Nets you will ever see: His reverse dunk alley-oop pass from Kidd in 2006 and his posterization of Alonzo Mourning in 2005. While the Nets never went back to a championship with Kidd and Cater, the pair gave fans several years of extremely entertaining basketball.

While one could make the argument that Carter was a small forward for the Nets, he and Jefferson shared wing duties and were interchangeable at the 2 and the 3. Other notable shooting guards that could have been selected include Drazen Petrović, who was becoming a superstar for the Nets until he passed away after a tragic car accident in 1993 and Joe Johnson, who was the leader on Brooklyn teams that went to the playoffs in the early 2010s.

Point Guard: Jason Kidd

Career Stats: 12.6 ppg 6.7 RPG 8.7 APG, 6.5 seasons with NJN

This one was a no-brainer; Jason Kidd is the greatest Net of all time and was the main piece during the franchise’s most successful run to date. From the time he was traded to the Nets in 2001 for Stephon Marbury to when he was traded back to the Mavericks in 2007, there was never a greater time for basketball in New Jersey. Always an elite passer, Kidd made everyone on the Nets better because he made the game easier for them. Whether it was setting up players like K-Mart or Carter for epic fast-break dunks to finding open shooters like Keith Van Horn, Lucious Harris, and Kerry Kittles for open three-pointers, Kidd always knew where his teammates were going to be before they got there. If you want to relive some of Kidd’s greatest assists of his career, many of them with a Nets uniform on, watch this video here. The man was an absolute magician with the basketball.

Kenny Anderson, D’Angelo Russell, and Kyrie Irving are several other notable great NBA point guards.

Do you agree or disagree with my list? Let me know @firesidenets on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for your latest Brooklyn Nets news and listen to the Fireside Nets w/ Spen & Nick podcast!

Brooklyn Nets: Gilbert Arenas, The Man Who Knows No Chill

Brooklyn Nets, Sean Marks

Remember Gilbert Arenas? The super cocky, all-NBA scoring point guard who tore it up for Washington in the mid-2000s and then watched his career come crumbling down at just 28 years old due to a combination of injuries and, of course, being suspended an entire season as a result of the infamous locker room firearms incident with Javaris Crittenton? Well, if you think his years of reflection during his early retirement have humbled him, you’d be dead wrong. Arenas, or @no.chill.gil on Instagram, has his own podcast and twitch stream, and he is STILL relentless when it comes to talking trash. I wanted to break down his two recent moments of Trash Talk: Friendly Trash Talk and Verbal Warfare.

Friendly Trash Talk

Recently, Richard Jefferson brought his former Arizona teammate Gilbert Arenas onto one of his live-streaming platforms. The two spoke in length about the season in which they went to the national championship together, eventually losing to Duke in 2001. Arenas playfully made jabs at Jefferson’s expense throughout their trip down memory lane. First, he voiced his disapproval of a highlight against Illinois someone had put up, since the person referenced that Arenas and Jefferson led the Arizona team that year.  Arenas said that in the highlight, he saw Jefferson score one bucket and that it was him (Arenas) who had carried that Arizona team with little to no help from Jefferson. Arenas led Arizona that year, scoring 16 ppg whereas Jefferson was the 3rd leading scorer with 11 ppg.

Jefferson attempted to come back at Arenas by bringing up Gilbert’s horrendous performance in the championship game, a game in which Jefferson had performed well on offense. Arenas then exclaimed “The only game you played well in, was the only game we lost!” and also brought up Jefferson’s inability to cover Michael Dunleavy Jr, who finished the game with 21 points to lead Duke. I found this whole conversation to be a great example of two former teammates throwing playful verbal jabs at each other. Watch the whole clip here:

 

Verbal Warfare

Jefferson and Arenas seem to have a much better relationship these days than Arenas and his former Washington teammate Nick “Swaggy P” Young. Recently, Young came out with a video on his Instagram, essentially blasting Gilbert Arenas, calling him a con artist and blaming Arenas for hurting Young’s career early on. Young recalls a story in which he and the other rookies on the team were wrongfully blamed for a Wizards loss against Boston, and that Arenas was heard on the sideline shouting to then-coach Eddie Jordan “if the motherf$$kers not ready, don’t put him in!” Young ends the video by saying that was the moment he knew Gilbert Arenas would “ruin his life” and that his career would trend downward after that. Watch the whole clip here:

View this post on Instagram

My life with @no.chill.gil 😂😂😂😂

A post shared by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on Apr 3, 2020 at 9:49pm PDT

 

Arenas quickly addressed the Nick Young video with his own 13+ minute Instagram video, detailing his perspective of what went down in Nick Young’s rookie season. In the video, Arenas said that he was hyped on Nick Young, and was eager for the Wizards to draft him. Arenas mentioned that he envisioned a successful backcourt like the one he had with Larry Hughes earlier in his career in Washington. Arenas described training camp and preseason the same way that Young did, saying he thought Young had done a great job in preparation for the season. But when the season started, that’s where their stories differed.

Arenas pointed out that Nick Young was a negative in the +/- point differential in almost every game he appeared in as a Wizard. While Young recalls the Celtics game as the Arenas outburst, Gilbert claimed that it was a game against the Nuggets in Washington that prompted him to say something to Eddie Jordan. Arenas mocked Young for being a -17 that game and claimed he had been getting torched all night. That was then Arenas turned to coach Eddie Jordan and screamed close to exactly what Nick Young remembered.

Gilbert Arenas would go on to say that after that game, Young’s playing time declined drastically and the Wizards began to win basketball games again. He even went as far as to compare Nick Young’s game to a wrong Amazon order, implying what he thought he was getting from Young wasn’t what he received.  Arenas finished the video by saying “Nick Young I didn’t ruin your career” and listed several reasons why he thought Young was the only person to blame for his career not going as planned. Watch the whole clip here:

 

Moral of the story? Don’t get in a verbal jousting match with Gilbert Arenas.

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