Brooklyn Nets sign Jamal Crawford and Michael Beasley

Brooklyn Nets, Jamal Crawford

Thursday afternoon the Brooklyn Nets announced on Twitter that they have signed forward Michael Beasley as a Substitute Player for the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season.

Wednesday night The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Nets reached a deal with guard Jamal Crawford.

Like Beasley, Crawford will be a Substitute Player for the Nets when the season resumes in Walt Disney World later this month.

Prior to these transactions, guard Spencer Dinwiddie, forward Taurean Prince and center DeAndre Jordan tested positive for COVID-19 and subsequently opted out of the NBA restart. Kevin Durant tested positive in March.

Brooklyn Nets big man Nic Claxton is out for the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury, and Wilson Chandler opted out of play. Brooklyn signed guards Tyler Johnson and Justin Anderson to fill their place.

How did Crawford perform in 2019 and what can he offer the Brooklyn Nets?

Crawford, 40, has 19 seasons in the NBA under his belt and hasn’t suited up for a team this season. Last season he appeared in 64 games for the Phoenix Suns. For his career, Crawford is averaging 14.6 points per game.

Beasley, 31, has 11 seasons in the NBA under his belt and hasn’t suited up for a team this season. Last season he appeared in 26 games for the Los Angeles Lakers. For his career, Beasley is averaging 12.4 points per game.

Brooklyn’s active roster now includes Crawford, Beasley, Johnson, Anderson, Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Garrett Temple, Rodions Kurucs, Dzanan Musa, Jeremiah Martin, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Chris Chiozza.

Jacque Vaughn took over as interim head coach after Kenny Atkinson and the Nets parted ways in March.

The Nets, 30-34, are the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, eight and a half games behind the sixth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers, a half-game ahead of the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic and six games ahead of the ninth-seeded Washington Wizards.

The Nets will resume the NBA season against the Magic on Friday, July 31 at 2:30 PM EST at HP Field House.

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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Brooklyn Nets: The COVID-19 Nightmare Continues

It was only a few months ago when a report came out that four Brooklyn Nets players, one of them being Kevin Durant, tested positive for COVID-19. Now, in the last 48 hours, two more Nets have publicly announced that they too have tested positive for the virus.

DeAndre Jordan, at 9:34pm EST on Monday night, tweeted the following about how he found out he had tested positive for COVID-19:

Several hours earlier, it was reported that Spencer Dinwiddie also had tested positive for the virus after feeling COVID-19 symptoms such as chest tightness and a fever. While Jordan has made it clear he will not be playing when the NBA season resumes, Dinwiddie has been hopeful he can recover from the virus in time to rejoin the team hopefully during the playoffs. He had this to say in response to Woj implying Dinwiddie was strongly considering not joining the team in Orlando.

It’s been a rough few months for Nets fans who hoped to see some form of the team they envisioned way back when KD and Kyrie signed in last July. Fans got their hopes up several weeks ago that the two superstars might return when basketball resumes in late July, a rumor that was shut down quickly by both players.

In the last two weeks, it was reported that two more players would not be traveling to Orlando with the team, as the young power forward Nic Claxton had season-ending should-surgery several days ago and journeyman Wilson Chandler has chosen to spend more with his family this summer. Add DeAndre Jordan and possibly Spencer Dinwiddie to the mix, and that’s 6 key contributors the Nets will be missing when play resumes in Orlando. Some fans may be optimistic about the recent signings of Tyler Johnson and Justin Anderson, but at this point, fans will be watching an almost entirely different team than the one we saw for most of the year.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that more than anything, we hope Spencer, DeAndre, and all the professional athletes that have tested positive for COVID-19 get well soon. This virus is terrifying for these athletes and their families to have to endure, and I wish them nothing but the best during their recovery period. For the Nets players who have chosen not to return to the bubble for reasons outside of health, such as Wilson Chandler and Kyrie Irving, I have nothing but respect for those men and their decisions. They have a right to either fight for the cause they believe in or spend time with their family during these scary times.

While the Nets will be missing a large portion of their team in Orlando, they still will have Caris LeVert, who was playing the best basketball of his career prior to the season being suspended. Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris should most likely be traveling with the team as well. They should still be competitive and put up a fight in the first round of the playoffs. But many Nets fans can rest assured that this team at full strength and health next year, will be a real title contender and quite possibly the favorite in the East.

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Brooklyn Nets: Does Culture Win Championships?

Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving

It wasn’t supposed to come to this, but that isn’t a bad thing. 

In a newfound problem for the Brooklyn Nets, that exclusively applies to teams with top-flight talent, a power struggle has emerged within the organization. After a 2018-2019 campaign that saw an 8-18 beginning turn on the back of D’Angelo Russell, the Brooklyn Nets established a culture that made fans forget recent years of despair that was doomed by the infamous 2013 trade with the Boston Celtics. 

Culture became a buzzword for the Nets front office and fans as their overachieving 42-40 record offered promise after entering the season with diminished expectations and a self-proclaimed “system” that had produced little in the way of results. 

Caris Levert’s gruesome injury halted his promising start to the season, leaving behind a shattered locker room looking for a leader to step up. Through the wreckage emerged D’Angelo Russell, who along with a bunch of former cast-offs, guided the team through an obstacle-filled season. For this, Russell earned a spot on the Eastern Conference all-star team. 

Developing right next to Russell was his backup, Spencer Dinwiddie, who had proven to be a mismatch nightmare, seeking out big men and delivering the highest point per possession totals in the NBA throughout the season. Also making a rise from the scrap heap was Joe Harris, who developed a well-rounded game to make him a mainstay in lineups to close out games.

This was a welcome sight for coach Kenny Atkinson and general manager Sean Marks, who finally saw results after two tumultuous seasons at the helm. Rather than continuing to accumulate assets in hopes of striking a diamond in the rough, the Nets were suddenly in a position of power, with high-profile stars being linked to them consistently and public perception changing in a very vocal manner around the league. 

The veterans on the team were thorough in their praise of coach Atkinson, citing the system he developed as instrumental in helping the team blend perfectly and play to their strengths at all times. 

The signings of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Deandre Jordan on June 30 changed the landscape of the league, as the cellar-dwelling Brooklyn Nets were catapulted into the top-tier of basketball as a team with the firepower to push through the Eastern conference and go toe to toe with the fearsome superstars of Los Angeles out West. 

Durant and Irving have openly discussed the allure of a solid culture in their decision to come to Brooklyn. Since their signings, however, they have been behind many decisions that indicate their desire to rid the team of their old regime and insert their power in a way that has become customary for superstars around the league. The culture-oriented Nets are now at a crossroads, with each passing decision serving as a reminder that this league is run by superstars. 

When pressured by Durant and Irving, Marks nixed the idea of bringing in Carmelo Anthony, who at the time, had been shunned by all 30 teams in his attempt to make it back onto a roster. Although Marks was able to put his foot down in this instance, the subsequent firing of Kenny Atkinson beckoned the question: does culture win championships, or it is the superstars that do? The relevance of this conflict is an indictment of where the league stands. The players hold all the power

Perhaps Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant understand after seeing Atkinson’s style that he does not possess the qualities of a championship-level coach, and to me, that’s okay. After all, when you have the opportunity to sign two superstars after being mired in mediocrity, you hand them the keys and let them drive the franchise wherever they see fit. 

 

Brooklyn Nets: Get Bradley Beal at all Costs

New York Knicks, Marcus Morris

Flashback seven years ago, the newly located Brooklyn Nets are stuck as a second-tier team. Led by Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, the options are clear: make a push for a championship that mortgages the future or tear down the roster and rebuild with a stockpile of assets. On draft night in June 2013, the front office made their choice. In a trade that has haunted the franchise for the majority of the decade, the Nets acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, two pieces they hoped would catapult them into real contenders. 

After recent reports surfaced Thursday that the Nets have interest in adding star Bradley Beal to the fold, deja vu struck in the minds of many Nets fans. Just as the Nets quickly built a contender in 2012, they have done so again. As Williams and Lopez were exiting their primes, the team attempted to surround them with a desperate accumulation of talent. Durant and Irving may have already seen their best days, but that is where the similarities end. They represent a higher class of superstardom, one that can objectively compete against the most high-profile names in the league. Adding a superstar entering his prime would fuel a championship run without stripping the franchise of all future assets. 

When it comes to perfect additions for this complicated Nets roster, it doesn’t get more seamless than Beal. His immense versatility would allow him to fit in next to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a way that most stars would not be able to. 

“I can put him in any situation, and he understands it at a high level,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “I can use him as a decoy, and he understands why I’m using him as a decoy. I can use him in pick and rolls and pin downs and in the post.” 

Playing with two superstars who can break down any defense would offer Beal more open three-pointers than he’s seen at any other point in his career. As a 38% three-point shooter over the course of his eight-year career, he also presents a perimeter reputation that would open up lanes for Durant and Irving to get the rim without the worry of help coming off of the shooters. With Durant coming off a major Achilles injury and Irving dealing with several maladies in previous seasons, Beal would provide necessary durability to a roster lacking in it. He hasn’t missed a game in the previous three seasons, proving to be one of the most dependable stars the league has, especially in the era of player preservation. This would afford Durant and Irving the ability to play relaxed with less of an onus on scoring, which would limit the wear and tear of a grueling NBA season as they geared up toward a run at a championship. Beal’s ability to come off screens and dribble handoffs as a scoring threat would make him a perfect partner with Deandre Jordan, a big-bodied screener who excels with playmaking guards as an explosive roll man to keep the defense honest. 

The big concern out of Brooklyn is the fragility of their two superstars, who are constantly in the headlines for the wrong reasons. It would behoove Sean Marks to add a star with a stabilizing personality to the mix. 

When asked about his relationship with Beal, Wizards co-star John Wall said “We’re just building a bond. We always joke and have fun. We play cards on the plane with each other. All that stuff equaled up to us making a better bond. We never disliked each other. There are times on the court where you are going to dislike a player. You want the ball. They want the ball”

The fight Beal displays on the court indicate a level of competitiveness that carries teams to basketball glory. A desire to win games and compete as well as capable drives the great ones. As Wall stated clearly, Beal is an excellent teammate both on and off the court. 

Parting with Caris Levert, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen may seem like a tough ask for the Brooklyn Nets front office, but consider this: when envisioning the Nets lineup closing out games, which of these guys do you want out on the floor? Dinwiddie struggled mightily when paired with D’Angelo Russell last season and with Kyrie Irving this season. Without the ball in his hands, he provides little in the way of positive value on the court. He isn’t a particularly strong defender or spot-up shooter, making him a less than ideal fit in a closing lineup where he won’t have the ball in his hands. Levert has flashed glimpses of greatness for the entirety of his career, but injuries and an inconsistent jump shot have hindered his development. His lack of a consistent long-range shot would allow defenses to focus on Durant and Irving driving to the hoop, clogging the lane, and leaving them little opportunity to score at the rim. Allen’s inability to develop a consistent offensive game makes him a trade piece for the Nets. His benching in early March, in the first game after Kenny Atkinson was fired, was an indication about how the coaching staff and stars on the team felt about his value. Since his rookie year he has been a rim-running center who can protect the rim on defense but does not provide much else. While he is a solid big man for any rotation, this makes him expendable. At just 26 years old and now entering his prime, Beal himself would account for the lost young talent it would take to acquire him in a deal.

With Beal added to the fold, the Brooklyn Nets would become instant title favorites. Possessing three superstars in a league that is currently controlled by duos would give the Nets a considerable edge to close out games. Putting out Irving, Beal, and Durant to pair with sharpshooter Joe Harris would give the Brooklyn Nets a fearsome foursome that would compliment each other’s skillsets perfectly. Beal would add overwhelming talent for a Nets team that is looking to win their first NBA championship while leading the franchise for years to come. If the Wizards make Bradley Beal available in trade discussions, the Nets should engage immediately, no matter the cost.

Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie Defends Himself against Twitter Troll

Brooklyn Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie

Twitter is an amazing place. Fans can interact with players and players can speak their minds to fans on a daily basis. Sometimes the interactions are pleasant and positive, other times players feel the need to defend themselves against the “haters.” The more a player tends to speak out and be active on social media, the more haters they seem to have. Spencer Dinwiddie, one of the most active Brooklyn Nets on Twitter, is a veteran when it comes to dealing with the “haters” on Twitter.

After a bizarre video of Mitchell Robinson putting on a dribbling clinic and drilling a jumper in a 2 on 2 scrimmage went viral, many Knicks fans were impressed with the young big man’s skills. Spencer Dinwiddie decided to address what many were thinking in a tweet responding to the video of Robinson.

As talented as Robinson is, Dinwiddie was 100% correct in his observation here. Unfortunately, @DaRealBootum chose this opportunity to take a shot at our “Tech Guy with a Jumper.”

Bootum even included a two-minute montage of Dinwiddie’s step-back misses illustrating his point. Very strange, specific area to attack Dinwiddie. I would assume most who attempt stepback jumpers don’t have high percentages. Dinwiddie perceived Bootum’s comment to be slight at his clutch gene and responded appropriately:

After reading Dinwiddie’s tweet, I decided to post a tweet of my own from the Fireside Nets account explaining just how spot on I thought Dinwiddie was in defending himself.

The perfect breakdown as to why Dinwiddie is CLUTCH and shouldn’t take trash from anybody trying to point out his misses. And clearly, Dinwiddie agreed with my explanation. Not only did he favorite the tweet, Dinwiddie responded to my tweet immediately afterward!

Just another day in the Twitter life of Spencer Dinwiddie. Now, let’s enjoy these videos of Dinwiddie hitting game-winners and laugh at those on Twitter that try to hate on him.

 

 

 

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Brooklyn Nets: An Eventful Recap of the Week

Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving

Since the quarantine has began, there have been many non-eventful weeks for your Brooklyn Nets. This was not one of those weeks. We now have a full Spencer Dinwiddie controversy on our hands, our former point guard taking shots at our former coach, and two Nets players attending a virtual strip club together. Let’s get into it!

Spencer Dinwiddie Creates Pandemonium Among Nets Fan with new Proposal

Dinwiddie is no stranger to stirring the pot on Twitter. Last month, he joked about being a player/GM for the Chicago Bulls to fix their franchise. This week, he seems to be a bit more serious about his impending free agency and assumed exit out of Brooklyn. Dinwiddie has been tweeting a storm recently about fans choosing Dinwiddie’s next destination by donating in Bitcoin to reach a target goal of about $24 million. While most have no idea of the legality of his plan or if the team that wins the fan auction would even want Dinwiddie’s services, Nets fans have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment in the point guard’s recent actions. Here are several fans reacting to Dinwiddie’s recent proposal:

It seems as though Dinwiddie’s days with the Nets are numbered. General Manager Sean Marks cannot like what he sees from Dinwiddie, who more often than not recently, has seemed to make the story about him.

D’Angelo Russell Takes Shot at Former Nets HC Kenny Atkinson

Maybe even more shocking than Dinwiddie’s Bitcoin proposition is the recent revelation from former fan favorite D’Angelo Russell, who had some very interesting things to say about his former coach Kenny Atkinson. Many fans assumed he two had a decent relationship, based on their shared success in the 2019 season. Apparently, that might not have been the case.

Russell was recently interviewed by the Athletic and was asked as to why Atkinson did receive enough credit for the Nets making the playoffs in 2019. DLo told The Athletic, “I’m not going to give it to Kenny. I still don’t think he knew what he had, honestly. I don’t think he knew what I was capable of in the fourth quarter.” (Full article here) Russell was electric that year for the Nets, but there were moments throughout the season that it seemed like he could have been playing more down the stretch. Clearly, Atkinson’s usage of Russell still bothers him to this day and it seems as though these two won’t be getting together for a friendly dinner anytime soon.

Kevin Durant and Caris Levert Allegedly Attend Virtual Strip Club Together

According to TMZ, Demon Time, the “most popular digital strip club,” has partnered with OnlyFans after becoming too raunchy for Instagram Live. Who would be interested in a virtual strip club experience you ask? Apparently Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant and Caris Levert are! The two, along with several other celebrities, we’re on a special celebrity guest list that went public yesterday. Clearly, this seems like a great virtual event for Durant and Levert to bond with each other, which will make their connection on the court that much more special! Other notable athletes on the list include Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, and Delon Wright.

I hope you enjoyed this weekly summary Nets shenanigans! Check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for your latest Brooklyn Nets news and listen to the Fireside Nets w/ Spen & Nick podcast!

Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie Weighs in on possible continuation of NBA Season

Brooklyn Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie

Recognized as one of the most active Brooklyn Nets on Twitter, Spencer Dinwiddie had a few drinks on Sunday night and decided to share his thoughts on the NBA possibly salvaging the rest of this season. Here are a series of Dinwiddie’s tweets from Sunday night:

So according to Dinwiddie, saving this season is not worth it the reasons he listed. He also has a very creative thought process as to how the NBA could play next season without fans. I personally find Dinwiddie’s plan for the NBA extremely feasible and really think the NBA could stand to gain something from listening to his and other players’ suggestions.

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On This Day Last Year: The Brooklyn Nets Take a 1-0 series lead on 76ers

Brooklyn Nets, D'Angelo Russell

A look back to this day last year with the Brooklyn Nets taking on the Philadelphia 76ers.

On this date last year, April 13th, 2019, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the 1st round of the NBA playoffs by a final score of 111 – 102. It was the first playoff win for the Nets since the 2014 – 2015 season.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

What turned out to be a dominant game on both ends for Brooklyn, they respectively won the scoring battle in the 1st quarter by 9 points and the 3rd quarter by 3 points, only losing the 2nd and 4th quarter by a combined 3 points.

D’Angelo Russell led Brooklyn with 26 points and 4 assists, while Caris Levert scored 23 of his own in just 23 minutes. Ed Davis was a monster on the boards, grabbing 16 rebounds and pouring in 12 points off the bench. Brooklyn had 6 players in double digits that night.

While Jimmy Butler (36 points) and Joel Embiid (22 points) both had solid scoring nights, Brooklyn stymied the rest of the 76ers, even limiting Ben Simmons to just 9 points. The only other player in double figures for Philadelphia was Boban Marjanović, who finished with 13.

The Nets would go on to lose the series in 5 games, dropping four straight after their Game 1 win. Once Philadelphia modified their game plan to start attacking the rim, the momentum of the series shifted. Jarrett Allen and Ed Davis were no match for all-star center Joel Embiid, who, along with Marjanović and Ben Simmons, tortured the Nets inside for most of the series.

This would turn out to be D’Angelo Russell’s last several games with Brooklyn, who was magnificent for Brooklyn the majority of the year. In the off-season, Russell would go on to be traded to the Warriors, a move that allowed the Nets to acquire Kevin Durant and sign Kyrie Irving as the point guard of the future.

We look back on the Nets season last year glowingly, as a team that overachieved through gritty play and teamwork, with not a ton of skill on the roster. While it’s easy to remember the emergence of guys like Deangelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie, it’s also essential to recognize the contributions from key role players such as Jared Dudley, Ed Davis, Treveon Graham, and DeMarre Carroll, all guys that were dealt or let go this past off-season, but helped Brooklyn achieve, what many considered, a successful season.

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Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie Trolls Bulls & Knicks in Recent Tweets

Brooklyn Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie

The “Tech guy with a jumper” is at it again. Spencer Dinwiddie, who has been the most active Brooklyn Net on Twitter by far since the NBA suspended its season indefinitely almost a month ago, has decided to apply for the open Chicago Bulls general manager position, as you can see in his tweet below:

Dinwiddie, no stranger to sarcasm, took his joke a few steps further by breaking down what he thinks the Bulls should do in the short term in order to fix their broken franchise.  He starts off his plan by saying Chicago should trade Tomáš Satoranský for himself and appoint Dinwiddie the GM, with Chicago also giving Brooklyn an additional pick to make it fair because “Dinwiddie gets buckets.”

His next step includes Klutch Sports signing Dinwiddie to their agency, if and only if, Anthony Davis joins the Bulls. Pretty foolproof plan so far right? Dinwiddie then breaks down what his roster would look like with the addition of himself and AD, as you can see below:

Dinwiddie even goes as far as to discuss what the Bull’s bench rotation would look like under his supervision as well:

Dinwiddie would go on to tweet about his hypothetical plan as the future player/GM of the Chicago Bulls 9 more times, finishing his thread by tweeting “THEY CALL ME JACKIE MOON”, the infamous player/owner/coach played by Will Ferrell in the fictional movie Semi-Pro. It seems he put a lot of thought into this sincere troll of the Chicago Bulls.

Dinwiddie wasn’t finished lending his roster decision-making expertise on Twitter, tweeting directly at the Knicks:

After thinking it over, Dinwiddie decided that his attempt to hypothetically fix the Knicks roster would be “too dicey.”

Nobody knows if Dinwiddie will be on the Brooklyn Nets next season, but wherever he ends up,  let us hope he never stops tweeting.

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