Rules prohibit teams and coaches from demanding the players hold workouts during the summer, but that doesn’t mean that Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd hasn’t noticed that his players are in California this week for a player’s only work out and he’s thrilled about it.
“Yeah, for sure,” Kidd told Tim Bontemps of the NY Post when asked if he was impressed by the workouts. “To be able to start gelling and getting to know each other [is good], because it is kind of a different team.
“For the young guys, (Mason Plumlee) and (Tyshawn Taylor), to be out there, (Kevin Garnett) and (Paul Pierce) and (Joe Johnson), it just shows that these guys are going in the right direction, and being very professional. I know during the summer time they could do something else, but to come together for a couple days shows that they’re trying to get ready and they want to win.”
The workout was organized by Nets point guard Deron Williams and are being held in California to accommodate Paul Pierce. The entire team is there except Andray Blatche, Reggie Evans, Tornike Shengelia (recovering from knee surgery), Mirza Teletovic (playing in EuroBasket), and Andrei Kirilenko. D-Will organized similar workouts a couple of years ago, but with the team so dead set on a NBA championship and with so many new players coming in they felt like they were necessary again this offseason.
“[Williams] had to put in a lot of work to get the guys to meet in one area,” Kidd said, “but I think it just shows his growth, and that he’s serious about winning.”
Part of the reason the Nets are taking this so seriously is part of the new leadership of Garnett. One of the first things he mentioned at his introductory press conference was sacrifice and the importance of the team being able to gel quickly. For a player who can be a little silly sometimes (for lack of a better term), KG was extremely serious in his tone when he discussed that. So it’s no coincidence that barely a month later they are holding team workouts a month and a half before the season begins.
The Nets still have a large hill to climb to get to a NBA championship (that hill is named LeBron James), but it’s things like this that make you hopeful that they’re going to have a great season.