A year ago the Brooklyn Nets were the only team that would take Andray Blatche and even they weren’t interested to the point where they would give him more than the league minimum. Then he had what was easily the best season of his career and suddenly he had options again, but he choose to stay with the Nets out of loyalty and also a chance to win a title.
“That was easy,” Blatche explained. “It’s all about loyalty. I was on my way out of the league and they gave me a chance. So I decided to come back out of loyalty. ”
Blatche not only returned the favor, but he likely could have found more money and a starting job somewhere else. But to him, the Nets were there for him and now he’s there for them. With a payroll pushed to the max, the Nets desperately needed players like him to take less, and accept a lesser role, to have a strong bench.
“I had a couple options at different places and some places where people wanted me to go and fight for a starting position,” he said. “I came back here because of loyalty, but I also saw what they had going on here and I wanted to be apart of it.”
It didn’t hurt that the Nets are going to be serious title contenders this year either.
“If you look at it we have everything that a team needs to win a championship,” he declared. “I think we’re the best team. We’ve got the players, coaching staff, the heart, the will. We’re going to go out there to show we’re the best. In my head, yes, we’re the best team. Just because Miami won two championships doesn’t mean they’re the best team. That was last year.”
So he’s going to be relegated to the bench which is pretty impressive itself with not only Blatche, but Andrei Kirilenko, Jason Terry, Mirza Teletovic and others.
“That’s what makes us so dangerous, the deep bench,” he said. “It’s going to be very important. We’ve got starters, but guys are going to have their minutes limited, so there will be some games they depend on us to get the W, especially in back-to-backs so the bench will be very important.”
• Another thing Blatche talked about was working with Kevin Garnett during the team’s unofficial practices. “It was fun. It was great to see guys out there playing. We have a lot of guys that are very competitive. Even though it was pickup it was a good game. It was game like, KG and Reggie are both very competitive. As soon as KG gets on the court, he just goes off. The competition level is crazy.”