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New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2008-07-26 News New Jersey Nets

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News » New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2008-07-26

New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2008-07-26

New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2008-07-26
The plan for the Nets involves not just going after good basketball players, but going after good guys.

Oh, not that they were a team of thugs and criminals. Far from it. But what the Nets want, what they have sought, and what they have landed this summer are strong character guys with good work ethic reputations.

Any similarity between the Nets' team that stumbled home with 34 wins and a trip to the lottery and the team that will open next season is either purely coincidental or because they couldn't make another trade work with cap restrictions. Before July had even turned to August, there were eight new faces on the roster.

Three were rookie draft picks, including first rounders Brook Lopez and Ryan Anderson, plus second rounder Chris Douglas-Roberts. Three came from trades: 7-0 Yi Jianlian and 6-6 Bobby Simmons came from Milwaukee for Richard Jefferson while combo guard Keyon Dooling arrived from Orlando for a trade exception and cash. Forwards Eduardo Najera and Jarvis Hayes signed as free agents. Gone are Jefferson, Bostjan Nachbar (signed in Russia), Marcus Williams (traded to Golden State for future draft consideration) and DeSagana Diop (signed with Dallas). And more movement is coming. Figure that the same sort of player will be targeted.

"Before we evaluate players, the first thing we look at is character. Second is competitiveness and along with that is love and passion for the game," said coach Lawrence Frank. "We have a lot of guys of character in this locker room, but we want to make sure any addition we make to the team fulfills those requirements."

And so far, the eight new faces do just that.

"Obviously, we're trying to re-define our team," Frank added. "First, starting with high-character people. Second, highly-competitive people. And third is high-energy, what we call, high-flying people."

And all of this is part of the master plan. It was the lack of a plan that, in part, ticked off Jason Kidd so much that he asked for a trade last year. He was accommodated and thus began the Nets' makeover.

"There's a kind of excitement and what's exciting is when you have a plan and you go about executing the plan and you start to see these parts come together, it's really fun watching the process," Frank said. "We wanted to re-define who we were. Character, competitiveness, chemistry, discipline, we see we're acquiring the type of people that are going to fit into that mold.

"We felt with where we were headed, we were going to be mediocre and we have a clear direction where we're going. Once you have a direction or a path, it's a whole lot easier to find the people to help you get to where you want to go."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: July 26, 2008


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