The Brooklyn Nets have yet to play a single game as a Brooklyn franchise or even unveil their uniforms but they’re already targeting a championship in year number one.
Newly resigned center Brook Lopez believes the Nets can compete for a title right away.
“Obviously our main goal is no question the NBA championship. I think it is realistic for us,” Lopez told the Philipine Star during his NBA goodwill tour of the Philippines. “We’re already a good playoff team so with the addition of other pieces, we can target the ring.”
Joe Johnson, who has said the Nets are better than the New York Knicks during his press conference, also says Brooklyn is ready to compete for an NBA title.
“That’s what we are shooting for, the ring,” Johnson said. “There’s no need to sell ourselves short. You talk about gelling and figuring it out, and I think we have the perfect pieces: a great point guard, a great center.
“I don’t think any of our positions are the same or overlap at all.”
Championship talk is a big leap for the Nets, who over the last three years are tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the worst record in the league at 58-172.
While coach Avery Johnson has stuck by Mikhail Prokhorov’s more modest goal of a championship by 2015, the players are clearly confident they can win now even with the Heat, Thunder, Lakers and Celtics looming large and very talented.
The Brooklyn Nets starting five is locked up with proven commodities in Deron Williams, Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Lopez. Their combined salaries are over $72 million for next season, and, aside from Humphries, they’re all under contract until at least after the 2015-16 season.