It’s hard to believe that the Brooklyn Nets‘ starting lineup for most of last year’s season consisted of Deron Williams, Marshon Brooks, DeShawn Stevenson, Kris Humphries and Shelden Williams. Experts and fans alike agreed that this abysmal team was headed nowhere unless they landed Dwight Howard, who would lift them out of years of turmoil.
However, sitting here two months before the start of the season, even without Howard, the Nets have transformed their roster into something very promising. Now with a projected starting lineup of Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Mirza Teletovic and Brook Lopez, the Nets are a unanimous playoff pick.
In addition to these All-Star caliber starters, the Nets have an equally dominant bench this season with backup point guard C.J Watson, who performed big time for the Bulls when Derrick Rose was out; Brooks, who finished top ten in Rookie of the Year voting; Humphries coming off the best season of his life and I haven’t even mentioned Tyshawn Taylor, fresh off a NCAA championship appearance.
Nonetheless, despite this loaded roster, the Nets lack an adequate back up SF and center, unless you consider Williams and Jerry Stackhouse adequate. With the recent signing of 6’11” Donte Greene, the Nets seem to have filled that gap. Obviously, a 6’11” player who averages 6.1 PPG and 2.4 RPG in his career isn’t a “dream come true” for the Nets, but Brooklyn will gladly take it. Greene has somewhat failed to produce in his four seasons with the Kings, but he was always a fan favorite in Sacramento.
Categorized by his uncanny athleticism, high energy and fun loving spirit, Greene was a basketball player who, well, enjoyed being a basketball player. Greene has a knack for connecting with pretty much everyone in the arena, and on one occasion he even helped a fan propose to his girlfriend.
I’ve always admired basketball players who play with high energy and clearly enjoy being where they are. Ronny Turiaf and Anderson Varejao are exemplars of these type of players who you love if they’re on your team, but hate if they’re on the opposing team. Greene would just add on to the tremendous energy already expressed by players like Wallace and Humphries.
A player who has always been said to have great potential and possibilities all his life, Nets fans all around will just have to pray that Greene has his breakout season with them. Even if he doesn’t, the Nets could use a fan favorite.