The Brooklyn Nets added all the bells and whistles they could find this summer: Future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, a solid veteran in Andrei Kirilenko, and even their former superstar player Jason Kidd, in hopes that he’ll soon emerge as a superstar coach as well.
But not one NBA general manager sees any of that translating into a Finals appearance for the Nets in June, according to a recent league survey.
Brooklyn’s Billy King would have to be the exception amongst the GMs who share this sentiment, but the rules prohibited voting for one’s own team. Receiving an overwhelming 86.2 percent of the total vote, you guessed it, the two-time defending champion Miami Heat were the overall favorites to win the Eastern Conference.
So, how could the Nets be so disregarded?
On paper, they have all the pieces in place to make a strong Finals push this upcoming season, as it’s been well documented: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Jason Terry, Pierce, Garnett, Kirilenko. Whether or not they’ll actually do it remains to be seen, but with all this bundled talent, how could they not receive a vote of confidence from even one GM?
That’s almost as mind-boggling as hearing about those two new Argentine mothers who had their babies mixed up at the hospital before discovering the jaw-dropping mistake three weeks later.
Alright, it wasn’t to that extent, but it’s still something I’m having a pretty tough time wrapping my mind around either way. Was anyone expecting half of the GMs to pick the Nets to come out of the East? Probably not.
Not even one or two of them wants to take a harmless leap of faith and predict the Nets can do it? Rough league.
The Nets were specifically built with the intention of bringing down the Heat, and appear to match up well enough to do so in a long series, but these executives still don’t see it happening this season.
Brooklyn’s players need to have a strong memory and recall this event around playoff time, many months down the line from now. Of course they’re already going to be highly motivated to win a championship, but a little extra motivation can’t hurt.