Iguodala added that even when the series shifts to Oakland the Warriors can’t afford to get comfortable against this Rockets team. “I don’t have comfort being at home,” he said. “You’ve got to be careful with that. There’s always like a show wherever we go. It follows us on the road. Sometimes that gets the best of us. But it’s the playoffs. We’ll be ready. We have to be.”
August 16, 2018 | 3:16 am EDT Update
Could a free agent or two in 2019 hasten the rebuilding process and give the Nets an All-Star player for the first time since Johnson during the 2013-14 season? “Yeah, I think you have to dream big,” Atkinson said. “You have to dream big, and I think it’s a little bit on us how we play this year. The word around the league. Players talk to each other. ‘What’s it like in Brooklyn? How do they treat you and your families? What are the fans like? What’s the Barclays Center like?’ I think we have all those things in our favor and players talk and guys will seriously consider us.”
When you signed with the Warriors in 2013, was Silicon Valley and the tech world in mind or were you already involved investmentwise? Andre Iguodala: I’ve always been thinking about it. [Los Angeles Lakers general manager] Rob Pelinka, who was my agent at the time … we were always talking about the tech space. Rob would always say, ‘Being in Silicon Valley would be great.’ And with the Warriors, the basketball side matched up with the business side. We are in a situation where you can have success on both sides. “So when I got to free agency, man, it was perfect timing as far as the team having Steph, Klay [Thompson] and Draymond [Green], [then-coach] Mark Jackson. You could make a play on both ends of the spectrum. It just so happened the timing was good.
Andre Iguodala: You had a guy like Lou Amundson. He played in the league a couple of years, and he made the most of the time he played and networked with everybody. He got tours of different startup companies, gaming companies, VR [virtual reality] companies. He has been able to test a lot of different products. Guys like that make the most of these events. We want to make that the norm with guys getting to network with everybody, helping those companies. Or vice versa, the companies helping the player. You never know what they lead to.
Instead of locking up Russell with a rookie-scale extension before the season, the Nets will likely let it ride and let him hit restricted free agency. How he plays — and how his worrisome knees hold up — will steer GM Sean Marks’ season-long strategy. “He’s a talented guy. He’s got great court vision, incredible hand-eye coordination, really understands the game,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said on ESPN Radio. “He wants to be great. He’s been in our gym all summer. In the NBA, it’s not an obligation. You’ve got to want to be there. So he’s been there. He’s been really working on his body. He’s got to make strides there. He’s got to get stronger. He worked on his explosiveness. But he’s proven it to me by being there every day the offseason.”
CJ McCollum: Y’all stay bringing up old stuff. Yall got me out here looking like a bitter ex. 1 of the best teams ever assembled W/ 2 players you could argue are top 15 greatest to lace them up. 4 hall of famers w/ another one on the way. I’m happy stop making me look like a scorn man sheesh
Mark Medina: Per @BovadaOfficial: Kevin Durant has 9/1 odds to win 2018-19 regular season MVP. Stephen Curry has 15/1 odds. LeBron James is the favorite with 10/3 odds.
During his radio interview, Atkinson denied any notion of the Nets tanking going into this season despite the potential to land a higher draft pick to supplement the rebuilding process along with free agency in the summer of 2019. “No, because we’ve never talked about tanking,” Atkinson said. “Sean and I, I’m just going to be honest, internally we don’t use the word. We don’t talk about it. We talk about internal improvement. We talk about player development. We talk about culture, but tanking is not a word we use. It’s just not in our…I don’t think the fans in New York want to see that.”
Buss: I have complete faith in Magic Johnson in terms of his ability to be a leader, to know how to put together a winner. And I have patience. And I think what he’s done has exceeded my expectations, how quickly they’ve kind of turned around the roster.