Durham, NC, United States (4E Sports) – Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King said his team should exert all effort in winning the title this season while the opportunity is still there.
The team’s expectations were dramatically raised with the acquisition of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Owner Mikhail Prokhorov is projected to spend approximately $189 million in salaries, including an NBA-record $87 million in luxury taxes, with a lineup that includes Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson and plus other newly-acquired talents in Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko.
“They’re here to win,” King said. “When you have guys that have made as much money as they do, the only thing they can do next is try to accomplish something, which is win a championship.”
Nets first-year head coach Jason Kidd believes the new acquisitions will provide the much-needed toughness the team badly needed last season.
King shared the same observation.
“At some point, you’ve got to knock a guy on his ass if they’re doing things. You’ve got to take a hard foul and let them know you just can’t do that. And we didn’t do it,” said King.
Garnett and Pierce immediately began working on fortifying the Nets’ defense in the first two days of camp this week at Duke University.
The Nets are also looking for Garnett’s guidance in pushing Lopez to the next step, after the latter averaged 19.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks and became a first-time All-Star last season.
“Now, this is the window — this season,” said King. “We’re going to see what we can do with this season, and then we’ll see what next season brings.”
However, Garnett, 37, and Pierce, 35, will not have the luxury of waiting very long.
The championship window is open now — and it may not be open for too long for this veteran team.