Michael Scotto, SNYNets.com

Avery Johnson used the phrase “Hello Brooklyn” as much as any member of the Brooklyn Nets organization, but unfortunately for him, he was the first member to say goodbye.

On Dec. 27, general manager Billy King announced that the Nets relieved Johnson of his coaching duties and named P.J. Carlesimo interim head coach. Johnson finished with a 60-116 record (.341 winning percentage) in two plus seasons with the Nets, a far cry from the 194-70 record (.735 winning percentage) he amassed as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks.

Johnson's firing made NBA history, as the Nets became the first franchise to fire a coach one month after winning a Coach of the Month Award. After leading the Nets to an 11-4 start, Johnson was named the NBA's Coach of the Month for November.

Johnson leaves the Nets with a poor record, but he was hired to coach a Nets organization that was in a transitional phase. When he took over in 2010, he was sold on the vision of moving to Brooklyn and building a championship caliber roster. Until then, he had to bide time for two years. During those two years, Johnson was coaching borderline NBA Developmental League rosters. The Nets landed high lottery picks and dangled them as trade assets and cleared cap space with the hope of landing marquee free agents upon moving to Brooklyn. Whereas in Dallas, Johnson coached a proven core of veterans including Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, and Jerry Stackhouse during his three plus seasons.

After two years of waiting for serviceable talent to mold, Johnson got an improved roster this past summer. The Nets brought in nine new players, re-signed their major free agents and, as a result, had heightened expectations.

With a healthy starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez, Brooklyn began their new era with an 11-4 record. Brooklyn beat the Boston Celtics twice and defeated their inner-city rivals, the New York Knicks. The Nets also beat the team that currently has the best record in the NBA, the 24-6 Los Angeles Clippers.

Unfortunately for the franchise, Johnson’s Nets began to unravel in December and got away from the type of winning basketball they played in November.

In December, the Nets lost 10 of 13 games, including five of the six games they played without injured center Brook Lopez. Without Lopez, the Nets offense became stagnant and managed to score just 93.1 points per game. Making matters worse, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson continued to struggle shooting the ball and concerns about their ability to play together grew.

In Atlanta, Johnson dominated the ball as the primary playmaker, but in Brooklyn he’s been used off the ball or in post ups isolated on either wing.

Williams, on the other hand, is in the worst shooting slump of his career, shooting 40 percent on the season and 30 percent from beyond the arc.

A frustrated Williams spoke with the media about his struggles within the Nets offense this season in comparison to his peak years with the Utah Jazz under coach Jerry Sloan.

“That system (in Utah) was a great system for my style of play. I’m a system player, and I loved coach (Jerry) Sloan’s system. I loved the offense there,” he famously said.

Once Williams took an indirect jab at coach Johnson’s offensive system, the hot seat began to get warmer in Brooklyn.

After falling to third place in the Atlantic Division with a 14-14 record, Avery Johnson was fired.

During a press conference, King stressed “a pattern that kept happening” under the watch of Johnson. Part of that pattern included blowing a number of double-digit leads throughout the season, which I outlined in my previous column.

Ironically, both King and Johnson had their own “pattern” during the press conference. Both made sure the blame was not placed on Williams for the firing of Johnson.

“To pinpoint all of this on Deron (Williams) is not fair,” King said. Johnson later echoed that sentiment. “I don't think it's fair for anybody to hang this on Deron,” Johnson echoed.

Williams told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith he had no conversations with King about any unhappiness with Johnson, but assumed he would be blamed for Johnson’s firing due to the similarities between the firing of coach Sloan in Utah.

"The last thing I would want to do is get Coach Johnson fired,” said Williams. “Any coach, for that matter.”

In fact, Williams called Johnson “a big reason” why he re-signed with the Nets as they moved to Brooklyn.

Williams also excluded Johnson from any blame for his poor play thus far.

“I also said that I had to figure out how to play with Joe Johnson, because in my heart I know that I'm the one playing like crap,” said Williams. “Is it Coach Johnson's fault that I'm playing bad? Hell, no! I'm the first one to accept accountability for the way I'm playing. And my family, people who know me, know I would be the first to admit that."

While Williams was at the center of controversy, he’s only one player on a 15-man roster.

With that in mind, Johnson had a significant affect on the growth and decline of several players this season, which must be taken into account.

Johnson revitalized the careers of Andray Blatche, Jerry Stackhouse, and Keith Bogans.

Johnson got the most out of Blatche by playing him at center. In doing so, Blatche showed his promising talent from Washington prior to the team amnestying him for being a locker room malcontent.

Blatche has turned into one of the steals of the offseason for Brooklyn.

Jerry Stackhouse was pigeonholed around the league as washed up and over-the-hill, but after coaching Stackhouse for four seasons in Dallas, Johnson knew the veteran in his 18th year had some pep in his step.

Stackhouse has been a lethal corner pocket three-point shooter for Brooklyn and a veteran leader in the locker room.

Johnson also values defense and was a big fan of Keith Bogans for his perimeter defense and ability to spread the floor with his three-point shooting, starting him in 10 of 24 games after the veteran appeared in only five games all of last season.

The rise of Blatche, Stackhouse, and Bogans has led to a decline and underwhelming start from MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, and Mirza Teletovic.

Brooks entered the season aiming for the Sixth Man of the Year Award, but has gotten more splinters than shot attempts under Johnson in his second year. Brooks has averaged only 11.2 minutes per game after starting 47 games last season and averaging 29.4 minutes per game.

Humphries has struggled alongside Brook Lopez since re-signing with Brooklyn. Humphries was demoted to the bench and recorded a DNP-CD before Johnson’s firing after averaging a double-double the past two seasons.

Teletovic came over heralded as the best European player on the market and a knockdown stretch power forward. A poor defender at best, Teletovic failed to grasp Johnson’s in-depth defensive schemes and saw limited action for most of the season.

As a result, Brooklyn made a calculated risk in firing Johnson 28 games into the season and replacing him with interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo.

In his last 122 games as a head coach, Carlesimo has had pitiful results. Carlesimo has a 27-95 record (.221 winning percentage) during that span.

Although he was an assistant under Gregg Popovich for three of the San Antonio Spurs title runs, Carlesimo is most notably known for being choked by Latrell Sprewell during their time together in Golden State.

Brooklyn sees Carlesimo as a temporary fill-in. With an inexperienced coaching staff in Doug Overton, Popeye Jones, and Mario Elie, Carlesimo got the job based on his experience.

King hopes he can persuade a high profile coach along the lines of Phil Jackson, Stan or Jeff Van Gundy, or Jerry Sloan to right the swerving Nets ship.

However, this remains to be seen and King is working against the odds of luring these high profile figures out of retirement.

Coincidence, or not, the fact that Deron Williams has been at the center of controversy for two coaches being fired will give any possible candidate pause for the job going forward.

Lastly, as Avery Johnson said, “This is not about the ‘fair’ game. A lot of times it’s about the blame game.”

With Johnson gone, the onus falls squarely on the players and general manager Billy King to make Prokhorov’s goal at the beginning of the year to contend for the Eastern Conference title a reality.

Michael Scotto is an Analyst for SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter for the latest news from Brooklyn and the NBA: @MikeAScotto

Tags: avery johnson, Billy King, Brooklyn Nets, Columns, deron williams, Michael Scotto, SNY, snynets
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Jan 29, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) dribbles the ball and gives direction against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Jan 29, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) dribbles the ball and gives direction against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Nets SG Spencer Dinwiddie told The Athletic's Shams Charania that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. And he isn't the only Net that has. 

DeAndre Jordan also revealed on his own Twitter account that he has tested positive, and won't be joining the 

Dinwiddie said that upon flying private back to New York, he didn't test positive and was able to participate in practices. However, the situation has changed and now he's unsure if he's going to be playing in Orlando with Brooklyn, who is an early-entry team into the bubble. 

Tags: DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, Scott Thompson
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Jan 29, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) shoots a layup with Detroit Pistons point guard Derrick Rose (25) in pursuit during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Jan 29, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) shoots a layup with Detroit Pistons point guard Derrick Rose (25) in pursuit during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The NBA's 2019-20 season restart is officially on, and now the Brooklyn Nets know their schedule. 

The league announced the schedule for all 22 teams involved in the return to play in Orlando in late July. Before the playoffs officially began, each team will have to play eight "seeding" games to determine their matchup in the first round of the playoffs. 

In the span of 14 days, the Nets will play eight games, beginning with a July 31 matchup against the Orlando Magic at 2:30 p.m and wrapping up on August 13 against the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

Kevin Durant has already made it official that he won't be playing when the Nets are among the 22 teams in Orlando for the NBA's restart.

Now Durant has said that even if he was healthy, he probably would sit out the games in Florida. 

"I feel, me right now, I probably wouldn't have played because the unknown going into that situation looks crazy right now, seeing so many new cases," Durant said as a guest on the Dawg Talk podcast. "It's just so unpredictable. It's easy for me to say right now because I'm injured but I probably wouldn't have went down there."

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The Nets will be short one big man when the 2019-20 NBA season resumes in Orlando in late July.

It was announced on Wednesday evening that forward/center Nic Claxton underwent successful arthroscopic labrum repair surgery in New York. The Nets say Claxton is expected to make a full recovery in time for next season's training camp.

The 21-year-old Claxton was selected by the Nets with the 31st overall pick in last year's NBA Draft. The Georgia product played in 15 games this season for Brooklyn, averaging 4.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 12.5 minutes per game off the bench.

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Nov 24, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Johnson (16) dribbles the ball up court in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Nov 24, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Johnson (16) dribbles the ball up court in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

With the NBA transaction window reopening on Tuesday, the Nets have reportedly made a move to bolster their overall depth.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets have agreed to a deal with former Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Johnson. 

The Nets have not announced the Johnson signing, but the team did announce that guard/forward Theo Pinson has been waived, which would make room for Johnson on the roster.

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Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) stands on the court during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) stands on the court during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

A handful of players involved in Friday's call over concerns about plans to restart the 2019-20 season expressed strongly that they would consider not playing, according to a source familiar with the call. But some veterans on the call open to sitting out had a question for the players, such as Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving, who supported the idea.

"They were asking, 'What's the plan?'" a source familiar with the call said of the response of some veterans on the call. "Even the players who supported the idea of sitting, they were asking about a plan of action. There was no plan.'"

Several players, including Irving and Lakers guard Avery Bradley, continue to consider sitting out of the NBA's resumed season in Orlando in an effort to continue the national conversation over racial inequality and police brutality.

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Jan 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) stands for the anthem before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Jan 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) stands for the anthem before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

It's no secret Kyrie Irving is not a fan of the NBA's scheduled restart in Orlando next month. But he reportedly took it to a new length in a group chat with Nets players recently. 

According to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy, Irving proposed to his teammates that they can start their own league. He also lobbied for skipping the restart, which the Nets will be a part of in Orlando.

Nets' swingman Theo Pinson disputed the report, however, tweeting that it was "FAKE news!"

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Mar 24, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sean Marks general manager of the Brooklyn Nets talks at a press conference announcing the Long Island Nets D League team before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Mar 24, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sean Marks general manager of the Brooklyn Nets talks at a press conference announcing the Long Island Nets D League team before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Nets director of player personnel J.R. Holden and Warriors assistant GM Mike Dunleavy are among the executives on the Pistons' radar as they look to add to their front office, per SNY sources.

Holden had a remarkable Euroleague playing career and worked for both the 76ers and Pistons in scouting roles before Nets GM Sean Marks added him as director of player personnel last year.

Dunleavy Jr., a 15-year NBA veteran, started scouting with Golden State in 2018 and was promoted to assistant general manager last season.

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Oct 23, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the press during the 2023 NB All-Star announcement at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Nicoll)
Oct 23, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the press during the 2023 NB All-Star announcement at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Nicoll)

In the days leading up to Friday's call among dozens of NBA players to discuss the plan for the restart of the 2019-20 season, a significant number of players on an Eastern Conference playoff team expressed strong concern about playing in Orlando, sources told SNY. 

Those concerns - related to the coronavirus, life in the NBA's bubble and the current widespread protests over racial inequality - were reportedly echoed by dozens of players around the league on Friday night in a conference call to talk about the restart.

Union exec and Nets star Kyrie Irving was among the driving forces behind Friday's call, SNY sources confirm. There was no clear consensus on the call, but several players expressed concern over playing amid the social unrest due to systemic racism, per sources.  

According to The Athletic, Irving told players on the call, "I don't support going into Orlando. I'm not with the systematic racism and the bullshit. Something smells a little fishy."

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May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Taiwanese businessman Joe Tsai (left) looks on during the second half of the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Taiwanese businessman Joe Tsai (left) looks on during the second half of the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

People in New York City have gathered at Barclays Center to protest police brutality and racial inequality in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Nets owner Joe Tsai has no issue with the protests outside of his arena. In fact, he endorses them.

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Jan 7, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Jan 7, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

On Friday, Nets forward Kevin Durant confirmed what most had already assumed, officially declaring that he will not play once the NBA season restarts in late July.

"My season is over," Durant told Marc Spears of The Undefeated. "I don't plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season."

Durant was also asked if he had any urges to get back on the court sooner rather than later.

"It's just best for me to wait. I don't think I'm ready to play that type of intensity right now in the next month," Durant told The Undefeated. "It gives me more time to get ready for next season and the rest of my career."

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With the NBA officially coming back -- the NBA Board of Governors agreed on Thursday to commissioner Adam Silver's proposal for a 22-team playoff resumption -- the Nets will be back to vying for the Larry O'Brien Trophy. 

But will they have good odds? If Kevin Durant returns, maybe so. 

That's what Eamon McAnaney and Gary Apple discussed in the latest edition of What Are The Odds?

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Barclays Center
Barclays Center

Cities all across the United States have been protesting against police brutality and racial injustice following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. In New York City. 

The Brooklyn Nets, with protestors right outside their front door at Barclays Center, released a joint statement with the G-League Long Island Nets and WNBA New York Liberty to address the losses of Floyd, Taylor, Arbery and many others.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE STATEMENT

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Mar 15, 2020; Brooklyn, NY, USA; A general view of Barclays Center after the cancellation of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament due the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Mar 15, 2020; Brooklyn, NY, USA; A general view of Barclays Center after the cancellation of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament due the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Nets have announced they will be opening their practice facility for players to conduct voluntary workouts starting Tuesday. 

Here's what the official statement said: "The organization will strictly follow the protocols outlined by the NBA and infectious disease experts to ensure that all precautions are taken."

This news comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made it known Sunday that all professional sports teams are allowed to open their facilities to begin training for the return of their seasons. Brooklyn is the first New York team to act on this. 

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Whether or not the NBA season will return is still a very big question. But for the Nets specifically, whether or not Kevin Durant suits up if that happens is one as well. 

Durant's camp has been adamant that it isn't even a conversation at this point for the All-Star to return. However, depending on how long it takes for the season to resume, Durant could be fully healthy from his Achilles tear. Is it worth it for him to do that? 

That's the latest topic on Loud Mouths: The Great Debate, as Eamon McAnaney and Maria Marino break down their reasoning for Durant...

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Jan 7, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Jan 7, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

The NBA is reportedly withholding 25 percent of player paychecks beginning Friday, and while this will obviously affect every player, it will also have a unique affect on some of the highest paid players in the league.

Per ESPN's Bobby Marks, six of the league's 10 highest-paid players have already been fully paid in advance for the 2019-20 season. The list includes Kevin Durant, as well as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, John Wall, Blake Griffin, and Paul George.

But these players will not avoid the coronavirus economic impact. Per ESPN, the players paid in advance for this season will have their salary deductions come out of next season's paychecks, starting in either October or November. 

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Jan 18, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 18, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Rich Kleiman, Kevin Durant's manager and business partner, has said several times that he doesn't foresee Durant returning during the 2019-20 season -- even if it re-starts in July.

Kleiman reiterated that stance earlier this week in an interview on SiriusXM Radio, when asked by host Frank Isola if there was a chance Durant would play this season if the year resumed in July.  

"From my standpoint, no, I think it's unrealistic. That's just my view on it," Kleiman said to Isola and co-host Wes Wilcox. "Again, we haven't gone deep into conversation about it because of how unrealistic it all seems to me. I figure that if something changed, he would tell me. And it's also hard to even discuss (a potential return this season) in a real serious manner without any information on the season. (There is) such uncertainty day to day -- as we all (feel), outside of just the NBA -- that the whole thing just feels too unrealistic from my standpoint."

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SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley discusses the chances that the Nets could deal Jarrett Allen, and the possibility of a trade for Bradley Beal.

Tags: Jarrett Allen
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May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Taiwanese businessman Joe Tsai (left) looks on during the second half of the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Taiwanese businessman Joe Tsai (left) looks on during the second half of the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

As the NBA tries to find a way to finish out their 2019-20 season, Nets owner Joe Tsai says the owners are very split regarding whether to resume the season. 

And Tsai said it's pretty obvious who wants it to return compared to those who want to look into next season already. 

Speaking to a Stanford University class over video conference, Tsai said it's the top teams in the league that want to compete for the Larry O'Brien Trophy. 

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Here is the Sports Squared crossword puzzle for Sunday, April 19, called Cut the Nets: Legends from NJ to Brooklyn...

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Jan 29, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) dribbles the ball and gives direction against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Jan 29, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) dribbles the ball and gives direction against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Nets G Spencer Dinwiddie didn't get an invite from Team USA to compete for their Olympic roster, so he'll bring his talents to a different national team.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Dinwiddie is getting a Nigerian passport to play for their national team. The Olympics have been pushed to 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. 

Dinwiddie saw a more prominent role with the Nets this season, starting 49 of his 64 games instead of serving as the primary sixth man for Brooklyn off the bench like he did last year. And in that span, he set new career-highs with 20.6 points, 6.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds. 

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie, Scott Thompson
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Dec 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard Kyrie Irving (11) react in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Dec 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard Kyrie Irving (11) react in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

The New York Liberty will call Barclays Center their full-time home for the first time in the 2020 WNBA season.

Purchased by Nets owner Joseph Tsai in January 2019, the Liberty played two games in Brooklyn last season while still playing most of their games in White Plains, N.Y.

But now that the Liberty are based solely in Brooklyn, new head coach Walt Hopkins, who was hired in January after serving as an assistant for the Minnesota Lynx since 2017, believes the team's connection to the Brooklyn Nets and star players like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will only help in developing the team's young players. 

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Dec 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard Kyrie Irving (11) react in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Dec 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard Kyrie Irving (11) react in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

Nets general manager Sean Marks met with reporters via a conference call on Wednesday morning, and while the team isn't looking at coaching candidates just yet, Marks will seek players' input on who gets hired, whenever that may be. 

"We are not reaching out to anybody right now," said Marks. "That would completely not be fair to our group. I think what I'm seeing so far from how our group -- with Jacque (Vaughn) and his assistants -- how they're working through this and how they're reaching out to players and their collaborative approach within the organization has been great. I think it's extremely important that everybody has not only my support but the owner's support and front office's support during this time. That's our priority."

Marks also said that he anticipates collaborating with some of the Nets' star players like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to get their thoughts on who the next head coach should be, while also making a point that ultimately it's management who makes the final call.

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Dec 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard Kyrie Irving (11) react in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Dec 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard Kyrie Irving (11) react in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

The Nets, who went into the 2019-20 season expecting to be legitimate contenders, underwhelmed before the season was paused, posting a 30-34 record that had them in position to nab the seventh playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Along the way, they lost Kyrie Irving for the season and parted ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson.

But with Irving expected to be ready to go for the start of the 2020-21 season, and Kevin Durant likely ready to join him, the Nets reportedly have their eyes on adding a third star to the mix.

Tags: Caris LeVert, Danny Abriano
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A general view of Barclays Center
A general view of Barclays Center

Shortly after it was announced that the entire Nets team had been tested for coronavirus -- with four players testing positive, including Kevin Durant -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took issue with the situation.

"We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested," de Blasio tweeted. "Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick."

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Nets tested the entire team after they returned from San Francisco, with results coming in on Tuesday. Wojnarowski added that the Nets paid a private company to administer the tests.

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The Nets announced Tuesday that four players have tested positive for coronavirus.

Four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Of the four, one player is exhibiting symptoms while three are asymptomatic, the team said in a statement. All four players are presently isolated and under the care of team physicians.

The organization is currently notifying anyone who has had known contact with the players, including recent opponents, and is working closely with state and local health authorities on reporting. All players and members of the Nets travel party are being asked to remain isolated, closely monitor their health and maintain constant communication with team medical staff. The health of our players and staff is of the highest priority to the organization and the team is doing everything within its power to ensure that those affected receive the best care possible.
 
As always, we appreciate the support of our fans, partners and surrounding community, and we wish all those who are battling this virus a speedy recovery.

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Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Even if the NBA season extends into August due to the coronavirus crisis, it doesn't sound like Kevin Durant will return to the court for the Nets.

Rich Kleiman, Durant's business partner and manager, downplayed the possibility of the two-time Finals MVP returning this summer during an interview on ESPN Radio Tuesday.

"Honestly, not very realistic from my standpoint and not even spoken about," Kleiman said when asked on the Golic and Wingo Show about the possibility of Durant returning in July or August. "…. It clearly was not something that was in the cards prior to all this. And now, just like the rest of the world, it's hard to take anything more than day by day. I think that Kevin's going to figure out the space that he needs to be in to continue to rehab during this time. Even that is hard to answer at this point with the new kind of rules that were put in place (restricting player travel)."

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Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) reacts after making a three point shot against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) reacts after making a three point shot against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Like just about every professional athlete these days, NBA players have a lot of time on their hands ever since the league suspended its season last Wednesday due to the coronavirus outbreak, and they're figuring out what to do with their time.

Some players have taken to playing video games, with many streaming online, and others have continued to work out and keep their bodies in shape in hopes of the season resuming as soon as possible.

But for Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, it seems like he's going to be doing a lot of film studying...of his own highlights.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
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Feb 10, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; A NBA basketball rests on the floor during a game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 10, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; A NBA basketball rests on the floor during a game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

After a CDC report recommending that no gatherings of 50 or more people take place for the next eight weeks was released on Sunday night, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that a number of NBA owners and executives increasingly believe a best case scenario is a mid-to-late June return to play -- with no fans.

This may not come as such shocking news to some, with Adam Silver saying on TNT's Inside the NBA only just a few days ago, that the season would be suspended for at least 30 days and "of course it's possible" that the season as a whole gets canceled.

A return to basketball in mid-to-late June would mean the NBA Finals wouldn't take place until August -- something the league is already looking into by scouting possible arena dates that late into the year.

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Nov 21, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the team logo on the shorts of Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (6) as he warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Nov 21, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the team logo on the shorts of Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (6) as he warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

The Nets and Barclays Center announced on Saturday afternoon that hourly arena employees will continue to be paid for their scheduled shifts through the end of the May, unless events are rescheduled before that.

A statement released by both the team and the arena read that "Hourly workers at Barclays Center are the bedrock of the fan experience in the arena."

"While all of us are negatively affected by the suspension of the NBA season and state-wide ban on events with 500 people or more, we are especially aware of the difficulties faced by our hourly employees," the statement continues. "When games and events are cancelled or postponed, work stops and so do paychecks.

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DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan

The Nets may be getting tested for the coronavirus on Saturday.

WFAN's Maggie Gray said she ran into Nets' center DeAndre Jordan on Friday, and Jordan said he thinks the entire team will be tested this weekend.

The Utah Jazz have two players with the coronavirus: Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.

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Oct 23, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the press during the 2023 NB All-Star announcement at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Nicoll)
Oct 23, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the press during the 2023 NB All-Star announcement at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Nicoll)

On Wednesday night, the NBA became the first of the four major American sports league to suspend its season, with the NHL and MLB later following suit.

The announcement shocked the sport world, as the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder were about to tip-off from Oklahoma City when it was revealed that Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for coronavirus. 

After Wednesday's slate of games (which included two cancellations), the league officially suspended the 2019-20 season, doing what is best for team and fan safety.

On Thursday night, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver joined the Inside the NBA on TNT crew to discuss the timeline of the events that led to the suspended schedule and whether or not there's a possibility that the rest of the season will eventually be cancelled. 

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The NBA announced on Wednesday evening that the league is suspending its season due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus just before Wednesday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The league released a statement saying that a Utah Jazz player has tested positive for COVID-19, and though Gobert was not specifically named, he was scratched from the lineup beforehand, and Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported Gobert did indeed test positive.

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December 25, 2019; San Francisco, California, USA; General exterior view of Chase Center before the game between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
December 25, 2019; San Francisco, California, USA; General exterior view of Chase Center before the game between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

The Nets and Warriors will be playing in an empty arena Thursday night during the first game in any professional sport in the United States to not allow fans to watch due to the coronavirus.
 
The news was first reported by The New York Times' Marc Stein on Wednesday, the same day San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced all large gatherings are banned to try to curb the outbreak. 

San Francisco health officials will be issuing an order that says no gathering with more than 1,000 people will be allowed, and that ordnance will be upheld for at least two weeks to see what happens with the virus that has found its way to at least 40 states. 

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Mar 6, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during the second quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during the second quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Some Nets veterans had serious questions about whether Kenny Atkinson could coach the team to an NBA title, per SNY sources.

"They weren't sure if he was the right guy," one source said Sunday.

It's unclear if the players' concerns factored in to the organization's decision to part ways with Atkinson on Saturday.

Tags: DeAndre Jordan, Jarrett Allen, Ian Begley
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Dec 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard Kyrie Irving (11) react in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Dec 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard Kyrie Irving (11) react in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

The Nets had their reasons for parting ways with fourth-year head coach Kenny Atkinson, but veteran DeAndre Jordan was adamantly against the idea that they did so due to input from Brooklyn's superstar duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

Talking to reporters after Sunday's 110-107 win over the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center, Jordan was pressed by one media member about outside speculation that the Nets separated with Atkinson because new players such as Irving or Durant wanted Brooklyn to do so.

Asked about Irving's potential factor into the Nets' decision on Atkinson, Jordan noted that the Nets have new players throughout the roster, such as Wilson Chandler and Garrett Temple. On the same reporter's third question, Jordan appeared to be fed up.

Tags: DeAndre Jordan
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The Nets announced Saturday morning that they parted ways with fourth-year head coach Kenny Atkinson, but their focus shifted quickly under interim head coach Jacque Vaughn.

Led by Atkinson's fourth-year assistant -- the former Orlando Magic head coach, for two-plus seasons from 2012-15 -- the Nets came together Sunday at Barclays Center and took care of business in Sunday's 110-107 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Nets players such as rising star shooting guard Caris LeVert -- who dropped 23 points while shooting 7 of 14 from the field (4 for 6 on three-pointers) while grabbing six rebounds and dishing five assists -- opened up on Atkinson's sudden departure.

Tags: Caris LeVert
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Prior to the Nets' game against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, interim head coach Jacque Vaughn told reporters that DeAndre Jordan will start at center over Jarrett Allen.

Jordan has started just four games this season, while playing in 54 total games. The 31-year-old veteran is averaging 8.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game this season in 21.8 minutes per game.

This is Vaughn's first move as head coach after the team parted ways with Kenny Atkinson on Saturday morning.

Tags: DeAndre Jordan, Jarrett Allen
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In the wake of the Nets and Kenny Atkinson "mutually parting ways" early Saturday morning, the team will now search for the next head coach to lead the franchise, and star guard Kyrie Irving seems to reportedly have someone in mind.

Per Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill, Irving reportedly would prefer if his former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach and current Los Angeles Clipper assistant coach, Tyronn Lue, became the next person to run the Nets' locker room, according to league sources.

Lue was Irving's head coach in Cleveland for one and a half seasons and was the associate head coach behind David Blatt for another season and a half up until Blatt's firing led to his promotion.

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Nets general manager Sean Marks said on Saturday that the decision to let Kenny Atkinson go was made mutually between he, Atkinson and owner Joe Tsai. Marks added that the decision did not include input from players. 

"It was after deliberation with Kenny over the course of the last two or three months," Marks said. "They were ongoing. I can't really put a time on it. We decided that if there was an opportunity for a change and put the Nets in a better place, whether that was personnel on the court or any one of us, we would have that honest conversation. That's where we left it last night. This morning we discussed it, Kenny, myself and ownership, and that's the decision we came to."

Marks didn't divulge many details about the factors behind the decision, perhaps to avoid saying anything negative about Atkinson. But he did say that Atkinson, a former Knicks assistant, felt that he'd lost his presence in the Nets locker room to some degree. 

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Oct 11, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; A general view of the NBA logo on the stanchion prior to the game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Boston Celtics at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)
Oct 11, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; A general view of the NBA logo on the stanchion prior to the game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Boston Celtics at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)

The NBA is reportedly taking precautionary measures to increase teams' preparedness for the spread of coronavirus.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, team doctors and trainers have a conference call set for Monday morning to discuss the next steps.

Meanwhile, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the league has asked all teams to have guidelines in place by March 10, including an arrangement with an infectious disease specialist, a testing facility, and a plan to limit team and arena staff.

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The Nets and head coach Kenny Atkinson are mutually parting ways, the team announced on Saturday. Jacque Vaughn will serve as head coach for the remainder of the season.

SNY's Ian Begley reports that, per sources, some players felt that Atkinson had lost a portion of the locker room recently.

"After discussions with Kenny about the progress of the season, we mutually agreed that a coaching change would be in the best interest of the team," Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement. "This was an extremely difficult decision, however the organization believes it is the one that is necessary at this time. Kenny was instrumental in developing our players and building the identity and culture we have become known for these past four seasons. The foundation he helped put into place here is one the we will continue to build on in the coming seasons.

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Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Nets star forward Kevin Durant is out for the 2019-20 season, keeping his eye on the 2020-21 campaign as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles sustained last June, but he continues to make strides in his injury recovery.

Joining play-by-play broadcaster Ian Eagle and color analyst Richard Jefferson on the YES Network broadcast during the first half of Wednesday's game between the Nets and Grizzlies at Barclays Center, Durant discussed the latest in his rehab process.

Among the updates, Durant said that he has been playing 3-on-3 games.

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Mar 3, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) shoots against Boston Celtics center Daniel Theis (27) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Mar 3, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) shoots against Boston Celtics center Daniel Theis (27) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

With Kyrie Irving now out for the remainder of the season and Kevin Durant not available at all this year, the Nets are in need of someone to pick up the slack for a Brooklyn team that is still very much in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

And it looks like Caris LeVert is answering that call for help -- at least on Tuesday night he did. LeVert went on an absolute tear against the Celtics in Boston, scoring a career-high 51 points -- 37 of which came in the fourth quarter and OT -- to lead the Nets to a stunning 129-120 comeback win.

Down 71-50 midway through the third and 84-67 heading into the fourth, the Nets, led by LeVert's 26, scored a franchise-record 51 points in the final quarter.

Tags: Caris LeVert
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Jan 31, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacsts after scoring against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 31, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacsts after scoring against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Nets announced that PG Kyrie Irving underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday to repair his right shoulder impingement. The procedure was performed by Dr. Riley Williams III at the Hospital for Special Surgery. 

Irving was shut down two weeks ago when he re-aggravated his shoulder, which has been bothering him all season long. Head coach Kenny Atkinson said at the time that Irving was to see a specialist, and he determined surgery was the best option.

Irving joined fellow superstar Kevin Durant as being out for the season, as No. 7 is working his way back from his Achilles injury. 

Irving only played in 20 games this season, but was averaging a career-high 27.4 points, 6.4 assists, 5.2 rebounds and shooting 48 percent from the field over 32.9 minutes per game. 

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Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) reacts after making a three point shot against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) reacts after making a three point shot against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Brooklyn GM Sean Marks has no problem with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and other Nets sharing their thoughts on potential roster moves. 

"These guys know the players better than anyone else. (When we say to them), 'This is what we're looking at. Well what do you think?' They'll be brutally honest because they've got to go play with those guys," Marks said in an interview on WFAN's Benigno and Roberts Show earlier this week. "So I think it's important to weigh their opinions from time to time, and we certainly do that."

Many NBA stars are consulted on personnel matters. So it isn't all that surprising that Nets management would talk to its players about potential moves. 

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie, Ian Begley
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Mar 24, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sean Marks general manager of the Brooklyn Nets talks at a press conference announcing the Long Island Nets D League team before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Mar 24, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sean Marks general manager of the Brooklyn Nets talks at a press conference announcing the Long Island Nets D League team before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

The Nets were quiet at the recent NBA trade deadline. This summer could be different, and general manager Sean Marks said his current personnel could be of assistance when adding future pieces. 

One of the Nets stars, Kyrie Irving, recently said his team is "one or two" pieces away. His season is done and Kevin Durant's never began in the first place. 

All those circumstances combined have many looking toward Brooklyn's future, not their present. When discussing Irving's comments on WFAN radio on Monday, Marks reflected by saying that some players could be of assistance to getting the Nets to where he and Irving envision them. 

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 22 points and the Nets led by as many as 20 points, but Brooklyn ultimately fell to the Philadelphia 76ers in overtime 112-104 on Thursday night. 

With Kyrie Irving now officially done for the season due to shoulder surgery, and Kevin Durant still recovering from Achilles surgery, much of the scoring onus for the Nets will now fall on their two young staring guards, Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert.

Dinwiddie had a very strong overall game, scoring 22 points to go along with eight assists and five rebounds, while LeVert scored a team-high 25 points in the OT loss.

The Sixers jumped out to a commanding 22-4 lead on Thursday night, but the Nets answered back thanks in part to strong play from their second unit. Brooklyn outscored the Sixers 32-16 in the second quarter, taking a 10-point lead into halftime.

Tags: Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Jan 12, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles up court during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 12, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles up court during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

There were probably more than a few eye rolls from outside observers when the NBA Players Association voted Kyrie Irving as vice president. 

Reports of Irving being distant with teammates earlier in his career have created a perception that the Nets star isn't a great teammate. Whether that perception is fair or not probably depends on what you've seen, what you know - or what you've heard - and how you view that information. 

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