Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Count Lance Thomas among the NBA players who are surprised that Carmelo Anthony isn't on an NBA roster.
"I think he deserves to end up on a team. A guy of his caliber is someone who has always been a standup guy in the league. He's given amazing basketball memories to the NBA, has affected almost every teammate he's ever had in a positive way, and always has a smile on his face," Thomas said Friday at Nets Media Day. "I think he does deserve to play on a team. I think it's unfortunate what's happening. But you're not going to take the smile off his face even if you tried."
Thomas signed with the Nets on Friday. His addition puts Brooklyn's roster entering training camp at 20 players - the maximum allowed under NBA guidelines. So the Nets would need to waive someone to add Anthony, which seems unlikely at this point.
Thomas, who played with Anthony during his Knicks tenure, was asked on Friday if he's surprised that the 10-time All Star isn't on a roster.
"I think the world is surprised," Thomas said. "I don't know enough to speak on it. But I can speak on the character that Melo has, how hard he works, how great of a teammate he is. I think the world of him and I think that he does deserve a chance to lace them up again."
Anthony and the Houston Rockets parted ways after just 10 games last season. He worked out with some Nets in Los Angeles in the offseason and several Nets players were in favor of the club adding Anthony, though that doesn't seem likely at this point.
Thomas worked out with Anthony during the offseason and said he's in great shape.
"I think it's the best his body looks. He has the first step back. It looks like he's having fun playing the game again," Thomas said. "That's all I really hope for him is that he's happy playing the game and not worry about things he has no control over."
Here are a few other notable quotes from Nets Media Day:
Kenny Atkinson on how the culture the Nets have built could change with new faces like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Brooklyn: "I look at it as a wonderful challenge. That's the really fun part about being a coach. It's about getting all these pieces to work together. As a coaching staff we did a good job getting those guys to play together last year and creating that great chemistry and help them overachieve. But I think it's the same challenge with these guys and a fun challenge. I can't tell you what that's gonna look like right now, gotta get to know these guys better. But I'm excited about it."
Atkinson said some aspects of training camp and how things look on the court will change this season with Irving on the roster. "I think the best coaches adapt to their players. You have to understand the players you have and put them in he best position to succeed. Those are part of the tweaks. I don't think they're monumental changes but subtle changes that will help our team come together quicker," Atkinson said.
Atkinson on his relationship with Irving thus far: "It's been as good as it can be. I think the offseason is a great time to get to know not only the player but the person. I think it's a slow process, a building process. But I'm really pleased where it is right now. Again it's early, we've had great basketball conversations, but maybe more importantly great life conversations. From a basketball standpoint and what I've seen in pickup games, very impressed. The work capacity and the work ethic is the reason he's a great player. People talk about talent but they forget about the work part. Then the understanding of the game, the basketball IQ is at a very, very, very high level. It's exciting and I can't wait to see where that relationship goes. But it got off to a great start, but the real test is when the pressure of games comes. We all know that's the real test of a relationship."
DeAndre Jordan on Jarrett Allen: One interesting positional battle for the Nets is DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen. Allen is one of the Nets top young players but his role/playing time may be impacted by Jordan. Here's how Jordan sees the dynamic heading into training camp: "I think it should be competitive man. I think that Jarrett's done a great job here. He's protected the rim for these guys, he's set screens and rolled to the basket. He's done things that helped them win games here, helped us win games here. So I think that we just want to build off of that, but we're going to be competitive. And we're going to bring out the best in each other. And whatever is going to help our team, I think that we're both ready to do that."