The Brooklyn Nets have been a quiet, early season surprise. Slotted by most as a low-seed playoff team, the Nets are 4-2, fifth in the Eastern Conference, and have the second-best offence in the NBA.
Though they have had a fairly weak schedule early in the season — they haven’t played a team over .500 yet — they’re generally beating the teams they should be beating.
However, during a practice Tuesday morning, guard Joe Johnson ripped apart his teammates for their effort and performance this season. From the Brooklyn Game:
“It’s just- as individuals, as players, (we have to) have each other’s backs out there… I just felt, I didn’t believe it. I go back, and I watch the tape, and I watch film just to try to get a different perspective, and I mean, my feelings haven’t changed.”
“It’s just kind of what it is. Defensively, we help from time to time, offensively, I just think guys kind of exhaust their options and then when there’s nothing else for them, then they will pass it when they have to. For the most part, we’ve been very selfish.”
Johnson also noted that the Nets’ schedule has been easy, saying the Nets haven’t “played anybody.”
“There’s no way you can play like we’ve played, you can’t go out on the road like that and play against these calibre teams — Phoenix, Golden State, Portland — those’ll be double-digit losses. So first test is tomorrow (Wednesday) against Phoenix.”
It’s kind of a strange rant from the generally mellow, quiet Johnson. The timing is also weird as, again, the Nets are 4-2, and their offence is scoring 109 points per 100 possessions, while allowing 102 points per 100 possessions.
Johnson never called out anyone directly, but said,”Man, first off I just play. I don’t really say much. If I’m speaking on something or saying something, then obviously it has to be something. So I’m not just talking for my health.”
It will be interesting to see if his tirade lights a fire underneath the Nets or angers some of his teammates who may feel the rant was unwarranted.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.