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Brooklyn Nets taking training camp to Duke campus

Aug 28, 2013, 11:17 AM EDT

Duke University Rape Investigation Continues Getty Images

Well, Durham is much greener` than Brooklyn this time of year.

No team may have more eyes on them this preseason than the Brooklyn Nets, who went out this summer with a “luxury tax be damned” attitude and added Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko to a roster that already had 49 wins (but was bounced in the first round by a more disciplined, tougher Bulls team).

To get out of the glare of that spotlight a little, the Nets are moving the start of their training camp to the Duke University campus in Durham, North Carolina, the team announced. They will be there from Oct. 1 to 5.

If you’re wondering the connection, Nets GM Billy King played for Duke (he was the captain of a Final Four team). Well, unless you think the Nets are doing this just to make Mason Plumlee happy.

“With many new players and a new staff, going on the road for training camp will offer a unique opportunity for our players to bond and focus solely on basketball as they prepare for this season,” King said in a released statement.

But it makes some sense, the university has world-class facilities and it lets them get out of some of the spotlight glare that will be on them this season.

The Nets went to great expense to put together a roster they think can compete for a title — they have a current payroll of $102.2 million (according to SHAM Sports), which means under the new escalating luxury tax they will owe $87.2 million on top of that. It’s a grand total of $189.4 million for just the roster.

A roster that is on the edge of contention but needs a lot of things to go right (I would still have them a step behind at least the Heat, Bulls and Pacers). It really comes down to how much Garnett can help turn the defense around (and if he can stay healthy to do it). The Nets are going to score plenty — they had the ninth best offense in the NBA in points per possession last season — and guys like Garnett will be a big upgrade on that end over Reggie Evans. The Nets will have a top five offense.

But their defense was 18th best in the NBA. Can KG, playing less than 30 minutes a night with a number of days off, lift that defense to the top 10 in the league or higher? Can first-year coach Jason Kidd put in a system that can lift the defense way up the ladder? If so, the Nets are dangerous. If not… wow that’s a lot of money to spend to make the second round (at best).

Whatever happens, it all starts at Duke.

  1. coryfor3 - Aug 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    So now K gets to sell this to recruits and let his players hobnob with NBA players and a HOF coach? He and Cal find every advantage and loop hole in recruiting.

  2. sportsguy88 - Aug 28, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Yeah Cory. Since K called the Nets and told them to come to Duke..

  3. sportsfan18 - Aug 28, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Well, Coach K has built up the Duke program over the decades to get it to where it’s at. Of course one uses what they are able to use to and for their benefit.

    One thing Coach K got lucky with was that he began coaching for Duke so long ago that the pressure to win right away wasn’t as great as it was pre-computers, twitter etc…

    His first three seasons coaching Duke were way back in 1981, 1982 & 1983. His records were as follows:

    17 – 13 ’81
    10 – 17 ’82
    11 – 17 ’83

    After that, they just took off. Only in one full season did they not win 20 games (other shortened season they were 9 & 3 under him when he left the team due to back issues).

    So after his losing season in ’83, they won 20 or more games in 28 out of 29 seasons (again excluding the season he left the team due to his back issues).

    And 13 of those 28 seasons they had 30 or more victories… Twice they finished with 29 wins and 4 times they finished with 28 wins…

    Duke, in a 9 yr stretch made it to the final four 7 times in 9 yrs including appearing in 5 consecutive Final Fours.

    Coach K has 81 wins in the NCAA tournament which is the most ever.

    In the 2007/08 NBA season, there were more Duke players in the NBA than from any other college.

    On the opening day rosters of the 2012/2013 NBA rosters, Duke had the 2nd most players in the NBA to Kentucky.

    I’m leaving so much out but when one has built up a track record like this, well things like this tend to work out for you…

  4. fahmundamahbalsaq - Aug 28, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    How funny is that. A bunch of uneducated bros, that jump straight to the pros, are gonna hang out at one the most best schools in the country.

    • kingwithringz - Aug 28, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      @fahmundamahbalsaq here’s a fun fact: White Guys are on the Nets roster too.

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