EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - With the grind of another training-camp practice behind him, Joe Johnson plopped down in a folding chair and turned his attention to an interesting statistic.
When he learned Saturday that he has played 34,500 minutes since 2003, second only to LeBron James among NBA players, Johnson didn't even raise his eyebrows a millimeter. Father Time has been giving the Nets guard plenty of hints lately.
"Nah, I didn't even know," Johnson said. "I feel it, though. You know what? At 33, my bounce-back ain't like it used to be. Normally, next day I'd be ready to go. That day we had off [Friday] didn't do nothing."
Johnson, now settling into his third season with the Nets, can be thankful in another regard, though: He's quite familiar with his team's environment and everything that comes with playing in this market.
The Nets' roster is dotted with new players, meaning many of them are trying to get acclimated and comfortable in a different setting, all while attempting to build the necessary on-court cohesion.
Traded here from Cleveland during the summer, Jarrett Jack is chief among the Nets' crop of newcomers, along with Bojan Bogdanovic. Jack, playing for his seventh team in 11 seasons, is well versed in knowing how long it takes before everyone finds that needed comfort level.
Jack, showing he has a little Dr. Phil in him, explained it in his own unique way. "It's like a relationship," he said. "I'm dead serious, though. Some girls, you can feel more comfortable with them in a quicker time frame, and others, it takes a little longer. The law of the land. And sometimes when it takes longer, you are like, 'Man.' Sometimes when [you're too] fast, we kind of hit our stride a little too early in the season. I think that's where the experience comes in."
Ideally, Jack hopes that comes in late December or early January, especially factoring in the time it may take for the Nets to adjust to new coach Lionel Hollins' style and become well-versed in his principles.
"Ten, 12 practices in, you are tired of people running the plays and they know the play," Jack said. "It's at that point where you are just like, 'Man, I really wish we could just play against somebody in a different jersey.' But right now in between these lines, between here and Tuesday , it's still a little bit of mental fine-tuning, understanding mental reads, still getting some camaraderie built . . . "
Notes & quotes:
Andrei Kirilenko practiced in full for the first time since experiencing back spasms Sunday. Sergey Karasev (sore right foot) also returned to practice after sitting out the previous two practices, but Alan Anderson (sore right abdominal muscle) sat out for the second straight session. Kirilenko didn't rule out playing in their preseason opener. "At this point of the season, you want to be in practice," Kirilenko said. "You want to be on the court because that's the only time we have to get into shape, to get into the game rhythm. So to miss those opportunities, it's missing days."