Nets coach Lionel Hollins recently drew attention when he said “vocal leadership is overrated” on NBA teams. Rather than the rah-rah approach, he prefers leadership by example from a team’s stars, as he explained before the Nets faced the Magic last night at Barclays Center.
“What’s overrated is just having veterans in the locker room,” Hollins said. “You have to have veterans that are solid citizens that come and work every day. They’re able to teach professionalism to the younger guys and teach them how to work.”
He singled out Kevin Garnett. “KG was at the practice facility every morning at 8:30,” he said. “Practice didn’t start until 11:30, but he was there going through his workout. If the young guys were coming late, he could get on them and tell them, ‘This is how you do it. Be here when I’m here.’ It works better when your best players are doing it. If a guy is sitting on the end of the bench and doesn’t play, his leadership means nothing.”
In his previous three games, Brook Lopez had 16 turnovers. Hollins said the club has worked with him in practice to correct the problem. “They’re trapping a lot, and he’s got to get the ball out quicker,” he said. “The more you hold it, the more they come. The mindset has to be that ‘I’m going to give the ball up early and make you respect all over the court.’ ’’ . . . As a starter in the previous three games, Bojan Bogdanovic averaged 14.7 points, a significant jump from his season average of 9.0. “It’s just being aggressive,” Hollins said. “Obviously, he’s playing with more confidence, but more than the confidence is his aggressiveness in looking for shots instead of just standing around and waiting for someone to throw him the ball so he can shoot a three.”