Knowing full well that Knicks fans might pack the Barclays Center on opening night, Nets shooting guard MarShon Brooks said it’s an opportunity for “the new guys on the block.”
“We just wanna try to steal some New York fans, so what better way to start than by getting a win on opening day,” Brooks said. “New York is gonna be buzzing for that game. It’s the start of a rivalry.”
When the rivalry tips off on Nov. 1, Brooks believes the Nets will be a force to be reckoned with. He cited an influx of veteran leadership and experience as the biggest difference going into this season.
“Last year we were one of the youngest teams in the NBA,” Brooks said. “With Joe [Johnson] in the backcourt, with Deron [Williams], obviously they have multiple all-star appearances between the two of them. Gerald Wallace is one of the most crafty veterans in the league as well.”
In addition to acquiring Johnson via trade and re-signing Williams and Wallace, the Nets signed 17-year NBA veteran Jerry Stackhouse, who played in 30 games with Atlanta last season, and traded for former Clipper Reggie Evans, who has 10 NBA seasons under his belt.
Johnson’s acquisition is the one that will have the most direct impact on Brooks, who started at shooting guard for the Nets last season. Brooks said that as one of the team’s younger players, he can provide a spark coming off the bench.
“With my scoring, I’ll just be creating extra opportunities for the team,” Brooks said. “Just going out there and providing energy we need on a nightly basis.”
Brooks was in the heart of Knicks country Friday at Fox Business’ headquarters in midtown Manhattan. In an effort to help promote the Decathlon, a charity event in which Wall Street employees compete in athletic events to raise money for cancer research, Brooks competed against Knight Capital Vice President Brad Bagdis in a vertical jump. Bagdis, a former Harvard football defensive end, edged the Nets star by what Brooks called “a hair.”
“The guy can jump,” Brooks said of Bagdis.
Bagdis, who said three of his immediate family members have lost their lives to cancer, was more excited about spreading awareness than beating Brooks.
“To have a professional team, and to have Marshon come out and champion this cause, and get behind it, that’s an awesome, awesome thing,” Bagdis said.