The NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint, but that doesn’t mean the struggling Nets can’t learn a thing or two from one of the best American sprinters of all time.
Former Olympian Michael Johnson — who, in 1996, became the only male sprinter to win the 200 and 400 meters at the same Olympics — stopped by Nets practice on Monday and apparently made quite an impression on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
“He was so dedicated and so focused,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “Setting goals is the big thing . . . If I’m thinking about that every day it’s going to motivate you . . . How do I get myself where I want to be to get to my goal?
“That stuck with me and it will stick with me.”
Johnson, 49, has four Olympic gold medals to go along with eight world championship victories, and Hollis-Jefferson said Johnson spoke about how being single-minded toward a goal is the key to reaching the height of your potential. It’s something the Nets’ second-year swingman is intent on achieving.
“To grow and to evolve into a game-changing player is something that I’d love to be,” he said. “So [I want to be] striving for greatness and working to be the best player that I can be, whatever my potential may be at.”
And give Hollis-Jefferson credit for aiming high . . . in any arena.
“I challenged him to a race but he is not racing me,” he said, laughing. “I had to tell him that I was faster than him, of course.”