18th April 23:41
Richard Jefferson "We can be the best team in the league"
"I think we've closed the gap with a lot of teams in the West," Scott
says. "I'm sure everybody's still going to talk about San Antonio and
the Lakers. A lot of people are talking about Minnesota. I think
getting Alonzo was the biggest acquisition of this whole summer. I
think he can have just as big an impact as any other player who's been
picked up by any other team. We have a chance to be one of the elite
teams in this league."
With Mourning and Planinic, the Nets can now go a legit 10 deep. They
have a perennial MVP candidate in Kidd, a budding star in Martin,
athletic wings in Jefferson and Kittles, veterans with something in
the tank and an overarching incentive: not to become the Buffalo Bills
of the NBA. They think they're ready to walk the walk with the Spurs
and Lakers and Mavs and Kings.
"We proved that last year," Martin said. "We won two games (in the
Finals). It's unfortunate that somebody had to get the flu (Martin
sleepwalked through the last two games after catching it, going
3-for-21 from the floor in Game 6). We just came up a little short.
With the pieces we have this year, with our experience of making it,
hopefully that'll take us over that hump."
"I can't think of a player in this league that doesn't want to play
with Jason Kidd," Mourning said. "I knew that in order for us, in
order for me, to accomplish the goal of winning a championship, I had
to be part of a team that had a great point guard. And Jason Kidd is
the best in the business right now."
"For years and years, being in Miami, one of the things that was
constantly drilled in my mind through Pat Riley was 'Win, win, win.' I
want more, more, more, more," Mourning said. "It's a part of me, now.
Just living that way for so many years, and practicing at that high
level and doing all of those things, to (compete) for a championship
and coming up short was extremely disappointing to me."
"I think we can be the best team in the league," Jefferson said. "We
needed to get someone who could clog up the middle and defend, and we
got that. We needed a backup point guard to take pressure off of J
Kidd, and we added that. We're really not going to need 'Zo to average
38 minutes a game. We've got a lot we can do."
"It's just a great feeling to walk in here and know that you have a
team that each and every year competes for a championship," Scott
said. "That's all you want, is a chance. We've been able to have a
chance the last two seasons, and each season we felt we made ourselves
a better team ... if there is a time, the time is now, if everything