DURHAM, N.C. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The time is now.
The Nets general manager said Wednesday that he’s not worrying yet about the future and is hoping his series of offseason moves helps bring a championship to Brooklyn.
When asked if this team has a 2-year window to compete, King said that “this is the window. This season.”
“And we’re going to see what we can do with this season and then we’ll see what next season brings,” King added. “Now that we’re within this season, this is the now.”
Team owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who is due to pay about $80 million in luxury tax, has said his goal was to win a championship within five years of buying the team in 2010.
Kevin Garnett, who was acquired over the summer from Boston, said he was “very close” to retiring but added that a shot at a title was “the only reason I came back.”
“I liked the bones of this team and what I thought I could bring to this team would help,” Garnett said. A championship, he added, “would mean the world.”
The Nets acquired Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry from the Celtics, signed free agents Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson and Andrei Kirilenko and hired first-year coach Jason Kidd days after he ended his playing career.
“There’s not as much pressure just on (Garnett), as it has been in the past,” King said. “When we traded for him, he was just a face. Everybody said this team would go as far as (point guard) Deron Williams would take them. Well, now, there’s a lot more pieces.”
King said he’s impressed with the way the newest Nets have begun “blending in” with the returners.
“They’re here to win one thing, so when you have guys that have made as much money as they’ve made, the only thing they can do next is try to accomplish something — which is winning a championship,” King said. “When you have that, the intensity level does rise.”
The Nets are spending their weeklong training camp at Duke University — where King was a captain of the Blue Devils’ Final Four team in 1988 — meshing with a group of returners led by Williams and big man Brook Lopez.
Garnett called his first two days of practice “fun but tough.”
“Obviously, we’re new and we’re trying to get our feet under us, along with the system that Jason has given us,” Garnett said. Assistant Lawrence Frank “has a bunch of stuff, defensive schemes. It’s work. We’re coming in here, it’s kicking our (butts). It’s training camp. We’re at Duke for a reason.”
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