NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The Nets beat the two-time defending-champion Heat in preseason action on Thursday night.
It wasn’t pretty, to say the least, with Brooklyn winning by a score of 86-62.
But the action on the floor wasn’t the biggest story of the evening.
There’s already a hint that this could become a rivalry when the games do count, as Miami-Boston was before the Celtics traded Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn. A day earlier, James noted that those two shouldn’t have been so hard on Ray Allen when he opted to leave the Celtics for the Heat, since Pierce and Garnett ended up leaving themselves — though Allen was a free agent and the pair was traded.
“I think the first thing I thought was, ‘Wow, Ray got killed for leaving Boston, and now these guys are leaving Boston,’” James told ESPN on Thursday. “I think it’s OK; I didn’t mind it. But there were a couple guys who basically (expletive) on Ray for leaving, and now they’re leaving.
“That’s the nature of our business, man. I don’t know what Boston was going through at the end of the day. I know Ray had to make the best decision for him and his family and his career. Doc, KG and Paul did that as well. You can’t criticize someone who does something that’s best for their family.”
KG responded on Thursday, and he bluntly told the nine-time NBA All-Star to mind his own business.
“Tell LeBron to worry about Miami,” Garnett said when asked about James’ comments. “He has nothing to do with Celtic business.”
The Nets believe that their acquisition of Pierce and Garnett, along with a number of other moves, has given them a roster that can compete with the Heat in the Eastern Conference. All that could really be told from this game was that the Nets appear to have a better back-end of their bench.
Garnett played only 10 minutes on Thursday night, scoring two points and grabbing a rebound.
The teams will meet again in Brooklyn on Nov. 1 in the Nets’ home opener.
“They have champions on their team, they have gold medalists on their team, they have guys who have been through a lot,” James told ESPN on Thursday. “It should be fun playing against them throughout the regular season and possibly in the playoffs.”
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