The Brooklyn Nets promise to be one of the most interesting teams to watch heading into the new season. The two players on the roster who generate the most headlines are undoubtedly Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but they are not the only integral parts of the group.
As noted by Durant in a conversation with Mollie Waller of the New York Post, DeAndre Jordan is something of an unheralded piece crucial to the squad’s chemistry.
“DeAndre is sort of like the glue in the locker room and everybody kind of gravitates towards his voice and his energy,” Durant said.
“We all played against DJ throughout his whole career, and even as a competitor, he still has that joy and spirit within the game you know, playing tough but also understanding that he is playing the game.
“He brings that kid-like enjoyment to playing us. He knows how to switch it on because, sometimes, you need to cut that s–t out and be locked in. And he understands that. It’s a good balance for us as a group.”
Jordan signed a four-year, $40 million deal with the Nets back in 2019. Although many scoffed at the notion of him being a big piece in an offseason that resulted in both Durant and Irving landing in Brooklyn, clearly he plays a role.
“I just want to come and be a great veteran leader for our guys and keep them lighthearted, especially when we’re going through the ups and downs of the season,” Jordan said this week.
“You can go on a great streak you can go on a bad streak, but for us, to be able to keep things in perspective and compete while having fun, that’s kind of my main focus.”
New head coach Steve Nash had similar praise for Jordan.
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 8, 2020
“He’s a welcome personality in an otherwise fairly chill group,” Nash said.
Jordan, for his part, is preparing for a season unlike any other.
“This season is going to be a lot different than any other seasons prior,” he said.
Alabama went after Coach O hard after the game. https://t.co/SUduHNyY5I
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 6, 2020
“You usually go to dinner, we go to the movies, bowl, whatever it is to get out of the hotel, so we got to find different ways to still be able to hang out off the floor in a safe way obviously. I’m not trying to sit outside and eat outdoors while it’s cold, but we’ll figure out ways for us to gel and build off the floor safely.”
The Nets currently sit behind the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks in most sports books when it comes to 2021 title odds.
Will they be able to shock the world? Time will tell.