Avery Johnson Is Disappointed The Brooklyn Nets Can’t Do Enough To Help Northeast After Hurricane SandyNovember 2, 2012 – 7:30 am by Steven Cuce
The New York Knicks-Brooklyn Nets season opener at the Barclays Center took a backseat this week after Hurricane Sandy rocked the Northeast, devastating millions of people in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Originally on Wednesday, the NBA had planned to have the Knicks-Nets game in Brooklyn for Thursday, but after the strong urging of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and public outcry in the Northeast, the NBA made the right decision in postponing the game and rescheduling it for Nov. 26.
Nets head coach Avery Johnson is disappointed so many fans and friends have been impacted by this natural disaster, but wants to let everyone know his team understands the situation at hand. Brooklyn will now be ready for their official season opener against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
Avery Johnson joined 98.7 ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss the Knicks-Nets season opener being rescheduled due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy, his family getting through the storm, his players losing focus due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy and the Nets team being ready for the season opener on Saturday.
Are you disappointed the first game was rescheduled due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy?
“Well I think it’s a two part situation. My disappointment is in seeing the devastation that so many fans and friends and their families are all going through in this whole northeast corridor. A lot of different communities, not just New York, New Jersey, Connecticut — just the devastation. I think that’s what I am more disappointed about and also disappointed that you can’t do enough to help these people get back on their feet, so obviously the game was a big game and it was our moment in the Barclays Center. It’s not like we are never going to play the Knicks again, but right now, as an organization, we got a lot of things we are thinking about and there are a lot of people who are devastated with this whole deal.”
How did you and your family get through it?
“Well fortunately I evacuated from Jersey City on Sunday at the recommendation of one of my staff members here to a hotel in Manhattan. Fortunately I made out okay. The building I live in is a 40-story somewhat building. The elevators aren’t working and the power has been in and out, so there’s some issues there. Obviously Hoboken has a million more issues than what we even have in my area. One of my players, Tyshawn Taylor, who was unable to come to practice today because he’s basically flooded in, has a lot of issues. So again, we as a staff and the players, we don’t have much to complain about if anything. There are a lot of people in serious trouble and hopefully they’ll be able to get their lives back together.”
Would you understand if your players aren’t completely focused when you play on Saturday due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy?
“Yes. My family, with me being from New Orleans, I’ve been through situations with my family. I wasn’t in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit, but my family was there and I had a lot of people evacuate to my home in Texas. I knew what the Saints went through as a football team and obviously the Hornets at the time, and while we all get paid to play this game and coach it, guys still have families and they have things they’ve got to think about, but hopefully once we get into the Barclays Center and we get some of our fans into the building, hopefully we’ll give them something to smile about.”
Are the Nets where you expected them to be as a team for Saturday?
“I think under the circumstances we are. We just need a game and hopefully at some point we’ll have one and we’re anticipating having one Saturday, so we’ll know more about what the team is once we get into the regular season. I like our guys. They work hard every day. They are coachable. We feel like we have some advantages at different positions and we have … some real depth and so now it’s just a matter of getting into the season and putting it all together.”