The Brooklyn Nets are excited to see what Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs can bring to the team. They’re already making headlines.
The Brooklyn Nets took two international players in the 2018 NBA Draft. Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs had their introductory press conference on Friday and they had a lot of good things to say—and some brash statements that should rile up New York. Musa and Kurucs are young—19 and 20-years old respectively—and they are going to be fun in Brooklyn.
Like Kristaps Porzingis, Kurucs is from Latvia, and he had some “fighting words” for his countryman. When asked about playing with Porzingis on the Latvian National Team he said that he hopes to play with him someday. But when asked if he hopes to get a chance to play against him in the NBA he said, “Sure—and beat his ass.”
He said this with a smile on his face and there was no ill will intended, but it shows that he’s got a personality fit for Brooklyn.
Musa is known for being an emotional player and he’s definitely going to be a fun player to follow. He exudes an air of confidence and maybe he’s just trying to emulate one of his heroes. When asked about what players he grew up watching and trying to emulate he immediately named Kobe Bryant. Musa said:
“First of all my idol growing up was Kobe Bryant because of that killer mentality. All night, he went on the court and he just wanted to kill everybody.”
That’s an accurate description of Kobe and that’s the type of mentality that can bring back that Brooklyn grit.
Also, when asked about when they fell in love with the game, Musa said, “As soon as I got a ball. I was like, ‘I’m gonna marry you one day.’ Now I’m here.”
In addition to the brash talk and excellent quotes from the neophytes, Nets general manager Sean Marks discussed the roles they would fill in Brooklyn. Marks echoed the sentiment that seems to be catching on around the league—positionless basketball. Marks went on to say:
“I would hate to pigeonhole any of these guys into, ‘You’re a 2-guard, you’re a 3-guard, you’re a 4.’ It goes back to how they develop, what their development plan is here,” said Marks. “Young guys coming into the league, there’s some stepping stones that they’ve got to go through. It would be far too early for me or anybody to decide this is the role or this is the position that they have to play. Let’s see how it pans out. But they do have a skill set – length, body size, IQ, all those intangibles.”
The Nets are in the midst of a full rebuild and it makes sense to avoid locking any of their guys into a set role. They’re going to have time to grow into their roles and figure out exactly how they fit into the puzzle that is the Brooklyn Nets.
Both guys are projects who are unlikely to take on a major role in year one. But they could definitely develop into rotational players at the very least. If nothing else, Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs should bring some much-needed personality to Brooklyn.