Billy King Discusses Lopez Injury, Rondo Altercation, Joe Johnson and Stackhouse

Moke Hamilton,

Billy King

Thursday evening, Nets general manager Billy King held a conference call with the media to discuss Brook Lopez’s foot injury, but he did field questions on other items.

Most notably, King discussed the suspensions handed down by the NBA in the aftermath of the altercation between Rajon Rondo and Kris Humphries that occurred during the second quarter of the Wednesday night matchup in Boston’s TD Garden.

He did, however, touch on a number of items, including the progress of the Nets, the play of Joe Johnson and Jerry Stackhouse, and the job that Avery Johnson has done thus far.

On Brook Lopez’s Foot Injury

Billy King says that Lopez experienced discomfort in the foot during the Celtics game, but the team doctors opted to have an X-Ray done on Thursday. The X-Ray was done at noon on Thursday and it didn’t reveal any fracture.

King told reporters that Lopez “has a mild sprain of the right foot,” and that “the location of the pain is on the top of the foot, the injury is different than what he had before.”

Lopez has been ruled out for the next two games when the Nets play the Orlando Magic on Friday and the Miami Heat on Sunday. He will be re-evaluated after Sunday’s game and will be “day-to-day” thereafter.

Lopez may be available to return as soon as the Dec. 4 Barclays Center matchup versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, but King stressed that there is no definitive timetable for Lopez’s return at this time.

“We’re gonna wait until he’s close to pain free,” King said. As of now, Lopez is in pain and can’t run. “If he could run, he’d be playing.”

On Aftermath of Rondo Altercation

Rajon Rondo was suspended for two games for attacking Kris Humphries on Wednesday night. According to King, other Celtics players were fined. For the Nets, no players were suspended but Gerald Wallace was fined $35,000.

“Stu Jackson has a tough job at the league,” King said. “They have to make tough decisions.”

And as for a response to reports that Celtics players had negative things to say about Humphries afterward?

“Kris is doing a great job for us,” King said. “So I really could care less about what the Celtics say.”

Per the NBA’s official statement, Rondo is suspended without pay. For him, the altercation will cost him about $240,000 in lost wages.

In the statement, the NBA says Wallace’s fine, as well as a $25,000 fine levied on Kevin Garnett was for “escalating the altercation.”

On Team’s Progress And Current Standing

King is excited with where the Nets are right now, but believes that this week’s wins over the Knicks and Celtics shouldn’t be celebrated too much. “They’re satisfying, but we got Orlando tomorrow,” he said. “As quickly as you have a great win, the next one comes pretty quick”

“I think Avery has done a good job of putting guys on the court and putting a system in place.”

On The Play of Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson has shown flashes, but is yet to put together a consistent string of good shooting performances, still converting on just 39.5 percent of his looks on the season.

“I think what Joe has done a great job of is attracting double teams and finding guys that are open,” King said. “I think right now, he and Deron aren’t shooting a great percentage… but they are getting guys easy shots.”

He added: “Joe has been a complete basketball player for us with how he’s played.”

On Jerry Stackhouse

“Jerry was brought in, number one, for his veteran leadership… But he worked out twice a day in September getting himself ready for the season… When bringing these guys in, you never know what you’re gonna get until they start practicing… The rotation tends to develop once you start to play games… Jerry has given us more than we expected, but he prepared himself.”

On Mirza Teletovic

With Lopez out for at least the next two games, it stands to reason that Mirza Teletovic will be activated and asked to play some minutes. King was asked about how Teletovic had handled his lack of minutes and how he thinks he will respond. “Some guys when they come over from Europe, it takes a while,” he said.

“Drazen Petrovic, one of his idols, didn’t play at all [initially]… [Mirza] has worked his butt off, he’s dropped his weight, and his opportunity will be there.”