Josh Newman, SNYNets.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — With a mostly new roster, expectations of competing in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, and the franchise’s first regular season game in Brooklyn coming on November 1, the Nets are seeing a new level of media attention in comparison to previous seasons.
This week, there have been cameras and boom mics just about everywhere. The cameras see everything, whether it’s team huddles at the end of practice, Keith Bogans getting treatment from a trainer, or Joe Johnson addressing the media after practice.
Yes, cameras and a boom mics catch it all.
To some degree, the Nets can thank the NBA for the presence of some of the extra cameras and microphones. And they better get used to them, too. For the remainder of the season, the team’s ups and downs will be chronicled, as the Brooklyn Nets are the stars of ‘The Association,’ the NBA’s reality television show which focuses on one NBA team’s season.
Now entering its fourth season, The Association featured the Los Angeles Lakers (2009-10), Boston Celtics (2010-11), and Denver Nuggets (2011-12) in years past.
Despite the increased attention and the impending season-long weekly series, the team doesn’t seem to mind—or in head coach Avery Johnson’s case, notice—the cameras and crew around the PNY Center. Coach Johnson has made it clear that he plans on making sure his team stays focused.
“I haven’t really noticed it that much,” he said after practice on Wednesday. “And because we’re gonna have a lot of say in the final cut of what they’re gonna show on TV, it’s not even a concern.”
He continued, “I think they do a good job, I just remember getting mic’d up before practice and they take the mic off after practice. Once I get into practice, I’m focused on what’s going on.”
And his players have echoed similar sentiments.
Some view ‘The Association’ as the NBA’s version of ‘Hard Knocks,’ the wildly-popular HBO-produced show which chronicles the happenings of one NFL team’s offseason and training camp. The most obvious difference between the two shows is that ‘Hard Knocks’ is produced by HBO, while ‘The Association’ is produced by the NBA. A not so obvious difference is the fact that ‘Hard Knocks’ comes off as a bit of a soap opera due to the suspense of position battles and a high amount of players being released throughout the month of August.
On the other hand, the NBA-produced ‘The Association’ has and will continue to do the exact opposite, at least accoridng to Avery Johnson.
“I don’t think I really look at it as a reality show because in my mind, reality shows are about drama,” he said. “But ‘The Association,’ they want to put a positive spin on things. I’ve looked at what they’ve done with the Lakers and Boston and Denver. They weren’t looking for drama. I think they want to put a positive spin on what we do in the NBA.”
After practice on Wednesday, Deron Williams joked, ”They do a good job giving us our space. It’s not like we have to re-enact things like the Kardashian show.”
At least, we think that was a joke.
‘The Association’ will premier on October 16 at 10pm on NBA TV, but it will be a cross-platform series, which means it will air episodes on NBA TV, but will also include original webisodes exclusively on NBA.com.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA.