You can say one thing for these Brooklyn Nets—they don't back down.
It was media day inside the Barclays Center today, and New York's newest professional sports franchise was talking titles and expectations for the coming season.
“Where we are now, the goal is to win a championship. That’s the goal. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re playing for,” coach Avery Johnson told ESPN.com's Mike Mazzeo.
Johnson is the latest member of the Nets organization to reiterate the title goal, echoing recent comments by owner Mikhail Prokhorov who said he expects to hoist a championship banner within three years.
It can be seen as a positive development for the franchise, which was dismal its last three seasons in New Jersey, to even be able to mention the word championship without laughter following.
The Nets will feature one of the best backcourts in the league this year with Joe Johnson joining All-Star point guard Deron Williams.
Kris Humphries and the recently re-signed Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez will anchor the frontcourt.
For a team used to playing in virtual anonymity in New Jersey, the expectations of New York and their first season in Brooklyn will be immense.
This is something the team is not backing away from, and seems to be embracing.
“This year, the sky is the limit for us," said the newly acquired Joe Johnson.
"Like I said, I think it’s wide-open and I think we have a chance to win the whole thing this year, and I’m not just saying that. I honestly believe it.”
These are lofty expectations for a team that won a combined 58 games in its last three seasons. But that's what comes with a new roster, a new city and a new attitude for the once struggling franchise.
One thing is for certain, these Nets are not the team you've come to know. They have a new attitude and a new bravado that begins with their head coach and owner.
Whether they ultimately meet these expectations is yet to be seen, but one thing we know is that these aren't the same old Nets.