The 2011-12 Nets: Where Are They Now?
Last season, 22 different players suited up for the New Jersey Nets, with only 10 playing in at least half of the 66 games of the truncated NBA schedule. Only six of those 22 are back for the first year of the Brooklyn era, leaving some Nets fans wondering the whereabouts of 16 contributors to the end of the Jersey era.
Finding some of them is easy enough, as four are still in the NBA; Gerald Green is a starter for the Indiana Pacers, while DeShawn Stevenson, Johan Petro, and Anthony Morrow are now balling in Atlanta after being part of the trade that brought Joe Johnson to the Nets.
Three more, meanwhile, are out of the game entirely: Jordan Williams, who was also part of that Atlanta trade, was waived by the Hawks in September and is currently awaiting a call; Mehmet Okur, who was part of the trade that brought Gerald Wallace to the Nets last February, retired this past off-season because of the back issues that limited him to 17 games in 2011-12; and Shawne Williams, who was also part of that Wallace trade, has run into legal trouble of late and is not playing basketball.
As for the other nine, the majority have found homes overseas, where most of them are thriving in international leagues. A look at where they are now, with all stats through New Year's Day:
Andre Emmett: A veteran of basketball in eight different countries, Emmett is currently in Lebanon, playing for Amchit Club of the Lebanese Basketball Federation. Emmett has played just three games this season, but has scored 123 points in those three contests, shooting 57.9 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from beyond the arc, and he has also hauled in 21 boards and dished out 14 assists.
Jordan Farmar: Also part of the Joe Johnson trade, Farmar requested and received a buyout so he could go overseas. He landed in Turkey, signing a three-year deal with Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball League. So far, Farmar has played in 11 Euroleague games, averaging 14.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, and has averaged 15.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game in his 10 Turkish League games.
Sundiata Gaines: Signed and then waived by Indiana in September, Gaines found a home in China with the Fujian Quangzhou Bank Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association. In 15 games for Fujian, Gaines is averaging 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game – both good for third on the team – and leads the Sturgeons by dishing out 4.6 assists and swiping 1.3 steals per game. And, in perhaps his best moment, in his first game in China, Gaines hit the game-winning shot off a turnover by another very familiar name: Tracy McGrady, who now plays for Quingdao in the CBA.
Dennis Horner: After spending 2010-11 playing in Cyprus, Horner spent 2011-12 cycling between the Nets and their D-League affiliate, the Springfield Armor. This year, Horner went back to Europe, signing with the Artland Dragons of Germany’s Bundesliga, and he has played in a total of six games, three in the Bundesliga and three in EuroCup competition. In Germany alone, Horner is averaging seven points and seven rebounds, and he is averaging 10 and 6 in EuroCup play so far.
Damion James: After losing most of last season to a foot injury, James has gone down to the NBA Developmental League, where he is averaging 14.8 points and 7.1 rebounds in 13 games for the Bakersfield Jam. With the Jam, James is a teammate of Stephen Dennis, who played for the Nets in the Orlando Summer League and was with the team this past preseason as well.
Armon Johnson: After spending the preseason with Orlando, Johnson signed with BC Astana of Kazakhstan. He has played just one game with Astana, notching 13 points, two rebounds, and three assists in 17 minutes.
Larry Owens: After playing for three NBA teams over the previous two seasons, Owens left for France this fall, signing with JDA Dijon Bourgogne of the Pro A League. In eight French games so far this season, Owens is averaging 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game, and in four EuroChallenge games, Owens has averaged 7.8 points, 1.8 boards, and 2.3 steals.
Jerry Smith: After spending two years in the States with the Armor and eventually the Nets, Smith signed with Pallacanestro Cantu of Italy’s Serie A this winter, and has played in six Italian contests and four EuroLeague games. Smith is averaging 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in Serie A, and 6.3 points, 2.5 boards, and 1.8 assists in the intra-continental series.
Shelden Williams: “The Landlord” played 58 games for the Nets last season, starting 35, but was not brought back. Instead, he signed with Elan Chalon, the defending champions of the French Pro A League, and is averaging 11.3 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game while shooting 52.1 percent from the field in 14 French games this season. He has kept a very similar pace in 10 EuroLeague games as well, averaging 11.3 points and 7.6 boards while shooting 52.4 percent in those contests.
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