And yes, the Heat were impressed.
“They did what they said they were going to do,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. “They want to compete for a championship.”
During the summer, Nets general manger Billy King completed a blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics to acquire future Hall of Fame forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. In the deal, the Nets also got reserve sharpshooter Jason Terry.
“How do you not respect it? Really. They had a terrific summer,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It is not easy to accumulate that type of talent and have that many All-Stars on the same team. And you could feel the excitement from the offseason that they have.
“We respect that. We knew the competition would get better. We knew an organization like this wouldn’t stand pat and they would push to get better.”
The Heat battled the KG/Pierce-led Celtics in the playoffs.
“You had to kill those guys, they wouldn’t stop,” Heat forward LeBron James said. “They got me a few times, and I was able to get them a few times.”
When asked if he thought the rivalry with KG and Pierce would continue now that they’re in Brooklyn, Wade responded, “Yes.”
When asked if the Nets could challenge the Heat for the Eastern Conference title, James responded, “I have no idea.”