Johnson clarifies comments about New Jersey

New Jersey Nets head coach Avery Johnson, speaking to 250 men at a Crown Heights Church in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, took a perceived slight at the state of New Jersey, the temporary home for the franchise before it moves to Brooklyn in 2012-13.

“I’m not looking at New Jersey,” Johnson said during his speech. “I’ve got my eyes on Brooklyn.”

He has since amended those comments.

“That statement was made in context of forgetting the past,” Johnson said before Wednesday night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. “Forgetting our 12-win season a year ago, our last season at the IZOD Center.

“Now we’re making our own history, our new history here at the Prudential Center as we transition to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in two years.”

Johnson made sure to thank all 8,866 fans who braved the blizzard-like weather conditions to attend Wednesday night’s 93-88 victory win over the Grizzlies.

“I just want to say a special thanks to all of our fans that showed up tonight,” Johnson said. “The weather is not good and it showed that we had 8,000 fans here tonight, but it felt like 18,000 in the second half. So thanks for helping us pull this game out. It was really great to hear how enthusiastic our fans were and how they came out in this inclement weather to help us get this victory.”