New Jersey Nets: All-Star

Morrow pays tribute to Petrovic in shootout

February, 25, 2012
2/25/12
11:39
PM ET


ORLANDO, Fla. -- Twenty years ago, former Nets shooting guard Drazen Petrovic participated in the 3-point shootout at NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando.

Saturday night in Orlando, Nets shooting guard Anthony Morrow celebrated the legacy of Petrovic, who was killed in a car crash in 1993. Morrow wore the Croatian's authentic No. 3 jersey that was designed by Mitchell & Ness, the company that made throwback uniforms popular.

While Morrow couldn't make it to the semifinals -- Petrovic did in '92 -- he embraced the opportunity to honor the Nets legend, who averaged 21.4 points per game in his last two seasons in New Jersey.


Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty ImagesAnthony Morrow honored Drazen Petrovic on Saturday night.


"It was a great feeling," said Morrow, who finished the first round with 14 points. "I just wanted to make his family and his country proud."

After the competition, ESPNNewYork.com took part in a small Q&A session with Morrow. Here are 10 highlights:

Q.) What was it like to wear Drazen's jersey?
A.) It felt good. I like the Drazen jersey. We should wear these sometimes, man. It was cool. I'm glad I had a chance to honor him, even though I came up short.

Q.) Will you wear it again in a future shootout?
A.) I don't know if I'll wear this again. I think it's a one-time tribute thing.

Q.) What did you take away from tonight?
A.) Hopefully next year, I'll get a practice run before I go out there. But it was fun just to shoot the ball. If I had got to the second round, I would've had all the jitters out of my hand, and would've made even more shots. But it was fun, man. I had a good time.

Q.) Did shooting in the event feel different than usual?
A.) Not really, but I had problems getting the ball up right. I was trying to keep my eye on the rim, so in the future I'll make sure I glance down at the ball. Because I'm not really losing time with it. I probably rushed with the money balls. But, like I said, it was my first time. I got that top-of-the-key rack, I felt good, but I got tired in the last one. The money balls are very important. If I made two more of those, I would've had 18 or so.

Q.) Did you hear from the NBA stars sitting courtside?
A.) I heard Deron [Williams]. Deron was over there cheering me on, so that was cool.

Q.) How's the overall All-Star experience been for you?
A.) It's great. I'm competitive, so I'm pissed off I didn't win it. I really know if I got to that second round, I really would've made a good run for it. But I was messing with the other guys, like Kevin [Love]. I was like, "Now ya'll wanna shoot. First, you make one out of the first two racks. Now ya'll wanna shoot." In the first round, they were just on fire, but I'm really happy for Kevin [Love], man. He deserved it.

Q.) What's the best way to shoot in this kind of thing? Jumping or standstill?
A.) You've just got to shoot your normal shot. When you go around [the rack], you have to make a judgment. I didn't really have a chance to really do that. That's the main thing. But overall, I think I learned from the stuff I did and seeing what the other guys were doing.

Q: What's your plan for the rest of the weekend?
A.) Oh man, just have fun. Go back, see my family, just hang out.

Q.) How do you see the second half of the season starting off?
A.) I think we can make a strong push. First we got Brook [Lopez] back. MarShon [Brooks] is fully recovered from his foot injury. I mean, we've got little nagging injuries, but this break has been good for us. We've got Dallas, another good team, on the road [Tuesday night]. We're playing well on the road. We've got to come to practice focused Monday and just get ready for the second half of the season.

Q.) What are the team's keys for turning things around?
A.) The difference that Brook is making, the spacing that he's creating for everybody else so far. He hasn't even gotten his legs or his wind back. It's made it easier for Deron. Of course, he still has to be aggressive offensively and so do I, and so does MarShon. Kris [Humphries] is going to do his thing. All the pieces are falling in. We've got everything we need. [DeShawn Stevenson] is making shots now. So as long as everybody does what they're supposed to do, and we stay together as a team, I think we can make a run.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

D-Will finishes third in Skills Competition

February, 25, 2012
2/25/12
10:44
PM ET



Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty ImagesDeron Williams


ORLANDO, Fla. -- San Antonio point guard Tony Parker won the Skills Competition of the NBA's All-Star Saturday night festivities.

Parker was the only one of six participants to break 30 seconds in the first round (29.2) and this time of 32.8 in the final run on the obstacle course was better than Boston's Rajon Rondo (34.6) and New Jersey's Deron Williams (41.4).

Williams won the competition in 2008, which involves participants moving through a dribbling circuit, successfully throwing chest passes through a hanging tire and driving for a layup.

Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, Washington's John Wall and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook also competed.

Brooks in Rising Stars Challenge tonight

February, 24, 2012
2/24/12
3:47
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Nets guard MarShon Brooks will play in the Rising Stars Challenge at 9 p.m. in Orlando, Fla.

The event was formerly known as the Rookie Challenge and pitted the best second-year players against top rookies during All-Star weekend. The format is different this year: TNT analysts Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley conducted a draft and built teams with a mixture of first- and second-year players.

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty ImagesBrooks at Friday's practice.


Brooks will play for Team Chuck. Knicks guards Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields will play for Team Shaq.

Other players with ties to New Jersey and New York:

• Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving of Team Chuck played for St. Patrick's High School in Elizabeth, N.J.

• Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson of Team Shaq spent two years at Saint Benedict's Prep in Newark, N.J.

• Jazz forward Derrick Favors of Team Chuck was drafted by the Nets and traded to Utah in the Deron Williams blockbuster.

• Bobcats guard Kemba Walker of Team Shaq is a Bronx native who played for Rice High School in Harlem.

TEAM SHAQ

Norris Cole, Heat
Landry Fields, Knicks
Blake Griffin, Clippers
Brandon Knight, Pistons
Jeremy Lin, Knicks
Greg Monroe, Pistons
Markieff Morris, Suns
Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves
Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers
Kemba Walker, Bobcats

TEAM CHUCK

Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers
DeMarcus Cousins, Kings
Derrick Williams, Timberwolves
Paul George, Pacers
MarShon Brooks, Nets
John Wall, Wizards
Evan Turner, 76ers
Gordon Hayward, Jazz
Kawhi Leonard, Spurs
Derrick Favors, Jazz

Morrow to honor Drazen at 3-Point Shootout

February, 20, 2012
2/20/12
11:21
PM ET
Getty ImagesAnthony Morrow and Drazen Petrovic.
Nets shooting guard Anthony Morrow will take part in his first 3-point contest on All-Star Saturday night -- but he won't be wearing No. 22.

Instead, Morrow has elected to wear No. 3 to honor former Nets great Drazen Petrovic, who died in a car crash in the summer of 1993 at the age of 28.

"I like throwback jerseys anyway, but it's just a blessing to be able to shoot in a 3-point contest, and I think it's important that I honor a great person and a great shooter,” Morrow said before the Nets took on the Knicks on Monday night at the Garden.

Morrow came up with the idea on his own. He was inspired after watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Once Brothers," about the friendship between Petrovic and Vlade Divac.

"We had to go through the league, they approved it, so as far as I know I can wear the jersey," Morrow said.

Morrow is the second-most accurate 3-point shooter in the NBA history, and has converted at just over a 41 percent clip from beyond the arc this season.

He was installed as the favorite to win the contest by Las Vegas.

"That's cool," Morrow said. "I never thought I would've been picked as the favorite, but it's cool."

Petrovic was an emerging star at the time of his death. He averaged more than 20 points per game in his only two full seasons with the Nets, and was known for his long-range marksmanship. The Nets retired his No. 3 jersey in 1993 and he was enshrined posthumously in the Basketball Hall of Fame nine years later.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Joe Johnson
PTS AST STL MIN
16.4 3.7 1.0 34.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 7.9
AssistsD. Williams 6.7
StealsJ. Jack 1.1
BlocksB. Lopez 1.5