The Nets had everything they needed for a clean slate heading into the 2012/13 season: a new locale, a massive state-of-the-art arena, and even a complete rebranding. A sweet black-and-white color scheme and Calexico tacos in the concourse will only get you so far though. General Manager Billy King & Co. made a handful of bold moves this summer, but none bigger than the trade that brought Joe Johnson into the fold. The Nets were quick to introduce the sharpshooter to the press alongside star point guard Deron Williams. At the presser, King didn't mince words when speaking about the potential of the pair.
"This is a great day, because we've put together what I call the best backcourt in the NBA," King said, according to Ben Couch of NBA.com. "There are a lot of good backcourts, but I don't think there are many where you've got two guys that can get 18-20 points every night and defend their positions."
There's no denying that the Nets are a stronger team after pairing one of the league's best one-guards with an elite scorer, but does that give them the top backcourt in the Association? Lakers star Kobe Bryant and summer acquisition Steve Nash don't see it that way. Bryant celebrated his 34th birthday in August and Nash will turn 39 before this year's All-Star break, but the two are still undeniably among the best at what they do. And while Bryant was forced to carry the perimeter scoring burden at times last season, he'll now have Nash to help keep defenses honest. Of course, it also helps that the pair will have the league's best center in the post to anchor everything. Looking at the backcourt as a separate entity, do you have Bryant and Nash over Williams and Johnson?