The New Jersey Nets reopened their team facility to players on Thursday and the first player through the door was center Johan Petro.
"Get this thing started," Johan said upon his arrival. "I'm here. I'm ready to go. Crazy as it sounds, I miss my teammates."
Johan is ready for a new season in New Jersey (Getty Images).
Johan has spent much of the offseason in the New York/New Jersey area, so while many of his teammates were still making arrangements to get back to town, JP was ready to start training the moment the doors opened.
"As soon as we left, everyone went home and worked out there," he said. "For me, this was my home, so I was here. But if I had to be in Florida working out, I would be there."
The big man did spend some time if Florida, where he has family and went home to France for a short time, but the bulk of his time was spent working out close by as he waited out the lockout.
"Was I upset? Of course," he said. "I was out of a job. Was I understanding what's going on? Yes. I think everybody was – even somebody who wasn't following basketball, at some point – the same thing said over and over again, so you get to understand what's going on."
NENE THE NET?
One topic that was raised in Johan's first media session of the new season was Nene Hilario, his former teammate with the Nuggets.
Nene, a free agent after nine seasons in Denver, has been linked to the Nets in rumors this offseason. JP believes the center could be a fit with any team, the Nets included.
"Nene's a strong big," Johan told the Star-Ledger. "That, I think, was a concern going through last year. I think everyone knew we were a little soft down in the post. He could help any team, actually, with his talent and the size that he is."
With Brook Lopez currently in place as the New Jersey center and Johan as his backup, No. 27 said he believes Nene could fit alongside at the power forward position.
"Nene is more of a face-drive type of guy," he said. "And he can pass the ball like crazy. People don't really realize that but he can pass the ball. So yeah, I think he can be a strong 4, especially since he's not 7-footer or anything. Plus he can take people off the dribble and he's strong enough to be a 5."