Nets’ Big 3 also have made an impact in this area



The Big Three’s impact in Brooklyn isn’t just being felt on the hardwood, but in the boardroom and on the bottom line.

After struggling for years in the merchandising department, the Nets finished the first half of the season second in NBA team merchandise sales, the highest ranking in their history.

Three Nets also finished in the top 10 on the jersey list with Kevin Durant at No. 3, Kyrie Irving at No. 6 and James Harden at No. 9.

The Big Three joined a trio of other Brooklyn teammates — Joe Harris, DeAndre Jordan and newly signed Blake Griffin — among the list of 57 players in the U.S. men’s senior national team player pool for the Tokyo Olympics.

When asked if he encouraged his players to play for Team USA, or whether he was more concerned about injury in non-league activities, Steve Nash took a hands-off approach.

James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant merchandise is flying off the shelves.
James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant merchandise is flying off the shelves.

“If the players want to play and represent their country, I think it’s great,” said Nash, who was GM of Team Canada. “There’s a risk to get injured anytime you play basketball. If they’re not playing in the Olympics, they’ll be playing in a gym somewhere, hopefully, staying sharp and working on their game.

“We take risks all the time as players, and if our guys have the dream or the will to want to play in the Olympics and are fortunate enough to be on the squad, I wouldn’t want to take that away from them, Nash added before the Nets’ 121-109 win over the Celtics.”

Irving escaped being fined by the league for not speaking during an All-Star Game availability last Sunday.

“We investigated the situation and Kyrie had a personal family matter that didn’t allow him to participate in media availability earlier in the day,” a league spokesman told The Post.

Jeff Green (right shoulder contusion) was available, while Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (right knee soreness) was out. Green scored 11 points in 25 minutes.

With all three of their 10-day contracts expired — and Griffin’s addition filling only one spot — the Nets have two open roster spots. But Nash demurred when asked about plans for reinforcements.

“I’d have to pass that question off to Sean [Marks, GM],” Nash said. “I think as a coaching staff we’re quite happy with where we are. But I couldn’t answer that. I think that’s more a question for the front office.”

The Nets have continued to be linked with Andre Drummond if the center is bought out by the Cavaliers, with the Los Angeles Times reporting the Lakers would be Brooklyn’s prime competition.


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