SINGAPORE/UNITED STATES - Watch out LeBron James, the Brooklyn Nets are coming for you.
After forming the National Basketball Association's (NBA) newest 'super team' with a string of high-profile signings, Brook Lopez believes his side can topple the Miami Heat and bring a championship to the city of New York.
"We want the title next season - I won't settle for anything less," the 25-year-old centre told The Sunday Times during an exclusive phone interview on Friday.
"We've got the best roster now; there's a lot of intelligent, high IQ players who know what it takes to be the last team standing."
Following a first-round play-off exit at the hands of the Chicago Bulls, the Nets' billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov has splurged to assemble the league's highest payroll of US$102 million (S$130 million).
Arriving from the Boston Celtics are veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, whose premier shooting and rebounding skills led their previous team to the 2008 NBA championship.
Together with Lopez and an elite backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, this creates a starting line-up with a combined 35 All-Star appearances.
Seasoned utility players Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko and Shaun Livingston were also roped in to beef up the bench.
The Nets, who changed their name and colours after moving from New Jersey to a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Brooklyn last year, are going all out to make up for past struggles. Last season's play-off appearance was their first in six years.
"I've spoken to Paul (Pierce) and he can't wait to get going to build a new legacy in a new city - he said he will do whatever it takes to help the Nets win," said Lopez, who averaged 19.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and a career-high 2.1 blocks last season.