SINGAPORE - The hype surrounding the Brooklyn Nets in the build-up to the upcoming National Basketball Association (NAB) season is understandable.
The likes of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Andrei Kirilenko - players with 26 All-Star appearances combined - have been drafted into the team, and mixed with franchise stars like Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, the Eastern Conference outfit are rated as a club that could trouble the two-time reigning NBA champions the Miami Heat.
Lopez says the Nets' target is clear.
The goal is to get past the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals and lift the NBA championship.
The 2013/14 NBA season starts on Oct 29.
Lopez, who is in town for the NBA 3X Singapore 2013 event presented by Standard Chartered Bank, was asked if it was a straight fight between the Nets and the Heat for the Eastern Conference title.
The centre said: "I can't say who's going to be in the finals, but it's a goal of ours to win the championship, no question."
Powered by LeBron James, the Heat have been near unbeatable over the last two seasons, but Lopez appeared to bristle when The New Paper pressed him on the challenge the Nets face against their East Coast rivals.
"I don't know if we're out to prove we're better than them (Heat)," said the 25-year-old, who made his first All-Star appearance last season.