Saturday, November 07, 2009

Would Prokhorov buy the Nets even if they don't move (to Brooklyn)? ESPN columnist says yes

I suggested two weeks ago that, though a longshot, prospective owner Mikhail Prokhorov might want the Nets even if the Brooklyn move falls through.

Marc Stein on ESPN.com discovers a similar sentiment:
While it is widely assumed (as noted in Box 1) that the Nets have to end up in Brooklyn to have any shot of keeping their hopes alive in the LeBron James Sweepstakes -- have to -- it was stressed to me this week by one plugged-in source that the same does not apply to would-be Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

The early word is that Prokhorov, whose eventual approval by fellow NBA owners is also widely assumed, is determined to be the Nets' majority owner.

So determined that he apparently wants to take over even if the franchise can't extricate itself from New Jersey.
Interesting. While there obviously would be advantages in a brand new arena with better access to New York media and a new fan base, from Prokhorov's perspective, that may not be the deciding issue. The scarcest commodity is an NBA franchise.

But you can bet that if he does become the owner of a team that stays in New Jersey (but moves to Newark), the tentative deal he has with Bruce Ratner would be renegotiated.

Update: ESPN's Ric Bucher is more skeptical.

1 comment:

  1. "while there obviously would be advantages in a brand new arena with better access to new york media and a new fan base"

    the new york nets thought the same thing when they moved to the brand new nassau coliseum in 1972 ... yet they never averaged more than 7,000 fans per game - and usually far less than that - in any of their 5 seasons there, despite winning 2 aba championships and having a homegrown superstar - long island born & raised julius erving - leading their team

    the same holds true for the nhl's new york islanders, who've perennially ranked dead last, or near dead last, in per game attendance

    would the brooklyn nets have a lot more success marketing & selling their product than the new york nets & islanders did?

    possibly, but it's anything but a sure thing

    and last time i checked, the pru center in newark is widely regarded as one of the most fan-friendly arenas in the entire nation, as proven by the record breaking turnout for the 2 nets preseason games there

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