Sunday, October 24, 2010

To ESPN, the biggest thing about the (non-turnaround) Nets is still their owner, likened to the omnipotent Galactus

In ESPN The Magazine's preview issue on the National Basketball Association season, each team is represented by a comic book cover rendering.

It's notable that, among the 30 teams, only four don't feature players dominating the image: the New Jersey Nets, with Mikhail Prokhorov (right); the Charlotte Bobcats, with player-turned-owner Michael Jordan; the Indiana Pacers, with player-turned-president Larry Bird; and the Dallas Mavericks, with flamboyant owner Mark Cuban.

The text
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

Mikhail Prokhorov is many things to many people: billionaire entrepreneur, playboy, and new owner of the Nets. But to Marvel, he's Galactus, an omnipotent figure with infinite resources and a voracious appetite for devouring worlds. Prokhorov took over the Nets in May, and the team already has a new GM (Billy King), coach (Avery Johnson) and arena (Newark's Prudential Center). But Silver Surfer Devin Harris remains. Can Prokhorov's team turn around last season's 12-70 mark? He's not that powerful--yet.
Some caveats

First, some people, like Matt Taibbi, might add the term "gangster" to the description of Prokhorov.

Also, it's misleading to conclude that Prokhorov is fully responsible for the changes cited. Longtime GM Rod Thorn decided to leave, precipitating the search for a replacement, and the team had had interim coaches last season.

And the interim move to Newark had been in place since last March.

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