Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yahoo columnist: Anthony deal, now off the table, was about marketing Brooklyn (and those unsold suites)

It can be tough to untangle the logic behind some basketball moves--did the Nets really want Yi Jianlian for his skills or for the China market?--and that issue has come up again, as the Nets have abandoned pursuit of Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony.

The news came from principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov, as Yahoo columnist Adrian Wojnarowski put it, "[i]n a stunning and surreal declaration during a live, televised news conference," one that surprised Nets brass.

Wojnarowski adds:
When asked who had been driving the talks over the past several months, Prokhorov said, “It was purely on the basketball level.”

Nevertheless, sources insist the Nets’ ownership and marketing sides had been relentless proponents of bringing Anthony to New Jersey as a prelude to their planned move to a new arena in Brooklyn in 2012.
After all, they need to sell some suites.

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