Friday, March 16, 2012

Even after Dwight Howard move falls through, Nets CEO Yormark claims, "I'm thrilled with the pieces we have"

WhenNets/Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark was booked for an "exclusive" interview this afternoon on the Fox Business Channel, both he and the bookers had to be betting the Nets would have big news to report, notably the acquisition of star Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard.

But Howard decided to stick with the Magic for another year, and the Nets' big move was a trade--which some saw as lopsided against them (though others don't)--for Portland Trail Blazers forward Gerald Wallace.

Nevertheless, Yormark put on his game face and insisted, with all the sincerity's he's mustered in the past, "I'm thrilled with the pieces we have."



The interview began and ended with the ritual invocation by the interviewers of Brooklyn as "a fiercely loyal community and yet they haven't had a team of their own."

"The brand is Brooklyn," Yormark followed up. "We are so thrilled to be finally getting to Brooklyn... As Jay-Z often says, we are the new Dodgers... the Dodgers are coming back in the form of basketball."

So, he was asked, how make it special?

"I think it first starts with the customer experience, and making everyone feel like they're a celebrity," Yormark declared. "The Disney Institute will be doing all the training of our site."

"Some people say it should start with the team," he was told. "You need the right players. of course, Dwight Howard decided to stay... Some people say you gave up too much to get Gerald Wallace. How do you build a team from here?"

"Well, I'm thrilled with the pieces we have," Yormark maintained. "Obviously, Deron Williams is our star player .. and he loves being in New York, his family's here, he's had a great season. I love the work that Billy King and ownership are doing to fill in the pieces around him. I look forward to the product we'll be bringing to Brooklyn. I think it's going to be a great product."

Of course Williams will be a free agent himself this summer, and though he's been quite positive about the Brooklyn move, he'll surely get a bid from his hometown team, the Dallas Mavericks, and their aggressive owner Mark Cuban.

"Just a brand new building does not a winning team make," Yormark was asked. "What are else are you going to offer when basketball tickets are getting extraordinarily expensive for a family of four?"

"First of all, the Barclays Center is bigger than just basketball. We'll do 225 events annually," Yormark responded. "But one of the things that we committed to was to have over 2000 seats priced at $15 and under. Anyone that wants to experience the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center will have the wherewithal to do so."

I will be quite surprised if the Nets regularly have more than 2000 seats at $15 and under, and any seats under $15. The promotional language has pretty much specified 2000 seats at $15.

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