Sunday, July 07, 2013

Prokhorov "blew up the NBA" (but has stayed away from non-NBA issues like arena noise); Kidd takeover massaged

The trade for longtime Boston Celtics stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce provoked at least one pundit to project the Brooklyn Nets as having the best season record and title choices, though the most recent odds have them at seventh, though ahead of the 11th-ranked New York Knicks.

No wonder, as GQ blogger Bethlehem Shoals wrote 7/2/13, How Mikhail Prokhorov Blew Up The NBA
By saying a polite "fuck you" to the luxury tax, Mikhail Prokhorov has created a haven for player roster fantasies (or fantasy player rosters). He's fulfilled every mad Russian billionaire joke that dogged him when he first purchased the Nets and, at the same time, allowed the front office to recede like never before.

...Prokhorov is a thousand times more radical than Miami's Big Three could ever be. He has the means to challenge the system on a scale that no individual player, or group of players, could ever dream of. Unless, of course, they agreed to play for no salary at all, which is never going to happen. In the grand scheme of things, though, it's not that far from an owner simply refusing to care about money.
...All NBA owners make their money elsewhere and continue to do so. But Prok alone is willing to treat his team like a vanity project, at least for now.

....Short-term, it's a smart move. Long-term, it positions Prok as an owner with an unmistakable advantage over his peers. Peers, lest we forget, he is competing against for wins, television slots, apparel sales, and general notoriety.
Given how much money Prokhorov has already made on paper, with the value of the team skyrocketing, it's a reasonable move on a number of fronts.

And it vindicates his not-so-risky decision to invest in the team.

“The upside of relocating to Brooklyn -- becoming a major threat to the Knicks' hold on the New York metropolitan area's fan base -- is so huge,” suggested ESPN’s Chris Sheridan in 2009.  Also, “[t]he more frugal of the league's owners will be especially welcoming to any prospective owner who would try to spend his way to the top and pay the luxury tax, since that money is divided among the non-taxpaying owners.”

Money left un-spent

It shouldn't be forgotten, however, that Prokhorov, who owns 45% of the arena holding company has said nothing (nor has the majority owner) about what's being done to fix the problem of the arena's leaking bass.

Nor has he said anything, about what even the Daily News once opined in 2010, “He must work to ensure that the rest of the promise of developer Ratner's Atlantic Yards is fulfilled, complete with thousands of units of affordable housing."

Kidd takes over? Not quite

According to the Nets' in-house scribe, Summer League Mini-Camp: July 3:, "Jaon Kidd ran his first practice as head coach, joined by assistants Lawrence Frank, Roy Rogers, Eric Hughes and Doug Overton."

Not quite. According to the New York Daily News's Stefan Bondy, Time not on Jason Kidd's side as rookie Nets coach must win now with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce:
Kidd, who retired from playing a month ago, requires time and seasoning. After conducting his first practice Wednesday − a session with rookies and prospects ahead of Summer League next week — the 40-year-old admitted to being more of a spectator to assistant Lawrence Frank, because, “This could be kind of a summer school-type situation where I’m learning. So right now it’s observing and getting input and getting comfortable with the coaching aspect of it.”
No wonder, as The Brooklyn Game put it, Lawrence Frank’s contract may be largest ever for an assistant coach, over $1 million a year.

ESPN soon reported, "Nets coach Jason Kidd said he feels a lot more comfortable after the summer league team’s third practice."

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