Last week, the NBA awarded the 2015 All-Star Game to Madison Square Garden, but the other festivities to the Barclays Center, a nod perhaps to not only the Knicks' longevity but also the plethora of hotel rooms in Manhattan.
Then Knicks' owner James Dolan fired GM Glen Grunwald, demoting him to consultant. As Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal put it:
By nearly all accounts, Grunwald—who initially took over in 2011 on an interim basis following Donnie Walsh's exit—did well with a difficult situation. Few could have expected last season's No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.Yormark on TV
Still, Dolan probably wasn't thrilled to see the rival Nets steal headlines and make strides, both this summer and last, by pulling off blockbuster trades despite also being far above the cap.
So it was a confident Nets/arena CEO Brett Yormark appearing 9/27/13 on Bloomberg TV, spouting many business buzzwords.
"This thing has grown exponentially since [Russian billionaire Mikhail] Prokhorov bought it three-plus years ago. I think a lot of it was the move here to Brooklyn but we were top five in ticket revenue, we were top four in merchandise."
"The move to Brooklyn has been transformational, not just from a product standpoint, but from a business standpoint," he added. "We have some of the best brands also working with us, from a sponsorship perspective."
What about a championship?
Yormark was relatively modest about the team's chances. "We're on a championship journey," he said. "We're in that conversation... if things work out the right way, if we can stay healthy, if we can create that chemistry, we have a chance to win a championship... we're very humble about it, because we're not that far removed from that 13-win season and we know what it feels like to be on the other side... we're cautiously optimistic... this is our time, this is our moment, and I hope to do something very special for Brooklyn."
Earlier this month he said, "Nothing but a championship is going to be accepted."
"You're a global team with a Russian owner," he was asked. "When I talk to professional basketball players, they talk all about international.. can the Barclays Center, can the New York [sic] Nets engage a whole country like China?"
"Yes, I just returned from a trip to China," Yormark replied. "Kevin Garnett signed a deal with sneaker company... we hosted 30 CEOs for dinner... many of our games will be televised in China... even though the product doesn't exist there... we will be a featured team there, our merchandise is found everywhere...we can have a viable business in China."
Could Beijing consider Brooklyn to be their home team?
"Well, I tell them it's from Brooklyn to Beijing, and everything in between," Yormark stated. "Yes, we want to be the home team, the home NBA team in Beijing... we want to be the home NBA team in Russia... I think with the star power we have now, especially when you speak to Russia, Andrei Kirilenko, we have the direct connect to those consumers, and now we have to leverage it."