It’s already a high-pressure time for the Nets, who have greatly underachieved. But CEO Brett Yormark upped the stakes substantially before the game.(Emphasis added)
“This market is very competitive,” said Yormark, who appeared at the Sports Business Summit in Manhattan. “As much as I say we don’t compete against the Knicks or the Garden, we do. That’s the reality of it. I’m opportunistic, right? They’re struggling, and – it’s going to be cyclical. So I want to own this city. That’s critical for us. I think the way you own it is by winning and getting to the playoffs this year.”
The Record notes that the Knicks, however awful, still have a historical hold on fans, so the Nets have to win big:
“Billy [King] and I talk about it all the time,” Yormark said. “We have these little windows over the last couple of years where we had a chance to really own the city. Now, we couldn’t own it [while playing] in New Jersey. But we can own it in Brooklyn.Still, the team has turned a bit of a corner. From the Times:
“We’re hoping to get to the playoffs this year, and if we get any traction, then we have a chance to turn those casual fans into hard-core fans. And those fence-sitter fans, if you will, get them to jump in and say, ‘I love what Brooklyn is doing.’ Winning helps.”
Wednesday’s result was a step backward, but the blowout will not change the fact that the Nets have looked like a different team since the All-Star break.
....After the Nets traded Kevin Garnett to the Minnesota Timberwolves for forward Thaddeus Young, [Coach Lionel] Hollins elected to go with a small lineup, employing Joe Johnson as a stretch power forward. The move, Hollins said, has allowed the Nets to play faster and spread out opposing defenses, which has helped both their outside shooting and their post scoring.