Skip to main content

Nets blown out by Hawks, eliminated from playoffs; "not a complete failure" or NBA's "most hopeless"

Brooklyn Nets sent this to their mailing list
They don't even make the back page of the tabloids, but the Brooklyn Nets--generally seen as overpaid and having mortgaged their future by trading away draft choices--were eliminated last night by the first-seeded Atlanta Hawks in the sixth game of the first round of the playoffs.

The Nets had put up a surprisingly strong fight in the series, tying it at 2-2, before reverting to mediocre play.

From NetsDaily:
The season ended in the third quarter. The Nets came out of the halftime break extremely stagnant, which led to a 23-3 Hawks run and 28-point lead less than six minutes into the quarter. Brooklyn trailed by only six at half.
No signs of fight, no signs of defense, no signs of mental toughness. Brooklyn turned the ball over six times in the quarter and allowed Atlanta to score a total of 41 points in the quarter, four less than what the Nets scored in the first half.
...The irate Brooklyn crowd booed the home team off the court as the inevitable was becoming a reality earlier than it should've.
As the fourth quarter came around, there was no resilience nor fight as the Nets looked somewhat content with a blowout on their home floor.
New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro wrote Disgraceful Nets expect good vibes from failure of a season:
Yes, it certainly was touching, all the hoorahs and huzzahs the Nets tried to bestow on themselves the past 14 days. They were thoroughly impressed by themselves, by the fact they did not fold into the tuck position in this series with the Hawks, did not opt to offer forfeits to Atlanta.
Yes, indeed: The Nets showed up for work in Games 3 and 4, and won both games. They gave the No. 1 seed all it could ask for, making the Hawks work for the victories they collected in Games 1, 2 and 5.
Gosh-darn-it, these Nets were so plucky, you could almost forget this was a second straight year when they spent more money than anyone else in the NBA and got so little bang for those 304-million bucks, winning exactly one playoff series. You could almost forget a team with three max-out players only made the playoffs their coach so proudly cited because they happened to play in what may have been the worst conference in the history of professional basketball.
...Now they want a standing ovation for squeezing into the playoffs with 38 wins. They take great cheer in being the only playoff team in New York, as if being better than the Knicks qualifies as anything other than being slightly more debonair than Abe Vigoda.
From the Times:
With that, the Nets, who have the highest payroll in the league, concluded another bewildering season in which they alternated between periods of proficiency and apparent incompetence. They tried and discarded offensive systems like party outfits. They played through injuries, trades and some seemingly dysfunctional parts.
...[Nets guard Alan] Anderson said the Nets had competed with the Hawks in every game of the series — except the last one: “To end it like this is nothing to hang your hat on,” he said.
And yet, in a perplexing season of sudden ups and downs and multiple identity changes, one in which the Nets’ true identity was continually hard to discern, it was an oddly appropriate way to end it.
Update: the aftermath

From Net Income of NetsDaily:
Now comes the reckoning.
The five year plan for a championship failed, despite the enormous expenditures, the enlistment of stars, the move to Brooklyn with its great arena. A new plan has to be devised and carried out. And it begins now.
It was, by no means, a complete failure and those parts that succeeded --Brooklyn, Barclays Center, ownership's commitment-- remain the team's biggest and best assets. Ownership and management will likely be (mostly) intact. There are rumors one or more members of the coaching staff may not return. But Mikhail Prokhorov is likely to retain control, Dmitry Razumov will likely still call the shots in basketball operations and Billy King and Lionel Hollins will likely retain their positions for at least another year.
The buzz for 2015-16 is that it will be a "bridge year," moving from the Big Three and Brooklyn's Backcourt to the 2016-17 TV rights bonanza
Sheridan Hoops's Michael Scotto was tougher, in Scotto: Mikhail Prokhorov’s Midlife Crisis
A first-round blowout in Game 6 with numerous empty seats and free t-shirts hanging in place of potential fans was not the vision Prokhorov had in mind when he purchased the team. In fact, some fans yelled “refund” and “go back to Jersey” as the Nets allowed 41 points to the Hawks in the decisive third quarter.
Will Prokhorov be going through a mid-life crisis in Turkey with beautiful women surrounding him? Hardly. On the other hand, the Nets are a team in crisis mode heading in the wrong direction next season.
Prokhorov will have much to ponder when he returns from his triumphant Turkish weekend.
Is it time to sell the team and cash out with a nice profit that will fund many more lavish birthday parties in the years ahead? Prokhorov turned what was a woeful franchise during its final years in New Jersey into a worldwide brand in Brooklyn that has made the playoffs in three straight seasons since moving.
Should there be a change in management?
..After five full seasons of Russian ownership, has this project been a success?
SB Nation's Tom Ziller wrote  The Nets are the most hopeless franchise in the NBA:
...This is what Nets fans have to get excited: The possibility of re-signing Brook Lopez (real good but one injury to his chronically injured foot from retirement), Thad Young andMirza Teletovic, plus two rotation players in their mid-20s and one additional fringe rotation player under age 25.
It gets worse! The Nets don't own their own first-round pick outright until 2019... So, there's no incentive to be bad, even.
...Plenty of NBA teams fail miserably. At least for most fans, there's a bright light to wake you in the morning. A promising young star like Andrew Wiggins, a reliable beast likeDeMarcus Cousins and a bucket full of ping pong balls heading into the lottery.
That's not the case in Brooklyn. What an incredible failure.


Popular posts from this blog

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

At 550 Vanderbilt, big chunk of apartments pitched to Chinese buyers as "international units"

One key to sales at the 550 Vanderbilt condo is the connection to China, thanks to Shanghai-based developer Greenland Holdings.

It's the parent of Greenland USA, which as part of Greenland Forest City Partners owns 70% of Pacific Park (except 461 Dean and the arena).

And sales in China may help explain how the developer was able to claim early momentum.
"Since 550 Vanderbilt launched pre-sales in June [2015], more than 80 residences have gone into contract, representing over 30% of the building’s 278 total residences," the developer said in a 9/25/15 press release announcing the opening of a sales gallery in Brooklyn. "The strong response from the marketplace indicates the high level of demand for well-designed new luxury homes in Brooklyn..."

Maybe. Or maybe it just meant a decent initial pipeline to Chinese buyers.

As lawyer Jay Neveloff, who represents Forest City, told the Real Deal in 2015, a project involving a Chinese firm "creates a huge market for…

Is Barclays Center dumping the Islanders, or are they renegotiating? Evidence varies (bond doc, cash receipts); NHL attendance biggest variable

The Internet has been abuzz since Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick reported 1/30/17, using an overly conclusory headline, that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Is Dumping the Islanders.

That would end an unusual arrangement in which the arena agrees to pay the team a fixed sum (minus certain expenses), in exchange for keeping tickets, suite, and sponsorship revenue.

The arena would earn more without the hockey team, according to Bloomberg, which cited “a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season--a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said."

That "signal," however, is hardly definitive, as are the media leaks about a prospective new arena in Queens, as shown in the screenshot below from Newsday. Both sides are surely pushing for advantage, if not bluffing.

Consider: the arena and the Islanders can't even formally begin their opt-out talks until after this season. The disc…

Skanska says it "expected to assemble a properly designed modular building, not engage in an iterative R&D experiment"

On 12/10/16, I noted that FastCo.Design's Prefab's Moment of Reckoning article dialed back the gush on the 461 Dean modular tower compared to the publication's previous coverage.

Still, I noted that the article relied on developer Forest City Ratner and architect SHoP to put the best possible spin on what was clearly a failure. From the article: At the project's outset, it took the factory (managed by Skanska at the time) two to three weeks to build a module. By the end, under FCRC's management, the builders cut that down to six days. "The project took a little longer than expected and cost a little bit more than expected because we started the project with the wrong contractor," [Forest City's Adam] Greene says.Skanska jabs back
Well, Forest City's estranged partner Skanska later weighed in--not sure whether they weren't asked or just missed a deadline--and their article was updated 12/13/16. Here's Skanska's statement, which shows th…

Not just logistics: bypassing Brooklyn for DNC 2016 also saved on optics (role of Russian oligarch, Shanghai government)

Surely the logistical challenges of holding a national presidential nominating convention in Brooklyn were the main (and stated) reasons for the Democratic National Committee's choice of Philadelphia.

And, as I wrote in NY Slant, the huge security cordon in Philadelphia would have been impossible in Brooklyn.

But consider also the optics. As I wrote in my 1/21/15 op-ed in the Times arguing that the choice of Brooklyn was a bad idea:
The arena also raises ethically sticky questions for the Democrats. While the Barclays Center is owned primarily by Forest City Ratner, 45 percent of it is owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov (who also owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets). Mr. Prokhorov has a necessarily cordial relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — though he has been critical of Mr. Putin in the past, last year, at the Russian president’s request, he tried to transfer ownership of the Nets to one of his Moscow-based companies. An oligarch-owned a…