There was always the deep rooted tradition of the Knicks in New York, the institution that the Nets were never going to overcome no matter how many pep rallies they hosted at Brooklyn Borough Hall.Note that, however ridiculous the 2012 pep rally was--I remember Borough President Marty Markowitz pretty much unhinged--Bondy wasn't saying so at the time.
But that’s not what the Nets are fighting now in their dying quest for New York’s attention. On the other side of the Manhattan Bridge, there’s the kind of young savior that Brooklyn can’t fathom for quite some time because of all those traded draft picks, because a perfectly good startup collapsed under Mikhail Prokhorov’s hubris.
This is Kristaps Porzingis’ town for the taking. The Nets needed somebody like the 7-3 Latvian to make their mark and reverse the pecking order, but instead blew their assets load on mercenaries Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
But it is fair to say the consensus now is that, had Prokhorov built the "startup" more slowly, the Nets would be stronger.
Were Williams, Garnett, and Pierce mercenaries? In hindsight, sure, especially the latter two, near the end of their careers. But Prokhorov easily paid the freight.