Skip to main content

As Nets flounder, marking demise of Prokhorov's strategy, coach fired, GM reassigned

With the Brooklyn Nets floundering and with limited opportunity to retool the roster in the short term, owner Mikhail Prokhorov decided to make perhaps the only possible dramatic change: he fired head coach Lionel Hollins, after 1.5 years, and reassigned General Manager Billy King, in his sixth season.

NetsDaily noted:
Multiple sources noted that while Russian ownership was willing to accept some blame and thus forgive King for the failed trades and other moves that left the team bereft of draft picks, they were increasingly upset with his hiring of Hollins. In fact, Hollins was hired so quickly after Jason Kidd's move to Milwaukee that neither Mikhail Prokhorov nor Dmitry Razumov had met Hollins prior his being hired.
Prokhorov will hold a press conference at the Barclays Center at 10 am today, one he can't charm his way through with droll quips and empty boasts. Perhaps he'll also be asked about the arena's poor financial performance.

The shake-up essentially consigns the rest of the season to a dismal holding pattern, with the GM position empty and Assistant Coach Tony Brown as interim head coach--the fifth in five years and eighth in seven years.

(So much for that marketing phrase “We Are: Continuity/Core/Youth/Commitment.")

Perhaps the leading candidate for coach/GM--and surely the biggest name--is Kentucky coach (and former, failed Nets coach) John Calipari, who, as NetsDaily notes (citing Yahoo), reportedly wants a very big deal. Calipari is close to arena CEO Brett Yormark.

The verdict

And it offers a final verdict on Prokhorov's risky--and failed--win-at-any-cost strategy, which The Brooklyn Game summarized as "what’s arguably the most disappointing era in sports history."

NetsDaily's Anthony Puccio summarized the bad deals that traded away assets, notably draft picks:
  • trading for Deron Williams
  • trading for Gerald Wallace
  • trading for Joe Johnson.
  • trading for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry
The Nets, at 10-27, have the third-worst record in the NBA. See graphic above.

They also have the third-lowest average home attendance in the league, though only the sixth-lowest in terms of percentage of seats filled. See graphic below.

Wrote the Washington Post's Tim Bontemps:
To get out of this, Brooklyn is going to need strong, stable leadership, patience and the Nets are going to have to go out and convince both a quality executive and coach to take on one of the most challenging rebuilding jobs in all of professional sports.
In short, the Nets are going to need to do all of the things they’ve failed to up until now.
Who's in charge?

As noted by the New York Post, Yahoo Sports reported members of the Nets front office learned of the moves via Prokhorov’s press release and were unclear Sunday about who’s in charge.

NetsDaily's Net Income (aka Bob Windrem) wrote skeptically, in What's wrong ... still. The Brooklyn Nets "small group" culture:
When one Nets insider was informed of the big changes in the team hierarchy, his response was, "Well, we still don't have any draft picks."
And that, sports fans, is the ultimate truth. The Nets are in a horrible position and Sunday's moves, while unsurprising and no doubt warranted, don't go to the core of what's wrong with the franchise. In fact, what they do is magnify them.
When Mikhail Prokhorov took over the franchise in 2009-10, during what was the team's worst of many bad seasons, all fans, including us, could see was that pile of cash. At the time, Prokhorov was the richest owner in all sports. Coming after seven years of penny-pinching by Bruce Ratner, it was a joy to behold what those riches could do.
Now, with Prokhorov in full control of the team and its arena and the team's future a bleak landscape, there is a downside that we didn't see: One-stockholder companies, no matter how wealthy that stockholder, don't have a lot of controls, don't relish skepticism and often eschew the long-term for the quick hit.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

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…

Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …

For Atlantic Yards Quality of Life meeting Sept. 19, another bare-bones agenda (green wall?)

A message from Empire State Development (ESD) reminds us that the next Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life Meeting--which aims to update community members on construction and other issues--will be held:
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 6 pm
Shirley Chisholm State Office Building
55 Hanson Place
1st Floor Conference Room
Brooklyn, NY 11217 The typically bare-bones, agenda, below, tells us nothing about the content of the presentation. One thing to look for is any hint of plans to start a new building on the southeast block of the project by the end of the year.

If not, ESD is supposed to re-evaluate a longstanding request from project neighbors to move back a giant wall encroaching on part of Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues. It's said to enclose construction activity, but, in recent months, has significantly served to protect worker parking.

Also, by the way, if you search for Atlantic Yards on Google or the ESD website, it leads to this page for the Atlantic Ya…