*The last, last, last resident living in the footprint of Atlantic Yards is gone. Or so we believe. The most notable resident did quite well for himself securing over $5million dollars for his troubles (I purposely set that number off from the actual deal's worth). He was the said organizer of the "Build Don't Destroy" movement against Bruce Ratner's plan. Another family popped up, to many's surprise, but they too have since vacated the premises. I believe there is one more person with claims to owning air rights over one of the buildings planned for demolition. Whatever that case may be, I'm sure, like every other obstacle this plan has faced, the matter will be resolved.
* The NBA officially approved the majority ownership of the New Jersey Nets transfer to Mikhail Prokhorov. He will assume 80% ownership of the team. Bruce Ratner and to a lesser degree Jay-Z will stay involved as minority owners. The team will play in Newark the next two seasons. Then finally the team expects to make it's grand and much anticipated move to Brooklyn.
* How can one have so much hope for a team that won less than 20 games this past season? Easy! The Nets are under the salary cap by a substantial margin. They have a CEO in Brett Yourmark who has gained my confidence with everything he's said and done when appearing in the public eye or within ear-shot on the radio. Rod Thorn is Team President I can find no fault with. He is one of the most respected League executives in the NBA. The Nets have a legit and young center in Brook Lopez and a quality point guard in Devon Harris. The team should be positioned no worse than fourth in this year's college draft. At best they might secure the number one spot and go after John Wall. So if you're asking me why this team that won less than 20 games last year has me excited, I say there is no better position to be in than the Nets currently are as it pertains to their own situation. I love opportunities to build from the ground up. If the Nets can get Wall, that makes them a viable player for the services of LeBron James.
** as/of May 18th - this has officially become an ongoing post.
Mikhail Prokhorov attended the NBA Draft Lottery Ceremony tonight. I like him I assume, am disappointed with the Nets receiving the third pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. That about guarantees the Nets will not be able to select John Wall as they hoped if they had the number 1 pick. This is the 6th straight year a team positioned to have the number 1 pick has been short circuited by the lottery system. Washington will be picking first moving up from the supposed 5th position. All is not lost though. With the third pick perhaps they can secure Derrick Favors, the power forward out of Georgia Tech or DeMarcus Cousins seems like the next logical pick. He/They along with Brook Lopez, and perhaps if he's not used as trade bait, Devon Harris, could grow into a formidable nucleus. Having as much cap space as the Nets do, they can still purchase a max-free agent to augment their young talented cast. I still say things are looking up for the Nets.
Additionally, Mikhail Prokhorov made some rather confident opening statements to his fan base. He spoke of becoming competitive sooner than later. He believes the playoffs may be in the Nets future by next season. And as championship aspirations go, Mikhail sets a timeline beginning earliest next year with a maximum of five years as a goal to gain Finals glory. He said he believes in hiring the right people and staying out of operations; only getting involved when pressed to do so. But he was sure to point out he's willing to do anything from his end, then more, to ensure success.
Mr. Prokhorov said everything in his address you want to hear from an owner. He declared his passion and commitment to excellence (with all respect to Al Davis) and ultimate quest to put forth a top flight organization in all respects of operation; to include the new arena.
I dare say I am down right giddy about the prospect of the Nets playing in Brooklyn. And I think in two years short time, this organization will be poised for great, entertaining basketball.
For now...this post end here. I look forward to the day "our" Nets arrive.