Brooklyn, New York
January 24, 2011
Future Home of the Nets Basketball Franchise
Huge downward sloping I-Beams lowered into position by a sky-scapping red crane are being assembled into bending sections that are starting to reveal the framing which will support the multi-tiered seating levels as construction work on Barclays Center continues in Downtown Brooklyn. For the first time actually, recognizable details in the structure hint that an arena is being built. Unmistakable characteristics are taking on a familiar form now making my anticipation of Professional Basketball in Brooklyn grow with every steel beam and rivet applied to the structure.
Contending with single digit temperatures today, tethered iron-workers gingerly guided a massive support beam in place when I arrived this afternoon to snap some photos.
New Jersey Nets:
Mikhail Prokhorov proves again why he will matter in the NBA
David Stern or No David Stern, the league is facing an expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement rife with give-backs the owners want and are adamant about. The League still has franchises who've floundered continuously for decades and who care nothing about trying to change a losing culture (see Clippers!). There is still more potential franchise shifting, perhaps to secure Seattle another team. Of course this includes the local change of address for the Nets happening in the near future. However, the Nets' relocation is not a matter of desperation like it may be for another franchise on the financial bubble.
When Mikhail Prokhorov assumed his NET'S ownership, one of his first observations was how Star driven the League is and how little control the owner's actually had over their enterprise.
In this League, contract demands are almost always met, owners seem unwilling to wait nor exercise patience and usually rush to sign the check to most unworthy recipients. Then two or three years down the line, they go snivelling to the Commissioner about it.
Prokhorov nailed the problem on the head when, in declaring the team's new official disinterest in Carmelo Anthony, he suggested patience is far more prudent than over-paying (through a virtual emptying of the cupboards) for a mistake that may take four to six years to rectify. And besides, while it is true, they will need a star attraction to help fill their new Brooklyn arena, they are still organizationally in fine shape and in a position to improve their situation and near future in quick fashion. Draft picks, salary-cap room, youthful talent and an emerging star in Lopez combined with an owner with financial resources and basketball passion, still all figure into a positive outlook for the team.
Until Carmelo Anthony, the Draft and LeBron James were just matters of percentages, luck, and a break in which Prokhorov was just being part of the over-all team effort. When Prokhorov put the kibosh on the 'Melo negotiations, he stepped out as the leader and man in charge of his enterprise.
On the one hand you have an owner like Mark Cuban who makes no secret saying you have to spend large amounts of money to compete and make money (ala Boss George). And now you have a new owner; a new foreign owner (first for the NBA); a new principled owner who apparently thinks he will stay in control of his enterprise and not have his affairs dictated by an employee.
There will be owners who will side with Cuban, there will be other's who follow Prokhorov's lead. The Buss Family and the Reinsdorfs will still sway their power, but it's the other owners who swim in circles that follow the most persuasive fellow owner.
Prokhorov is here and free from associations to the Rich Guy's Network of League owners. He's a loner. And he just might be even more of a Maverick than Mark Cuban.
It's no secret David Stern dislikes Mark Cuban. In Mikhail Prokhorov, the Commissioner just may have found the Number Thee Hitter in his Line-up. Prokhorov speaks what Stern has been afraid to say in plain English for years; - That the owners want their League back or realistically, some teams may have to go; be sold, keep moving to new cities, or fold. OR they can just take money back from the players.
Good luck...to everybody!
All the owners may be in for a costly fight against the players for each other's piece of the pie. Mikhail Prokhorov has shown that he's not going to be one of those owners who gets pushed around in the process.
Enjoy the rest of the season....And Then? Who knows!
From - NetsDaily.com
Last night's game re-cap against the CAVS.