Let's be clear, before reaching court level, reasons why the Nets find themselves in this position start at the top.
Soon after purchasing controlling interest of the team, and on the eve of the 2010 Draft Lottery, Mikhail Prokhorov confidently proclaimed - May 2010/N.Y. Daily News:
"If everything goes as planned, I expect us to be in the playoffs next season ... and (win a) championship in one year minimum and maximum in five years."
On signing potential free agents:
"The excitement is with the Nets. We will have a desire to win that is unmatched anywhere in the league. This will be a first class organization with all the support it needs."
He's been relatively hands off, even preoccupied at times, and has yet to profess any personal long term commitments to the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center.
Financially speaking, however, there's no arguing the man puts his money where his mouth is. As promised, the willingness and the resources have been available.
It's his front office I've fretted since day one. The owner didn't necessarily tell them how to win a championship, so long as his appointed executives got it done.
On that note, the Nets never did win that NBA title (within five years), obviously. Billy King proved money alone does not buy championships - or much else for that matter. And so he's presently working on the next course of action. I'd offer the plan is dubious at best - after all, King's constant roster manipulations have only served to plunge Brooklyn deeper into the depths of the Eastern Conference second division.
This blog has long maintained a displeasure for the way Rod Thorn was effectively shoved out the door, and at the time thought little of Billy King being named his successor ... and think even less of the job he's done to date.
The results speak for themselves. After winning 49 games during their inaugural season in Brooklyn, they dipped to 44 victories two seasons ago, then fell below par with only 38 wins last seasons. Now they're off to a dismaying 3-11 start this season.
Turn your attention back towards last Friday in Boston, and let's call the night for what it was - utterly embarrassing!
No, I'm not necessarily talking about getting smoked 120-95 by the Celtics. I'm talking about getting dumped on by the Boston "bean eaters" in attendance. Billy King was in the house, so you can well imagine how that went over.
The Nets' general manager was treated to chorus of...
- Thank - You - Brook - lyn!
- Brook - lyn - Draft - Picks!
- Clap - clap - clap clap clap!
Thing is, had Billy King just slept in a Holiday Inn the night of July 11, 2013, perhaps the Nets could have avoided this whole mess. Instead, he woke up on July 12 inspired to acquire Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from Boston, in exchange for five players (Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph), and a treasure of Nets draft picks:
- 2014 - #1 draft pick.
- 2016 - #1 draft pick.
- 2017 - option to swap #1 draft picks.
- 2018 - #1 draft pick.
In other words, the Nets do not have control of their first round pick until 2019.
In the meantime, one could argue Billy King is rebuilding the Boston Celtics far more effectively than he is the Brooklyn Nets.
The Cetics outscored the Nets by a combined 221-206 scored during their recent home-and-home series.