Monday, January 11, 2016

Brooklyn Nets: The Great Purge of Flatbush

From the desk of:  THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

It's back to the old drawing board 
as Mikhail Prohorov trashes his initial blueprint for greatness.

BROOKLYN NETS: Billy King's all-out effort to build an immediate winner instead set the Flatbush Hoops back for years to come.

There's an old saying -  Haste Makes Waste.

What did you expect?

When Bruce Ratner purchased the team, then announced his plan to move them to Brooklyn, his refusal to resign Kenyon Martin essentially became the first indication he was less interested in owning a basketball team, than he was using them as a vehicle to get his proposed downtown Atlantic Yards development realized.

The team inevitably initiated a great rebuild anyway, by first deconstructing the roster during their final years in New Jersey.

After all Ratner's legal wrangling, majority ownership of the team ponderously, if not conveniently, transferred to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov even before the concrete foundation at Barclays Center had been poured.  

The new owner's first order of business was to revamp the front office, beginning with the unceremonious purging of Rod Thorn.  The Nets in turn hired Billy King to be their next general manager.  In his defense, King was charged with not just turning the Nets into a competitive team in time for their Brooklyn debut, but to fulfill the owner's mandate of winning a championship within five years of assuming control.

Suffice to say, that hastily executed mission ended in disaster.  To date, Billy King has done more to help rebuild the Boston Celtics than he has the Nets, whom are in their fourth straight season of regression.  Presently sporting a 10-27 record, only Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Lakers have fared worse this season.

For two seasons now, I've wondered aloud why Billy King was still GM of the Nets...

I no longer have to wonder.  Owner Mikhail Prokhorov finally had enough of this futility as well, and this weekend cleaned house.

Billy King, and Coach Hollins have been relieved of their duties.

This means the Nets will finish out the regular season with their fifth head coach since moving to Brooklyn (in 2012-2013), and will most likely begin next season with their sixth coach in 5 years.

On the bright side, the Nets will gain a measure of salary cap relief next season.  Otherwise, the Nets draft has been compromised till 2020, when they finally regain control of their #1 pick again.  Till then, Boston will reap the benefits of Brooklyn's futility.

Assistant coach Tony Brown will finish out the season as interim coach, while Billy King will be retained, reassigned, and made responsible for finding his own replacement.

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