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Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov Is Already Planning The Championship Parade Route
Give Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokorov credit. He has definitely not been afraid to make a splash since purchasing the Nets in May 2010. But after questionable decisions to trade for Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, and the failure to acquire Dwight Howard, faith in Prokhorov has to be somewhat waning.
The Nets owner only added to those potential doubts Friday when he revealed his expectations entering the team’s Brooklyn era.
“Every team has a grand plan, and we’re moving slowly, step by step, because it’s easy to make a strong team, but it’s very difficult to make a championship team,” Prokhorov told reporters Friday after a ribbon-cutting, ceremonial opening of the $1 billion Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. “We are on the right way and I’m expecting our championship within three years.”
Prokhorov promised a title with five years when he bought the team in 2009, so his plan remains on schedule.
“For me there is only one place: No. 1,” Prokhorov said. “And I’ll do my best in order to reach a championship.”
If you’re a fan of the Nets, the free-spending, wheeling-and-dealing style Prokhorov’s brought to Brooklyn is exactly the kind of thing you want from your team. As a fan of both the notoriously cheap Chicago Bulls and Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks, I have first-hand experience rooting for one team that pinches pennies and another with less appreciation for a dollar than Lucille Bluth. You always want your team to be unafraid to make big moves.
Unfortunately, being unafraid of making big moves also means your team might be making the wrong big moves (see: the Isiah Thomas era of the New York Knicks). I don’t want to say that’s where the Nets are headed, but if their owner really thinks their nucleus of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, and Brook Lopez will win a championship in the next three years. Is that core better than those of the reigning champion Miami Heat, the on-the-verge Chicago Bulls, the aging Boston Celtics, or even their dysfunctional Manhattan neighbors, the New York Knicks?
And that’s just in the East. Don’t forget about the upgraded Los Angeles Lakers, the impossibly-young Oklahoma City Thunder, the ever-present San Antonio Spurs, the revamped Dallas Mavericks, and about four-to-six other teams out West that would give the Nets fits.
Obviously, only time will tell, but if I’m a Nets fan, the fact that my owner thinks my current team is good enough to win it all as-is is worrisome, to say the least.
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