The Nets’ new roommate

Posted on: October 18th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

AP

AP

For two years, Barclays Center has been the epicenter of major Brooklyn entertainment, both with around-the-year events and Brooklyn's lone professional sports team, the Brooklyn Nets.

But soon, the Nets won't be the only game in town.... MORE →

 

Mikhail Prokhorov

Mikhail Prokhorov (AP)

Conflicting reports came out today about the current status of the Nets franchise. They were related to the possibility that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov may be looking to sell some or all of his stake in the franchise.

NetsDaily reported that Nets brass is in talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers' ownership group, Guggenheim Sports and Entertainment Assets, about merging assets.

NetsDaily stressed that this would not affect Prokhorov's role with the team.

"The first source emphasized that Prokhorov would continue to control the team as 'governor and controlling owner of the team 'for the foreseeable future.'"

NetsDaily's reporting also indicates that Brooklyn is being valued in the discussions at $1.7 billion with the arena coming in at $1.1 billion

Wow. That's quite a lot, huh?

So that seems all good and hunky-dory. The Nets matter and they're valuable. Where's the problem with that?

Well, the ubiquitous Adrian Wojnarowski was quick to follow NetsDaily's report with a link to his article from June about a possible Nets sale and describes Brooklyn as being "on the market."

Wojnarowski also quoted anonymous NBA executives who explain that the feeling around the association is that Prokhorov is on his way out. This is in contrast to NetsDaily's description of a situation where Prokhorov would remain the controlling owner.

NetsDaily sent out a tweet afterwards emphasizing that if Prokhorov really wanted to sell his stake in the team, he could have already done so.

However, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported that the Guggenheim Sports merger talks could "evolve" into Prokhorov selling his stake completely.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN LA, who is always in tune with everything in Los Angeles sports, reported that a Dodgers source is saying that nothing is likely to come of these talks.

Shelburne also quotes Dodgers' chairman Mark Walter who says he hasn't even seen the Nets' franchise numbers.

That is information that someone who is looking to acquire an asset as large as the Nets would probably have seen at some point.

"I am the controlling owner of the Dodgers and I have no intention of selling the Dodgers. As for the Nets, I have not seen their numbers. They are a terrific franchise. I would be happy to look at their information and any proposal they wanted to make to me --- as I would with any proposal," said Walter.

It is important to note that Walter never said that he didn't have discussions, but only that he had not seen the numbers. He did not completely close the door on the possibility.

So what is going on here?

Where there's smoke, there's usually fire. Something that the reports have in common is that each is indicating that Prokhorov is soon going to own less of the Nets.

Is Prokhorov really going to be committed to this team for the "foreseeable" future or is this just a stepping stone to completely detaching himself from the team? Will this slow separation from the team affect the way the team is managed?

We can't yet speak to that, but the prospects of a partnership with the Dodgers is exciting if only because it could finally allow the Nets to use the Dodgers' iconic Brooklyn font that hasn't graced a pro-sports team in the borough since the days of Ebbets Field.

Should Prokhorov cut ties with Brooklyn, Nets fans could do a lot worse for ownership than Dodgers brass. MLB fans will know that the Dodgers have spent heavily on their club in pursuit of a championship.

There is surely more to come, but there is a lot less certainty in the Borough of Kings than there was to start the day.

 

The new ABA logo.

The new ABA logo.

Basketball is coming back to Brooklyn... again?
... MORE →

 

MCU Field (courtesy of Brooklyn Cyclones)

The Brooklyn Eagle reports a few changes over at MCU Park where the Brooklyn Cyclones play. First, they have a "brand-new, state-of-the-art playing surface after the salt, chemicals and other pollutants caused by the ocean water left the previously lush green grass surface contaminated and unplayable."

In addition, for six games, $3 from each each ticket will go to help a local charity helping to recover from Sandy. The Schedule:

Monday, July 1 – Coney Island Night to benefit ConeyRecovers.org.
Monday, July 8 – Gerritsen Beach / Sheepshead Bay Night to benefit Gerritsen Cares.
Monday, July 22 – Nassau County Night to benefit the Nassau Hurricane Recovery Fund.
Monday, July 29 – Red Hook Night to benefit the Red Hook Initiative.
Monday, Aug. 19 – Staten Island Night to benefit The Stephen Siller Foundation.
Monday, Aug. 26 – Breezy Point / Rockaway Night to benefit The Graybeards.

 

Sandy Koufax during his basketball days.

 

 

 

 

With all the Brooklyn Dodgers nostalgia, it’s tempting to think that basketball only recently became The Brooklyn Game.  I was struck then reading the wonderful Jane Leavy biography of Dodger icon/hero Sandy Koufax by this:

When he was growing up, baseball was neither Koufax’s dream nor his passion. His dream was to play for the New York Knicks…

Koufax didn’t play much basketball…until his family returned to Brooklyn, where every open space was a court, or a half court, and every fire escape ladder was a potential basket.  Others practiced shooting; Koufax practice the anonymous, contentious skill of rebounding….

He scoured the borough in search of The Big Game, which invariably took place at Brighton Beach, where playground legends, college stars, and pros gathered to hone their games, and the game basketball could become. Back then, no one knew from vertical leap.  Vertical was for skyscrapers.  But Koufax had wattage in his legs, hands large enough to palm the ball, and he didn’t shy away from contact. On the playground, players asked: You sure this boy is white? “He was just a skinny Jewish kid in a bandanna who challenged our small little prejudices,” [Jerry] Della Femina said.

Soon his name began to appear in the fine print of the Brooklyn Eagle sports pages, usually misspelled. Caufax. Kaufox. Kofax, Kauflex, Kouflex. “He was an incredibly smooth basketball player,” said Alan Dershowitz, another neighborhood kid who made good—as a legal authority and auth or I, Dershowitz Fame. “He would fake a jumper, drive the baseline, come under the boards and reverse the dunk. We weren’t used to that.”

His friends remember a dramatic moment in 1953, In an exhibition game with the Knicks, Koufax impressed the pros with his dunks and ended up playing basketball and baseball at the University of Cincinnati, where he was discovered by the Dodgers.

 

Barclays Center released information regarding a "major announcement" at 1 P.M. today, and it appears that announcement is that the New York Islanders, who currently play on Long Island, will join the Nets in Brooklyn and play their home games in Barclays Center in 2015.

From the NY Post:

Developer Bruce Ratner has scored a major goal by landing the Islanders ice hockey team for his Barclay's arena in downtown Brooklyn, sources said.

The announcement was expected at a press conference this afternoon with Ratner, Mayor Bloomberg, Islanders owner Charles Wang, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

Also: the NHL is currently locked out.