Hey guys - with about 500 things going on with this team right now, I thought I'd bring back the fuller a.m. link dump rather than the single links I've been doing since the season ended in April. However, I urge you guys to comment on the news that way you have been with the daily links:
So, one of the biggest things about Mikhail Prokhorov signing on to the Nets was this idea that with his money, charisma and business drive, he could change the decades-old negative perception around the organization. And if you read this morning news about LeBron James and his free agency plans, Prokhorov could be enough to snag the world's most coveted free agent. Al Iannazzone reports that Prokhorov and co. will be the first to make their pitch to James once free agency opens later this week. The Frank Isola/Mitch Lawrence Daily News New York Knick cheerleaders CONTINUE to dismiss this notion that LeBron would never sign with the Nets because it would involve this horrifying notion of playing 10 minutes outside of NYC in Newark for 2 years before moving to Brooklyn (I'm still waiting for a non-speculative report from someone who is not Isola that explains to me how two years of Newark and three years of Brooklyn could damage LeBron's marketability compared to him just playing at the World's Most Famous Arena for the World's Most Embarrassing Owners in the Dolans). However, Iannazzone quotes someone close to LeBron saying: "He’s coming to New Jersey." While that source is about as reliable as Jalen Rose telling people he's 100% certain LeBron might leave Cleveland, there's food for thought there.
Meanwhile, in one of the most rational pieces I've read yet on LeBronmania, Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger weighs the pros and cons of Newark.
Dave D'Alessandro reports the Nets might have to give up a piece of their young core (Devin, Courtney or TWill) in order to shed some of their dead financial weight (Yi) to make a run at two max free agents.
Sam Arnick of Fanhouse chides the Nets for not having a "plan B" in place with Rod Thorn leaving on July 15. Meanwhile, top candidate Jerry Colangelo says he doesn't know anything about being in line to replace Thorn.
Did Russian spies push Rod Thorn out of the organization?
Former coach of the year Sam Mitchell has been taken on as one of Avery Johnson's assistants while Tom Barrise and John Loyer have also been retained as assistants.