It’s been a confusing few weeks in Brooklyn, with reports coming out on that Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is open to offers for the team he bought just three years ago, only to be quickly rebuffed by the Russian billionaire. Nets fans should be hoping the initial reports were correct, and that Prokhorov will be selling the team.
In his short tenure as Nets owner, Prokhorov has shown both a lack of interest and an inability to truly build an NBA team. His intentions have been good, sure, as he has been willing to open his personal checkbook and spend hand over fist in order to make the Nets title contenders, paying the luxury tax each year he has owned the club and finishing the 2013-14 season with the highest payroll in the league.
He has been markedly unsuccessful, however, and it’s time for this marriage to end. What the Nets need now is someone who is patient and willing to have a few unsuccessful seasons as the team retools for a title run in the future. The team is in salary cap hell, and no amount of Prokhorov’s billions will be able to rescue them. He wants to win, and win now, and has no interest in waiting for success to grow.
When he initially bought the team, Prokhorov brought excitement to the Nets, promising that a winning culture would be established at the team’s new home in Brooklyn. Instead, the culture has been one of disappointment and mediocrity, as the team has yet to capture any victory of note. They have never won an Atlantic Division title with Prokhorov at the helm, fell to a Derek Rose-less Chicago Bulls team in the first round of 2013’s playoffs, and barely escaped the lowly Toronto Raptors in the 2014 playoffs before being easily handled by the Miami Heat in Round 2.
Here’s hoping Prokhorov wants to cash in on his investment while the NBA is seeing teams in major markets sell for multiple billions of dollars. It would be good news for all involved.