Mikhail Prokhorov’s office is bigger and more expensively furnished than your entire apartment. His secretary is eye catching. Frankly, you’d move into his office if you could.
That is the first thing you’ll take away from a New York Times story on the soon-to-be Nets owner (and you get that just from the picture). The second thing is that his history as the owner of CSKA in Moscow could be a sign of very good things to come in New Jersey and New York.
CSKA could be the Dallas Mavericks of Europe. Under Prokhorov — who gave up the team in 2007 — the club spent freely on players, facilities and travel and established a winning culture. Marc Cornstein, a player agent with clients in both the N.B.A. and abroad, said CSKA was run “the most similar to an N.B.A. team as any team in Europe.”
CSKA has claimed two of the last four Euroleague titles and seven straight Russian league championships… Prokhorov’s background as a basketball player helped inform his decisions, although he was regarded as hands-off when it came to daily operations.
“We were lucky,” Sergei Kuschenko, the former president of CSKA. “He certainly understands basketball and other sports in which communication, the team and balance are important.”
The article — like many before it — talked about Prokhorov in Mark Cuban-like terms. Not only the money, but also being younger and more in touch with the current players and their generation than most owners. Cuban also took over a laughing stock franchise and turned it into one of the best in the league.
It all sounds good… now if the state of New York would just finish taking over the land that will make this deal final, we can start to see what he can really do. Not that all this speculation isn’t fun.
The No. 28 pick, R.J. Hunter became the first first-rounder from last year’s draft to fall out of the NBA when the Celtics waived him.
He won’t be out of the league for long.
The Bulls, the only team with an open roster spot, appear close to adding him.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Hunter belongs in the league. Though he must knock down shots far more reliably than he has, Hunter has potential as an outside shooter with complementary ball skills to provide value. Boston just had more NBA-caliber players than roster spots.
He’s far from a lock to succeed in the NBA, but I value Hunter about as much as Tony Snell – whom the Bulls just traded for an upgrade at backup point guard in Michael Carter-Williams. That they could so cheaply replace Snell makes that deal look even better.
Gerald Green was drafted by the Celtics and spent two seasons with them before being traded (in the Kevin Garnett deal).
After stints with the Timberwolves, Rockets, Mavericks, Nets, Pacers, Suns and Heat, he signed with Boston this summer.
Think he’s happy to be back?
Abby Chin of CSN Mid-Atlantic:
Joel Embiid couldn’t endear himself by playing in an NBA game, because he’s been too injured to do that in two pro seasons.
He’s had to resort to witty nicknames, practice-gym dunks, fun-loving stunts, attention-seeking tweets and self-deprecating humor.
Embiid is scheduled to make his NBA debut tonight, when the 76ers play the Thunder. Soon, we’ll judge him more for what he does on the court.
But, first, Embiid went out with one last bang of a quote.
Embiid, via Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:
“You know how I learned to shoot?” Embiid says. “I watched white people. Just regular white people. They really put their elbow in and finish up top. You can find videos of them online.”
LeBron James might be the greatest athlete in NBA history.
But even he has shown signs of decline at age 31.
He has gotten multiple back injections and even took a break during the season to rehabilitate in Miami. The forward has treated the last two regular-seasons as glorified warmups for the playoffs.
Just where does LeBron stand physically?
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue gave quite the answer.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
Lue said James, at 31, “had a chance to get tested this summer and they said he had a body of a 19-year old. Maybe he’s getting younger. Benjamin Button.”
It was a little perplexing because neither James, nor his personal trainer, Mike Mancias, nor general manager David Griffin had any real idea what test Lue was talking about.
This reminds me of Derrick Rose attributing the Knicks and Warriors being super teams to “They’re saying.” Who is they, and what are they smoking?
That LeBron, Mancias and Griffin won’t cop to knowing is quite revealing.
LeBron does not have the body of a 19-year-old. Years of other-worldly play and long playoff runs has taken a toll.
Because he’s declining from such a high peak, LeBron should remain elite for a while. His athleticism might even fluctuate as it trends downward overall.
But Father Time is undefeated, and LeBron didn’t just get a mid-career reset to his rookie physical form.