The Nets swung big and missed a couple times. They went hard after Carmelo Anthony, but he ended up in Manhattan. They wanted Dwight Howard — there were even tampering rumors — but the Magic would not play along so he ended up on the other coast.
Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov is not a man used to not getting his way.
But the business of the NBA is a little different than other businesses, because of the market restrictions (salary cap, etc.…) and the limited supply of elite talent. So after owning the Nets for two years and promising a title within five, what has he learned?
Details Magazine asked him exactly that.
I generally draw lessons from a broader set of goals I set for myself. The NBA is a very competitive league, and there’s an intense battle not only for players but for fans and advertising as well. So the stronger the competition, the more interesting it is for me. We were never working from a single game plan. The whole time we had Plan A, B, C, and D. These plans may intersect at some point, but our goal remains the same: Build a championship team and win the title within the first five years. Two years have already passed, so we have three years left. My plans haven’t changed.
Well, that’s vague.
Details asked him a lot of other questions, ranging from running for president of Russia to electric cars. And about women.
And about Nets minority owner Jay-Z.
First of all, my family was never rich. We never had a car or a country house, though we were solidly middle-class by Soviet standards. But what Jay-Z and I share is that we’re both self-made. We both achieved a certain level of success, thanks to our own talent and hard work. We definitely have that bond.
There is a lot more stuff in the Q&A.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.
The Wizards are getting a new practice facility.
For some reason, the Wizards have to pay just $4.46 million for it. Washington D.C. will cover the rest.
How much is the rest?
Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post:
The District”s sports and convention arm, Events DC, is proposing a series of upgrades to a planned Washington Wizards practice facility and entertainment center in Southeast that would likely reduce the total number of seats but add $10 million to the original $55 million price tag.
The new spending would be paid for by Events DC, which is funded by a percentage of hotel occupancy taxes. It does not require approval by the D.C. Council but will have to be voted on by the Events DC board Aug. 11.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis pledged to move the team’s practices there as well as home games for the Washington Mystics and a future Wizards’ NBA D-League affiliate team. His company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, agreed to pay $4.46 million — or 8 percent of the original $55 million cost.
But in a July 26 letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive of Events DC, wrote that the original $55 million budget was “based on a preliminary estimate, as development and analysis of the program and concept design had not yet been performed.”
So, the District agreed to pay for a project without knowing how much it would cost and got the primary beneficiary — Leonsis — to kick in a share based on a low early estimate? It’s almost as if politicians are inept or have ulterior motives.
At least Wizards practices and WNBA games will bring plenty of new money into the community.
As Leonsis said, “There’s never been a better time to be an owner of an NBA franchise.”
The Bulls reportedly believe Jimmy Butler has changed as he has emerged into stardom.
Where would they get that idea?
Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:
This is mostly semantic. If Butler — who began his college career at a junior college and was drafted No. 30 — feels he no longer has a chip on his shoulder, that’s how he feels. What is he supposed to do about that? As long as he continues to work hard and finds new sources of motivation, he’ll be fine.
It’s just an unconventional approach. Most players, even once they find success, talk about continuing to be motivated by earlier slights.
Having a chip on his shoulder got Butler far, so it’s a little unnerving to see him switch from a mindset that worked. But people change — sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Chicago has little option but to ride it out as Butler finds himself.