In Soviet basketball organization, generals manage you!
The New York Daily News reports this morning that Rod Thorn chose to resign from the Nets as General Manager because of “Russian spies” within the organization. What that translates to is Mikhail Prokhorov, since taking control as majority owner, has installed his own people as you’d expect an owner to do, including Irina Pavlova, a former Google executive and daughter of a Russian diplomat, among others. The report states that Thorn was tired of Prokhorov’s people looking over his shoulder, a charge Thorn denied to the paper before he announced his retirement.
If the report is accurate, its peaks to a signal of how Prokhorov will run his organization. Each ownership group operates differently. Michael Heisley in Memphis spearheads everything, penny pinching and tossing as he sees fit. Mark Cuban is active, but has a field general in Donnie Nelson. It would seem from this report that Prokhorov has several captains to keep an eye on the good ship Nyets while he attends the business of, you know, being a billionaire Russian mogul.
One thing that will be interesting to watch is who Prokhorov taps to be the next GM. Most NBA General Managers don’t like being watched over, or having a whole fleet of people to report to. They prize their autonomy and this situation could toss a wrench or two in hiring some of the elite candidates available, like Kevin Pritchard.
We’ll keep you updated on if Moose and Squirrel are spotted anywhere in this.