March 1, 2007
The normally tight-lipped Bruce Ratner uttered these words to the press yesterday, "I wouldn't be a happy camper."
The owner of the NJ Nets is apparently trying reassure restless fans that he won't strip the team of the burdensome contracts of marquis players like Jason Kidd and Vince Carter, during the lame-duck seasons in Jersey.
Here's the coverage:
The NY Times, Ratner Wants the Nets to Keep Carter and Kidd
“I’ve come to appreciate both of those players,” Ratner said during a lunch with several reporters in Manhattan. “I think that it’s very important to sign Vince. Without Vince, I’m not optimistic on how our record would be.”
NY Post, NO CHEAP TRICKS
Ratner, meeting with the press in Midtown, stressed the desire to retain Carter - even if it means going over the luxury-tax threshold.
NY Daily News, Ratner places Carter & Kidd under 'keepers'
Bruce Ratner was "really glad, really relieved" that the Nets held onto Vince Carter and Jason Kidd through last week's trade deadline.
The Newark Star-Ledger, Ratner in Nets' Carter's corner
The first commandment for any NBA owner -- and it has been true since time immemorial -- is this one: Thou shalt not fall in love with a player. When a business matter is fogged up by personal feelings, you're probably going to run a bad business.
Just the same, it is hard for Bruce Ratner to mask his affection for Vince Carter, even knowing that Carter will try to take as many of his dollars as he can this summer.
The Star-Ledger's account was less kind to the often tongue-tied team owner by carrying the most uncensored quotes:
"I don't distinguish between New Jersey -- I really don't -- and Brooklyn, in terms of quality of team," he said. "Honestly, I'm not saying that because of fan issues. It's important to have a good team. We're not rebuilding, thank goodness."
NoLandGrab: When is Bruce Ratner gonna learn that when you say "Honestly", everyone knows it means you're lying?
Ratner's in a tough spot. He can't rebuild the team because of "fan issues" (remember, he's lying), but he can't have a "good team" as his stars continue to age.
Bergen Record, Ratner is determined to keep Carter a Net
The Nets' principal owner admitted he learned from the Kenyon Martin fiasco three summers ago and that he's prepared to dig deep into his pockets to lock up Carter, who can opt out and become a free agent this summer.
"The first thing is intent – the intent is we want to sign Vince," Ratner said over lunch with beat reporters Wednesday. "When I came on I don't think I understood it well enough to have the intent."
Bruce Ratner proves that he knows little about basketball and less about pr. K-Mart's lackluster performance after being traded, due to nagging injuries, could make Ratner look like a genius if he knew how to spin it. But now that the team is losing $40 million a year and Ratner is scared to death that the current fans will give up on the team, he'll say anything.
Here's another funny one:
Ratner said he speaks to Carter "in a friendly kind of way – 'I hope you stay' and so on," but plans to be hands off.
Posted by lumi at March 1, 2007 8:17 AM