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April 15, 2009

New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank appreciates owner Bruce Ratner's support but knows Rod Thorn will decide fate

by Dave D'Alessandro

Ratner suggested that this is going to be a tight-fisted summer for most teams, but not necessarily his. So if Thorn decides to sit on his wallet during free agent season -- and not spend the exception money at his disposal -- the owner invites all fans to direct their angry e-mails at the team president.

But Ratner foresees "the kind of summer where everyone's careful about what they do. Everyone wants to make sure, because you don't know what next year is going to bring" economically.

In the next breath, however, the owner said Thorn won't be limited by budget restraints -- which is welcome news for a dubious basketball staff, which has already managed to trim the payroll to the fourth-lowest ($62.6 million) in the NBA and been asked to trim costs in other ways.

"We've always spent what we had to spend, and we'll do that again," Ratner said. "From our point of view, we've always done what's necessary and will continue to do that. And we'll always need to have a competitive team -- as competitive as possible -- and money's never stood in the way of what we're willing to get."

Straining credibility, Ratner added that he's not entirely opposed to being a tax-paying team -- essentially, inflating the payroll to more than $71.1 million -- "if something came along."


More coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Star-Ledger on Ratner's basketball promises: "straining credibility" (and what if AY news were treated the same way?)

Dave D'Alessandro wasn't afraid to say that Bruce Ratner was "straining credibility." Why haven't Metro desk reporters at other area dailies been equally skeptical regarding claims about Atlantic Yards?

Imagine how some other coverage of Atlantic Yards might have gone.

The New York Times in March 2008 reported that the "Nets arena is on track." The New York Daily News in May 2008 quoted Ratner as saying "We anticipate finishing all of Atlantic Yards by 2018."

Both were "straining credibility." Similarly, much that Nets CEO Brett Yormark says about the project strains credibility.

Posted by eric at April 15, 2009 11:40 AM