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July 9, 2010

Notes from LeBron mania: Nets losses, reversible jerseys, bitterness in Cleveland, Zimbalist the media critic, and Yormarketing desperation in Florida

Atlantic Yards Report

Blueprint for greatness? We think not. As one NetsDaily commenter posted last night, "'Proky' is just Russian for 'Ratner.'"

Now that superstar LeBron James has signed with the Miami Heat, and the Nets' coach and owner remain positive, not everyone's convinced.

From the Times:

The Nets are so far the biggest losers in free agency, having failed to sign any of the players on the market, despite the best efforts of their charismatic new owner, the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov.

Well, you might say the teams that lost stars fell behind much more, but the Nets suffered in comparison to other teams that cleared cap space.

From Star-Ledger columnist Steve Politi, mindful of the short stay in Newark:

And, while it will be largely overlooked, his nine words — “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach” – have effectively ended New Jersey’s frustrating and fruitless dalliance with professional basketball.

...Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov issued a statement not five minutes after the decision to “reiterate our commitment to winning a championship within five years.” But that billboard outside Madison Square Garden, the one declaring that Prokhorov and Jay-Z had the “blueprint for success” is 30 stories worth of hubris today, and the new owner looks as feeble as the old one.

Al Iannazzone on the Nets Insider connected a few dots:

This free agency continued the trend from the regular season.

The Nets had the best chance to win the Lottery and potential franchise-changer John Wall, and fell to third. At one point, they believed they were in the mix for James. Another loss.

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Related coverage...

NetsDaily, Prokhorov: "Goals Remain Intact"

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov released a statement shortly after LeBron James announced his decision to join the Miami Heat.

"We have a vision of a championship team and need to invest wisely and for the long term," Prokhorov said. "Fortunately, we have more than one plan to reach success, and, as I have found in all areas of my business, that is key to achieving it. To Nets fans past, present and future, the goal of making the playoffs this season remains intact and we reiterate our commitment to winning a championship within five years."

NoLandGrab: Nets fans better hope that "Plan B" doesn't stand for "Plan Bruce."

AP via USA Today, Nets lose another one — LeBron heading to Miami

The New Jersey Nets had one of the worst seasons in NBA history and nothing changed on the free agent marketplace in the offseason.

The Nets' hopes for an amazing resurrection just months after winning 12 games collapsed on Thursday when two-time MVP LeBron James became the latest superstar to say nyet to new Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov and his high-profile negotiating team that included hip-hop mogul Jay-Z.

NLG: LeBron apparently didn't feel the Nets' pitch was quite as "spectacular" as the Nets thought it was.

NetsAreScorching, THE DAY AFTER: WE’RE GOING TO BE OKAY NETS FANS

Perhaps, many of us were caught up in the way the Nets have been selling themselves the past week. The swagger, the taunting billboards, the “leaks” of information from negotiations… maybe it all created a false sense of accomplishment. They always tell a fighter not to lead with the chin, and Team Prokhorov has certainly put it all out there, inviting a backlash. But personally, after the past six years of Bruce Ratner’s focus on real estate, rather than basketball, I welcome an owner who’s willing to take calculated risks and not be ashamed if they don’t hit the bullseye when it comes to assembling a roster.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New Best Western Arena Hotel Opens at Crossroads of Bed-Stuy, Crown Hts, Prospect Heights

Brooklyn now has a brand new Best Western hotel that’s open and ready for business.

Originally to be named Best Western Downtown Brooklyn, it was renamed Best Western Arena Hotel because of its proximity to the Barclays Center at Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development.
...

“Brooklyn is quickly becoming a top destination for tourists, business and leisure travelers, and with the new Barclays Center for the New Jersey Nets scheduled to open in 2011, our hotel will be a great addition to the city,” said Mukesh Patel, principal of Mukteshwar LLC, owner of the new Best Western. “We are only six blocks from the new arena and the only hotel at the first stop along the Long Island Rail Road, making it a convenient stay whether they’re in the area for work or play.”

NLG: That would be 2012, if they're lucky. Maybe they can advertise the hotel to Heat fans in Miami, who might want to come watch their team eat the Nets for lunch.

Posted by eric at July 9, 2010 11:47 AM