It’s All In The Details ………..The Continuing Woes Of The New Jersey Nets ………… And Then Some …………………
It doesn’t seem all that long ago that the New Jersey Nets were once ‘the darlings’ of the Eastern Conference and thought to be well positioned to become something of a modern day dynasty within the league. Having been coached to two consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, under their former coach, Byron Scott. The team has simply succumbed to complete and sheer ineptitude. You’re more liable to have more laughs watching the Nets than anything that could be elicited from watching that fame hungry chasing duo of Spencer Pratt and his ‘skank’ of a ‘wife’ Heidi Montag ! Someone ought to take the both of them and ship their asses off to inner Siberia . But alas, the likes of People and OK ! Magazine seem to wait on their every word with baited breath to hear whatever else this asinine couple might have to say . Both are ill educated and are of no use to mankind whatsoever ! Heaven forbid , that they should ever think about having children !
Having now posted a 4-48 record within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, ‘the team’ still possesses the worst record in the entire NBA. They now sit some 29 games adrift of the division leading Boston Celtics (32-18) and are in danger of making the 1972 9-73 worse regular season posting performance by the Philadelphia 76ers, seem something of an aberration. If things carry on as they now are. Then the New Jersey Nets would be on pace to post a similarly horrific ’10-72′ at best, or ‘6-76’ record at worst. As to how their fans might well be feeling about that scenario ? One could surmise that they would be none too pleased by it at all . And with Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov having made a sizable investment in the franchise, by purchasing a 51% majority stake in the franchise from Bruce A. Ratner. One hardly believes that the Russian is entirely happy with the situation , nor is he prepared to put up with it for much longer.
Things weren’t made any better, when Team President, Rod Thorn and General Manager, Alex Diaz saw fit to fire Lawrence Frank from the position of head coach and then have Kiki Vanderweghe , firstly, be installed as interim coach and then to assume the position on a full time basis. Things have simplly gotten from bad to worse and they now signs of abating whatsoever ! Furthermore , whatever predilections that Van Der Weghe may have had that indicated to him, that he was the best option that the front office had , hasn’t been borne out by the team’s display or the results arrived at , so far. The team has a 1-9 losing streak and they have abysmal 15 game losing streak on the road. H0w anyone can feel that this constitutes or has shown signs of improvement , has to be viewed with a great deal more than just skepticism. If anything this has been downright insulting to the Nets’ fans but even more so to opposing fans who have to witness this mediocrity within their own home venue.
Courtesy of Yahoo Sports
By Adrian Wojnarowski , Yahoo Sports
For much of the past week, New Jersey Nets officials and Rick Pitino’s network of confidants and cronies had increasingly discussed the Louisville coach’s not-so-secret angling for a job that he had years ago leveraged and turned down.
Only this time, circumstances dictated a dramatic difference: Pitino’s professional and personal stature has been severely damaged, and the Nets were no longer chasing him. Pitino was chasing them, just like Yahoo! Sports had reported he had done with the Sacramento Kings in May.
Pitino understood that new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire, wants to hire an immense figure to coach the franchise. Pitino mistakenly believed he could still be packaged as a transformative A-list hire in the New York market. Those days are over, and Pitino is seen as something of a desperate and diminished figure. Everyone knows he wants out of college and treats his denials for what they are: a mechanism to protect his recruiting, to deflect the embarrassment of appearing unwanted.
Nets president Rod Thorn was never hiring Pitino, sources say, and Pitino isn’t who’s foremost on organizational minds as Nets officials trek to Dallas for a telltale meeting with Prokhorov this weekend.
Here’s the possible scenario that has some within the Nets franchise uneasy about their futures: After the Toronto Raptors ownership exercised the 2010-11 option on general manager Bryan Colangelo’s contract this week, there’s a growing belief that Prokhorov could be turning his gaze toward Colangelo’s father, Jerry, to hire as New Jersey’s president.
The reasoning would be simple. This way, Prokhorov could have the executive capable of delivering him the biggest, shiniest coach available to the Nets: Duke’s Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski. The plan, sources say, would be to make him GM and coach.
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When one surveys the roster of the New Jersey Nets , the first thing that one can conclude, is that the franchise is lacking in leadership . And though its nucleus is that of a young team building towards the future. One can’t but help think that Rod Thorn and Alex Diaz’s mindset has been built around luring possible prospective free agent LeBron James to the franchise. And if they’re of the opinion that James is the one missing link to this particular jig-saw puzzle. Then the entire front office of the organization is sadly mistaken and completely out of touch as to the real inherent problems on this team ! Devin Harris , Courtney Lee , Brooke Lopez, Yi Jianlian , Chris Douglas Roberts and Josh Boone. While on the face of it, they might look as players, if they’re allowed to play together as a unit, will over time, improve. The fact of the matters is , that as of now, the signs have of that happening has yet to be exhibited. Never mind , that even with veterans on the roster, such as Keyon Dooling and Tony Battie . They still aren’t complemented by the experience or play of the veteran duo. It were as if the current roster had been assembled by the partially sighted. There’s absolutely no cohesion on this team whatsoever ! And on either ends of the floor, the team’s play can be best described as being woefully anemic and inept. Not only is this team lacking in confidence , it’s also lacking in all-round ability and a coaching staff that is completely out of its depth !
Rumor has it Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino is said to be interested in coaching the New Jersey Nets. Although it’s been said that he’s been lobbying vociferously behind the scenes and sending out ‘feelers’ to the Nets’ front office to gauge their interest in him. It is thought that the person that Rod Thorn desires and is willing to go all-out to lure from the college ranks, is that of Duke University’s (Blue Devils) Mike Krzyzewski. If one remembers, Krzyzewski was lured once before by the Los Angeles Lakers after Phil Jackson departed from the team the first time. The Blue Devils’ coach would turn down the lucrative offer from the club and the thought of coaching Kobe Bryant. This time around it is also being mentioned that he would be given full autonomy in the hiring of his personnel and that of additional responsibility of being the General Manager and Vice President within the organization.
There’s no indication that Krzyzewski is willing to listen to the Nets’ offer, assuming that there’s one to be made to the Blue Devils’ coach. But given the fact that Rod Thorn is rumored to have approached Jerry Colangelo to speak with Mike Krzyzewski , there’s an indication that this is not just an indication that this is PR stunt on the Nets’ behalf. But the mere fact that Colangelo is a close personal friend and who as Managing Director of USA Basketball also worked closely alongside with Krzyzewski in the assembling of the roster for the US gold medal winning men’s team (coached by Krzyzewski), gives every indication that the Nets want to be taken seriously in their approach. My own thoughts are that with his the success attained with the Blue Devils’ program and his continued philanthropic work locally. I think it’s highly unlikely that Mike Krzyzewski is willing to leave the program after all these years. Not when he’s still beloved by the Blue Devils’ fans and the public alike, in the Chapel Hill area.
Given the fact that Pitino’s success within the professional ranks of the NBA has been limited at best. But given his failures in his last tenure , which was with the Boston Celtics . It’s a reach at best, that any other NBA franchise would be willing to hire Rick Pitino , much less the lowly and woefully inept New Jersey Nets. But stranger things have been known to have happened within the NBA. And more likely than not they will continue to happen for the foreseeable future. As to the Nets’ own immediate future they have the ignominy of having to stave off what would be the less than desirable mantel of being anointed the worst franchise record wise , in the history of the NBA. A ‘complete free-fall’ from an organization that little more than seven years ago played in consecutive NBA Finals. Albeit, that they would end up losing both. Sad times indeed , for the New Jersey Nets and their long suffering fans.
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………….
Naughty By Nature ‘Hip-Hop-Hooray’ released on Tommy Boy Records.