The dust has settled and the NBA offseason has officially hit its conclusion when it comes to the futures market.
NBA All-Star Weekend 2015 will be in New York, with the marquee events split between Madison Square Garden in Manhattan and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The league made the announcement Wednesday with most of the bigwigs on hand. In attendance at the Industria Superstudio in Manhattan were New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Commissioner David Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, Knicks owner James Dolan and Barclays Center owner Bruce Ratner.
“New York City is the basketball capital of the world and the sport’s biggest stage,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
When the Brooklyn Nets somehow acquired Andrei Kirilenko for the low, low price of $3.18 million for next season (and a player option for roughly the same amount the following season) it was reported that executives around the league were furious, due to what they believed to be foul play, behind the scenes. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Kirilenko have ties in Russia, and it was under the assumption that the forward was accommodated in ways that don’t necessarily show in his seemingly too-good-to-be-true contract .
Due to the scrutiny and complaints, the league had decided to investigate the matter. And found zilch, from Fred Kerber of New York Post:
“When there is a formal complaint, the league will look into it,” said one league official who spoke in generalities and refused comment on the Kirilenko issue.
Owner Mikhail Prokhorov has the NBA’s only nine-figure team payroll, which translates to an $87 million luxury tax bill. (He can afford it. He is the NBA’s George Steinbrenner).
Nets GM Billy King also mortgaged the future by trading first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 with the right to swap first-round picks in 2017 as part of a trade with Boston to acquire aging stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry.
Despite having arguably the most talented roster, if the Nets can’t answer these five questions below, they can forget about winning a title this season. Or as they say in my borough, Brooklyn, “fuhgeddaboudit!”
Here are the five questions facing the Nets.
Former player and coach Kurt Rambis has long been known for being the main assistant to Phil Jackson for a better part of the Zen Master’s tenure as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in the ’00s. The two are very close, and Rambis openly slammed Jim Buss back in November for the way he mistreated Jackson during the hiring process.
Knowing these things, it was quite a surprise to hear that Rambis would be a real candidate to become an assistant to Mike D’Antoni a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, the hiring of Rambis became official on Monday when he announced the decision on his twitter account, from Mark Medina of Daily News: