The Nets were at the end of a runway at Newark Saturday evening, two and a half hours after their buzzer-beating win over the 76ers...bound for Moscow, Beijing and Guangzhou. The team's unprecedented round the world road trip will have them practice in front of 3,000 in Moscow and play against Yao Ming's Rockets before packed houses in the two Chinese cities.
More than that, the New York Times reports, the trip is a first step toward creating the Nets as a global brand. "We have been talking about the Nets being a global team, and it seems really fitting that, as the first foreign owner of an NBA franchise, their first trip should be to my country," Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement.
Not everyone was so upbeat about the strategy. Chris Sheridan of ESPN listed a litany of complaints after watching the Nets beat the Sixers (did he stay til the end?). Posed as a letter to Carmelo Anthony, Sheridan's screed noted, among other things, Avery Johnson's suggestion that "We may even have training camp in Russia next year." To which Sheridan writes in a riposte, "Just think, 'Melo, training camp in Russia. Maybe they'll even hold it in Siberia".