King's High Risk, High Reward

Brooklyn Nets

It is now fashionable to praise Billy King for being bold in his risk-taking, unflappable in the face ot adversity, what some might (and did) call failure, as in the MeloDrama and Dwightmare, Part I. Of course, it was only weeks (days!) ago that King was someone worthy of derision in some quarters. Chad Ford twice called for him to be fired (and no, we're not forgetting that). John Hollinger said his moves were devoid of logic.

Then, in three days (three days!), he signed Gerald Wallace to a long-term deal, thus ending the criticism that he traded a lottery pick for a six-week "rental"; traded five expiring contracts and someone else's draft pick for Joe Johnson, who's been an all-Star six straight years; and persuaded Deron Williams, one of the game's top point guards, to be his franchise player in Brooklyn, despite 16 months of ugliness.Yeah, yeah, the salary cap weenies will say it's too much but his owner regularly rakes in $40 million a day.

Sekou Smith takes note of King's old reputation and his new one, "the picture of perseverance on this day, a testament to the power of positive thinking and the model for ambitious NBA executives for refusing to accept defeat." What can he do for an encore? Hey, there's a reason Brooklyn is called Kings County.

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