Brooklyn Nets/Gary Sussman
It should be clear by now that Chad Ford doesn't like Billy King. Twice after the Gerald Wallace trade, Ford said the Nets GM should be fired, once in a column and once in a podcast with Bill Simmons. Now, Ford is claiming that King is at fault for Avery Johnson's firing, suggesting that it was King, not the Russian ownership as everyone else has reported, who did the deed.
In his chat Wednesday, Ford answers a question from a Russian fan, who refers to the Nets as "we." (Spasiba!)
Oh boy. Now Russians are referring to the Nets as "us" ... gotta love that. I don't really think Avery Johnson was the problem. I'm not sure how you can be the Coach of the Month in November and unemployed in December unless you've broken the law. But this is the NBA ... and when GMs put a team together and it doesn't work ... they don't fire themselves. They blame the coach. And if the next coach doesn't get them playing together? They trade the players and blame them. The fact that we could see this coming this summer I guess is irrelevant. For the most part the Nets are too old and lack depth. They Joe Johnson deal looks like the disaster we saw coming this summer. Hard to get excited about paying Gerald Wallace huge #$$$ for the next 3 three year. But the one thing no one anticipated is that Deron Williams was going to play like this. If they can get a coach to get him playing better -- the Nets will be a playoff team. Championship contender? No coach is going to get this current squad to that level.
There has NO indication, either publicly or privately that King pulled the plug on Johnson. Mikhail Prokhorov said ultimately it was his decision. King has said it was Prokhorov's decision. Others assure NetsDaily that indeed that was the case.
Ford also takes another slap at King later in the chat. In response to a fan suggesting the Knicks trade Amare Stoudemire for Joe Johnson (a move that would save the Knicks $24.3 million and a lot of angst), Ford writes.
Wait ... is Billy King on our chat? Or maybe this is Isiah Thomas. Hard to tell ...
Ford does suggest that the Nets might have a shot at Dwight Howard in a trade but because they are in cap hell, he can't see them getting him to Brooklyn, which is still Howard's preferred destination. (Hey, King must be doing something right if Howard still wants Brooklyn, right?)
I know he still pines for Brooklyn ... but unless the Lakers are willing to trade him there (for Brook Lopez and pieces) I don't see how he gets there. The Nets are totally capped out. After the Nets, is there really a team he wants to play for that gives him a better shot at the title than the Lakers? I don't think so.