Back in 2010, as he was departing, we did a piece called, "The Collected Works of Rod Thorn," a summary (with grades) of every deal the Nets president of basketball operations made in the decade he ran the team. It included the good (trades for Jason Kidd and Vince Carter), the bad (Kenyon Martin) and the ugly (Jeff McInnis).
After changing the franchise with the Kidd trade, then rescuing it from Bruce Ratner's cost-cutting with the Carter trade, Thorn's last years in New Jersey were one long decline. Blaming him or Ratner or the Brooklyn critics doesn't seem worth discussing any more, not with that roster and that owner and that arena at Atlantic and Flatbush.
Thorn went on to Philadelphia where he failed miserably. The Andrew Bynum trade was almost as bad as the Kidd trade was good. Now Thorn is back in New York, where he was with the Nets hired him, as president of basketball operations for the NBA, replacing Stu Jackson at age 72. His deputy? Kiki Vandeweghe, who Thorn fired at Mikhail Prokhorov's bequest but who he (mostly) got along with.
Dave D'Alessandro wrote this week about Thorn's legacy, noting how he had coached Julius Erving, drafted Michael Jordan and traded for Kidd and how he had a virtually guaranteed invite to the Hall of Fame.
Rod Thorn's career comes full circle, and should end in Springfield - Dave D'Alessandro - Star-Ledger