Kevin Garnett and Brett Yormark will both be in China later this week, KG on a sneaker promotion, Yormark looking for business opportunities. Meanwhile, Brook Lopez is somewhere between Singapore and Tokyo, the 11th and 12th stops of his international summer, this time helping out in the NBA 3x3. The Brooklynettes are on their way back to Brooklyn after joining Lopez in Singapore. Oh yeah, the Nets sponsored a trip to New York for the Russian U20 team two weeks ago, opening Barclays and the PNY Center to them. Andrei Kirilenko and Lopez met with them.
That got Matt Moore of CBS Sports and Hardwook Paroxysm thinking: is the Nets growing international brand, coupled with a star-studded roster and Prokhorov's wallet, enough to attract a "top three" player? He tweeted out his thoughts, responding at one point to an incredulous Knicks fan.
With the marketing power and financing behind the Nets, imagine if they had a top-three player in the league. It would be insane.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) September 2, 2013
Basically, the Nets are better primed to capitalize on a top-three talent than maybe any other organization in the league.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) September 2, 2013
Like, if the Nets managed to somehow land a transcendent player like Kobe-LeBron, even Melo (dude is huge in China), it would be amazeballs— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) September 2, 2013
@Lonchpad_McQuak right, I think that's notable. I think they have a better chance long-term of being more of an international brand than NY— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) September 2, 2013
@Lonchpad_McQuak basically, I think New Yorkers will always prefer the Knicks, but the international community might buy into a Net more— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) September 2, 2013
@Lonchpad_McQuak And Dolan hasn't done as good of a job as some other teams have of building an international brand— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) September 2, 2013
Prokhorov himself suggested a connection between the Nets growing brand and their ability to recruit top players in an interview with a Russian sports publication two weeks ago and essentially telegraphed the team's strategy going forward.
"Regarding the future of 'Brooklyn,' I am absolutely calm. Two years from now, when our payroll will clear, we will be even stronger. I cannot reveal the names of the stars, which, having become free agents will want to go to 'Brooklyn.' For such things, the NBA would fine me. But, believe me, there are such people. Our front office does not sit around and wait for the future."
The Nets pushed the international brand a few years back when they had Yi Jianlian (and Vince Carter), but those teams didn't yet have Prokhorov's spending power ... or a winning record. Now, it appears the Nets are serious about