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Nets Get Ready To Court The King

Sometime early Thursday morning, Mikhail Prokhorov's Gulfstream will touch down somewhere in northern Ohio. The Nets brain trust will then head to a secret location where LeBron James awaits. 

Back in New York, at around the same time, the Post reports, the Nets will launch a major local ad campaign to let their own fans --and Knick fans-- know just how seriously they are taking the pursuit of James.

The Nets believe that for the first time in their 40-year history they have a real chance to challenge the Knicks' primacy in New York...and the Knicks know it too.  Increasingly, they understand that if the King comes to New York, he's more likely to come to the Nets. Even Stephon Marbury thinks so!

That's just one of the plots being played out over the next 24 hours...and the first.  Although there's no timetable for James or other free agents to make commitments, the general belief is that the fog should clear over the free agent landscape by the weekend.  And other than Dwyane Wade, who the Nets still don't think they have a shot at, and Joe Johnson, who they're reportedly not interested in, all the other big players are in play.