Alex Seryakov writes an occasional blog for Sports Tribune of Moscow about "the team that has a clear Russian hue" and Tuesday decided to do an alphabetical tribute to the Nets, using the Cyrillic alphabet used in his native country, the one that looks like this: ж ч ш щ ы и й ё ю г б д ф ц ъ л.
So, we decided to politely ask a human being, rather than a machine, to translate the blog just for fun (and because we have time to kill before the CBA negotiators break). Seryakov is often caustic and a bit profane, but not uninformed. You should read his birthday greeting to Travis Outlaw! All that said, here are his assessments of Billy King, Mikhail Prokhorov and Deron Williams.
G - General Manager
Billy King. The man whom any Philadelphia fan (and not only) calls, basically, "Billy f-----g King." The man who, despite his activities in Philadelphia, continues to work as a GM in the best league in the world. Of his "achievements" one can tell tales and create legends, sing ballads and write gansta rap, but here he is with us. Mikhail Prokhorov, having just met in the off season with the Big Three, saw the light immediately and replaced Rod Thorn with Billy King, who - what a shock! - happened to be out of work at the time. The task of creating a decent team could have been resolved in one move - by signing one of the three dragons who weren't under contract. The quick plan didn't work and Prokhorov was forced to announce his "Plan B" - and King's arrival, which was long viewed as a mistake, now looks a lot different. Deron "top player" Williams has been signed, Vujacic has been caught in Prokhorov's net and turned out to be a not bad scorer. It's terrifying to imagine what the team's potential would be if not for the overvalued contracts of Outlaw and Petro.
D - Uncle Mike (Dyadya Misha)
That's how Mikhail Prokhorov became known as the season went on. You can say much about him and in many ways. My mother, a crane operator with 20 years' experience, expressed something less than the warmest emotion toward Mikhail Dmitrievich after he announcd his plan to increase the work week. Without probing the facts or the context of the phrase, my mother, with her customary smirk, said she was ready to work 120 hours a week "while they feed black caviar to their cats." It's illustrative - a huge number of people are against Uncle Mike already just because he's a very successful, wealthy and influential person. "Money is evil. If he has a lot of money, he must be very evil," goes a comment I read on Runet. I don't want to be involved in politics or other such stuff and won't get involved in them. I just want to wish Prokhorov the ability to overcome, as he always has, all the difficulties and to fulfill his promise of making the Nets a championship team within five years. We've seen enough weddings already.
We have such a person, and let's be happy about that. Having moved on from Melo, the Nets management instantly acquired Deron Williams, and they did it in such a way that Dimka and I walked, cried, went nuts and tried to draw DWill in profile for a month in our notebooks. Deron, having barely come to the Nets, started passing from the first games. It's hard to score a lot of points in a debut match, but you don't need a great mind to do it - you just take that orange leather sphere and run, without looking at your partners. But to complete 15-20 passes in your opening games is a lot harder. If someone doesn't score from the corner, you can't pass it to him there, whoever can't fast break, whoever can play against a taller opponent, whoever just can't run - to understand all of this from the start - that's worth a lot. In spite of his wrist problems, Deron ran, passed and scored, and even defended himself. But Deron doesn't like to do the dirty work, so he'll need people working hard around him.