As part of a dual interview with his friend, John Calipari, Brett Yormark talked again about his long-term optimism for the Nets franchise, starting with free agency this summer. And the CEO of the Nets, Barclays Center and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment -- what's becoming the Mikhail Prokhorov empire, also noted who he thinks comprises the Nets core.
"This will be the first time we’ve been able to test free agency and really realize the power of Brooklyn, the power of our brand and the commitment that ownership continues to make," Yormark said. "We’ve got a good story to tell -- with the addition of our $50 million practice facility and the D-League franchise -- and I think we’ll be in a position where we’ll be able to add to Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Bojan Bogdanovic and some of the other younger pieces, and bring in the necessary pieces to turn things around quickly.
"I’m excited about that opportunity, but obviously we have to make all the right decisions and we have to plan now. ... I think there’s a chance here to really build something special."
Yormark, while not part of basketball operations, sees himself as the "story-teller" the Nets need in creating an appealing narrative for free agents to hear. You can already see some early signs of his plan, like this outside the visitors locker room. And as he has helped engineer a number of large-scale changes for ownership -- including consolidation of ownership in the team and arena, the purchase of Nassau Coliseum, the renovation of the Paramount Theater, etc.-- Yormark has become more influential.
Might that influence extend to luring Calipari back to the Nets in some capacity? That apparently wasn't part of the interview, but this was:
"I mean, when I look at him I think he’s dynamic, obviously, and smart," Yormark said of Calipari. "He relates to kids and people of different ages and backgrounds. He’s flexible, but he also knows what he wants. He’s got great conviction. And wherever he’s been, he’s had a system, and you either sign up for that system or you don’t.
"I guess you can say in some respects I run my business the same way."