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Brett Yormark knows an opportunity is slipping away

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Vasquez writes Thursday about the Hornets game, looking at it from a basketball perspective, but in his story, he also quotes Brett Yormark who in a sports seminar earlier in the day lamented that the Nets can't take advantage of the Knicks horrific season ... and accompanying disasters.

"This market is very competitive," said Yormark, who appeared at the Sports Business Summit in Manhattan. "As much as I say we don’t compete against the Knicks or the Garden, we do. That’s the reality of it.

"I’m opportunistic, right? They’re struggling, and – it’s going to be cyclical. So I want to own this city. That’s critical for us. I think the way you own it is by winning and getting to the playoffs this year."

Yormark, who appeared with Billy King on the panel, gave a hint as to why the Nets so desperately want to get into the playoffs.  He sees it as an opportunity to do what Mikhail Prokhorov proposed when he bought the team in 2010, "turn Knick fans into Nets fans."

"Billy [King] and I talk about it all the time," Yormark said. "We have these little windows over the last couple of years where we had a chance to really own the city. Now, we couldn’t own it [while playing] in New Jersey. But we can own it in Brooklyn.

"We’re hoping to get to the playoffs this year, and if we get any traction, then we have a chance to turn those casual fans into hard-core fans. And those fence-sitter fans, if you will, get them to jump in and say, ‘I love what Brooklyn is doing.’ Winning helps."

It also helps keep the fans you have, and that isn't easy either when you're losing.

As for the rumored sale of the team, Yormark said he doesn't think it's going to happen.

Not that I want to get into that conversation right now, but you see how it’s played out – nothing has happened, and they’ve been talking about it [in the media] for a year. So I’d probably say I don’t think anything’s gonna happen. We have an ownership group that is very committed. We’re fortunate enough to work for some great people, and I think that will continue to be the case not only short term, but longterm.” - See more at: http://blog.northjersey.com/meadowlandsmatters/11135/nets-ceo-yormark-lays-out-brooklyn-nets-marketing-formula-at-sports-business-event/#sthash.slS8S0iF.dpuf

"Not that I want to get into that conversation right now, but you see how it’s played out – nothing has happened, and they’ve been talking about it [in the media] for a year," he told the seminar. "So I’d probably say I don’t think anything’s gonna happen. We have an ownership group that is very committed. We’re fortunate enough to work for some great people, and I think that will continue to be the case not only short term, but longterm.”

John Brennan, who covers sports business for the Record, posted transcripts of Yormark's comments.