Veteran New York Times reporter William C. Rhoden spent a lot of time with the Nets this week. He went on the tour of the Nets new training facility atop a century-old Brooklyn warehouse Tuesday and talked to Billy King during the NBA draft. He was looking for contrasts between the Nets and their cross-river rivals and he found them. With the Nets, there was "no tempest, no buzz" while the Knicks were caught up in controversy over their decision to take Kristaps Porzingis.
It's as if the Nets, finally, are stepping back from their obsession with the Knicks and if not lowering expectations, lowering the temperature. There was no mention of New York's other team in Mikhail Prokhorov's email about the motivation behind the decision to invest $45 million in a waterside perch for his players.
"We have always approached the Brooklyn Nets as a team that should have everything first-rate," Prokhorov, wrote. At the end of the day, we want to do everything possible for the best chance to win. I also believe that approach is attractive to free agents. They want to be part of a franchise that is committed."
Neither Prokhorov nor King made note of any of the latest Knick controversies. It is a target-rich environment. It was all about patience, not huge billboards starting James Dolan in the face.
"We don’t consume ourselves with the Knicks," King said in a recent interview quoted by Rhoden. "We can’t control what they do or how people perceive them. We just have to control what we can do."
"I don’t believe anything is permanent," Prokhorov said of the Knicks’ dominance in New York. "A winning team pretty much ends all other conversations."
That's a refreshing change.
- The Nets Focus on Themselves, Not the Knicks - William C. Rhoden - New York Times