Nets owner: ‘We didn’t bring in star players for brand awareness’

Prokhorov is hoping for a better season than what's in the forecasts for the Nets.
Anthony Gruppuso/Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

The Nets have been accused in the past of making personnel moves with too much of a concentration on brand awareness and not enough of one on actual basketball. With the team recently moving from New Jersey to Brooklyn, owner Mikhail Prokhorov wanted to make a splash immediately upon entering Barclays Center.

A mentality like that can lead to short-sighted, organization-crippling trades, like—oh, I don’t know—the one for Joe Johnson or the one for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. Because of those deals, Brooklyn may not have its own first-round pick until 2019.

Prokhorov recently answered a series of mailbag questions in a video for NetsDaily, and he actually commented on the brand awareness issue. Here’s what he had to say:

We didn’t bring in star players for brand awareness, but as a person who signed off all these deals, I can say that the only thing I really care about is building a winning team, and I do believe that we had a fresh shot with all these trades. It didn’t work out, because sport isn’t predictable. That’s why we love it. But I can fairly say, our focus remains absolutely the same today.

You can watch the full video here:

There’s something fishy, though, considering Prokhorov has cryptically admitted to an emphasis on branding before. From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

Of course, it’s not quite as black and white as one might make it out to be. You can genuinely believe a move can make your team better while also knowing it will help your branding.

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