Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Prokhorov sees title for Nets within three years
Mikhail Prokhorov doesn't need a crystal ball to peer into the Nets' future.
The Nets' billionaire owner is certain his franchise will have a NBA title and a Larry O'Brien trophy to call its very own sometime relatively soon. As in by 2015.
"Every team has a grand plan and we are moving on," Prokhorov said after Friday's Barclays Center ribbon cutting ceremony. "Slowly, slowly, step-by-step. It's easy to make a strong team, but it’s very difficult to make a championship team. So we are on the right track and still I’m expecting our championship within three years now."
No pressure, right Billy King?
"He said five [two years ago], so we are down to three," the Nets GM said. "To me, it’s a great goal. I’d rather him say that than, ‘I hope we win a championship at some point.’ That’s the goal and look forward to the challenge."
Prokhorov is pleased with the Nets' offseason haul, highlighted by the re-signing of All-Star point guard Deron Williams and the trade for another All-Star in Joe Johnson. With a smile, he said he thinks King will be named the NBA's GM of the Year.
He's eager to get things started in the Nets' new home.
"Moving to Brooklyn, it’s one of the important break points in the strategy of the team," said Prokhorov, who expects to attend at least 25 percent of the team's games in its new $1 billion arena this season. "So I’m very happy we are here in Brooklyn. It’s a new market.
"I think it’s the best arena in the world, and what I like, we are bringing a very good team to play in this arena in the great borough of Brooklyn and just I’m expecting a great rivalry with the Knicks.
"What could be better as a rivalry for New York City? We’ll fight on the court. We’ll see who’s better."
Prokhorov admitted he's a bit excited for the nationally-televised opener against Carmelo Anthony & Co.
"I am really thirsting for the first of November," he said. "Really."
Prokhorov was oozing with confidence, but even had to start tempering things near the end of his 10-minute session when talk of goals for the upcoming season was brought up.
"Look. Calm down, please," Prokhorov said. "You are too emotional. Our team has not played a single game. Let them play. We are happy that we have a team we love. That's great."