You'd think so, reading Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski's vitriolic repudiation of what "the myth of Mikhail Prokhorov" has wrought for the lowly New Jersey Nets and its fans.
The furor centers on the Nets' pursuit of one of the NBA's best scorers, the disgruntled Denver Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony. Prokhorov wants 'Melo (as he wanted LeBron James before him).
It's a pickup that could instantly turn Prokhorov's team into a playoff contender. Only it turns out that it's not that easy, as rumors swirl that neither Anthony nor his wife has any interest in the Nets or their swank new Brooklyn digs.
At his get-acquainted press conference, Prokhorov famously pledged to bring home a championship within five years and strike a balance between a sideline-stalking distraction and an aloof owner who spends most of his time "eight time zones away." Wojnarowski, one of the game's most widely read columnists, suggests Prokhorov risks failing on both accounts, accusing the Nets of "winging it" through "a serious [sic] of shots in the dark."
All this less than a year into an ambitious rebuilding effort, mind you, and with talk rife of a costly NBA lockout this summer and the league forced to buy one failing team already this season. I couldn't help but wonder, reading the anti-Prokhorov rant, whether the billionaire playboy humiliated Wojnarowski in a game of H-O-R-S-E or something:
When everyone believed Prokhorov would hit the NBA like a force of nature, he’s hit it like Herb Kohl.
Now, the Nets are behaving in a most desperate way and trying too hard to validate Prokhorov’s relevance in the sport.
Wojnarowski, who's not alone in his full-court press on the NBA's only non-North American owner, then delivers this zinger:
The NBA cognoscenti's message to Prokhorov is clear: "If you can't pull an Abramovich, well, then, there's the door and da svidanya."
The ball's in your court, Mr. Prokhorov.
-- Andy Heil