My Brook Lopez jersey is in the mail, Jay-Z is blasting, and I'm downing vodka. All thanks to Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire and new owner of the New Jersey Nets. This guy is going to be a treat. He's absurdly arrogant, successful, hilarious and Russian (which somehow makes one simultaneously endearing and sinister). His press conference today made the NBA about 30 times more exciting.
Can he succeed? Who knows. I do know, however, that the Nets have nowhere to go but up. Plus, I'm a fan of anyone who prefaces their statements with: "If I tell you, I'll have to kill you."
Watch this team during the LeBron sweepstakes. While everyone is talking about the Cavs, Bulls, Heat and Knicks, the Nets could very well be the equivalent of the Texas Rangers when they signed Alex Rodriguez in 2000 -- the last-place team flying below the radar that manages to land the superstar. The promise of a "global" brand, plus the coming move to Brooklyn, plus the Jay-Z factor may be enough to lure James to Newark.