While the New York Post’s Peter Vecsey wasted little time in portraying Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni as reluctant a participant in the Carmelo Anthony blockbuster as his lame duck team president, Donnie Walsh (“‘Mike is well aware Stoudemire and Anthony are not a good fit,’ said a D’Antoni confidant. ‘At either end.””), the Bergen Record’s Tara Sullivan considers the role of Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov (above, left) in the protracted saga. “Prokhorov did accomplish one of his stated goals, driving up the price for his cross-river rivals,” observes Sullivan, “but there’s little moral victory in hurting the opposition if you don’t at least help yourself in the process.”
“I think we made a very good tactical decision to force [the] Knicks to pay as much as they can,” Prokhorov told CNBC. “So it’s very good, it’s very interesting, it’s very competitive.”
No matter how Prokhorov spins this as something positive, we’re not buying. He blew into New Jersey and promised nothing short of world basketball domination. He talked of building a global brand, a team that will take its New Jersey fan base, move it to Brooklyn, and build a team to rival the much-more-popular Knicks.
He declared his intention to sign big-time free agent stars, to ultimately overshadow his big-time neighbors across the Hudson. He planted his egotistical “blueprint for greatness” billboard in the Knicks’ backyard, and then answered their taunts that he’ll never be like them with a dismissive retort that he’d rather be like the Lakers anyway.
He ends up being neither.