Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov bought the Nets and came over to the United States for three reasons. First, he wanted to own an American sports franchise. Second, he wants to build that franchise into a winner. Third, he wants to turn that into profit and become a big figure in American sports.
One way he can turn around the beleaguered Nets and meet all of his goals is to sign LeBron James. It will not be easy considering LeBron's other suitors, but there are 10 ways Mikhail Prokhorov can make LeBron the king of his franchise.
Perhaps the biggest factor in LeBron possibly coming to New Jersey is whether or not the Nets move to Brooklyn. LeBron likely has no interest toiling in the swamps of East Rutherford or Newark. If he's coming eastward he wants New York and that means Manhattan or Brooklyn.
The Nets have been in talks about a move to Brooklyn in perpetuity. Prokhorov needs to do whatever it takes to ensure LeBron that a move to Brooklyn is in the bank.
Prokhorov is a stranger to LeBron, but Nets minority owner Jay-Z sure isn't. Jay-Z is the sports/entertainment connection LeBron desires with his move to a bigger market. With the amount of teams out there offering max contracts and the prospects of playing with other superstars out there, Jay-Z-who is a shrewd businessman in his own right-needs to get out front and make the best sales pitch of his career.
In addition to selling the idea of playing for Jay-Z, the rap mogul can pitch LeBron the idea of the business side of sports. LeBron can develop his own clothing line, shoot even a rap album or a spot in movies. As mentioned, Jay-Z offers LeBron a sports/entertainment connection that no other team can offer.
LeBron may go to New Jersey, but it is more likely he will make that jump if the ets first sign another max contract player and showe their dedication. Given the Nets miserable performance last season and dwindling fan support, LeBron will not go to another poorly organized roster that doesn't at least have another superstar potential player.
Prokhorov has gone on numerous news outlets and firmly announced his commitment to winning. He went on 60 Minutes and announced his intention to be more than just a flash in the pan, foreign owner looking to make American dollars.
Prokhorov wants to win, he wants to win big, and he wants to now. After disappointing seasons in Cleveland, LeBron needs to hear that his new owner will do whatever he must to build a winner. Conversely, the action of Prokhorov's competition across the river, Knicks owner Jim Dolan, has been criticized for being the complete opposite of that.
The next coach for LeBron James has been a sticking point all throughout the chatter of LeBron's next home. Therefore, if/when LeBron meets with the Nets, Avery Johnson must put it all on the line and tell LeBron not only why he is the right coach for him but why his game plan with the Nets young roster will be enough to get LeBron to the mountaintop.
Prokhorov is not only a billionaire, but he has the means and the connections to make LeBron the international icon he so desires to be. Prokhorov can bridge LeBron to the markets in Russia, Europe and even China, opening up the income channels LeBron wants with his new contract.
Other teams may talk about making LeBron such an icon, but Prokhorov has tangible tools to make that happen.
Yes, the Knicks have had big stars in their past and LeBron could become the biggest star in franchise history. That will not be case in Chicago. However, it will certainly be the case for the New Jersey Nets who still fall back on Julius Erving's tenure over 30 years ago.
Prokhorov and his team can sell LeBron on the fact that he alone will legitimize a franchise in a gigantic market and forever have his legacy tied to both (but he also must win).
Yes the Nets are moving to Newark for at least two years, but Newark isn't the dead end it is made out to be. The Devils made the move to the Prudential Center and have not missed a beat with their exposure and ability to put rear ends in the seats.
It is a modern arena that may not sell out on a nightly basis, but the crowds will certainly flock to see a superstar in action. Despite its public perception, Newark is an improving city especially in the arena district.
Newark may feel like a detour, but just because it's New Jersey doesn't mean opportunities can't be had. Other New Jersey-based superstars have still found their financial outlets in light of their proximity to the Turnpike (Eli Manning, Mark Sanchez).
Bring out Beyonce!!