All Star PG is now a member of the New Jersey Nets. But for how long?
He kind of stuck it to Garden management hanging around the perimeter of the Carmelo Anthony drama and one can at least partly credit the Russian billionaire for forcing the Knicks to send significant riches to Denver when Anthony might have conceivably come to New York for free at season's end.
But that's old news, the newest flash revolves around New Jersey's signing of elite point guard Deron Williams—that grabbed some Knick fire for about 48 hours—but in the days, weeks, approximately 18 months to come, Mr. Prokhorov will come to understand something about the land war he is waging with the team on the other side of the Hudson.
That is, the battle he's fighting exists only in his own mind and perhaps those of a few robust Net supporters.
The New Jersey Nets are not the New York Knicks, not even when they had Julius Erving, and for all the team chefs, handsome new arenas, multimillion-dollar aircrafts, even a kiss on the cheek from Jay Z's gal Beyonce, they never will be.
That having been said, imagine now, you are Deron Williams. Young man about town, pretty wife, cute kids out for a stroll in Newark?
I don't think so.
Deron will take the family into Manhattan and while they are enjoying themselves the former Utah PG will hear endless calls from Knick fans to join the Madison Square Garden Five post 2012 when his contract, and rather conveniently, the contract of newly arrived Knicks PG Chauncey Billups, mutually expire.
And he's not just going to hear these calls in New York. You think they don't have Knicks fans in New Jersey? At a minimum that ratio is 5-1 Garden side of the heavily trafficked Hudson River.
To be sure whatever metropolitan suburb the Williamses decide to settle in will be filled with Knicks lovers.
Deron goes for a haircut, he'll be asked about joining the Knicks.
A run to the market. How about those Knicks?
Picks his kid up at nursery school, you can be almost certain the eager headmaster will also be asking about the Knicks.
And in 18 months, after suffering about 105 games with the Nets, at least 65 of which figure to be losses, don't you know Deron Williams will be longing for New York in just the same way Knick fans are longing to have him run their up-tempo offense?
No, that's not going to be a very tough sell. It might have been had Williams and his family still been ensconced in a Utah/Rocky State kind of mindset, but after a happy year and a half on the East Coast—where they figure to be treated like royalty—there will be no issue of family upheaval.
The Knicks won't even have to spend for plane tickets or long-distance calls during the recruitment process. In fact they might not have to whisper even a single word, that's how loud the Madison Square Garden din figures to be while the team and city adjust to the high-flying ways of their own newly minted gazillionaires, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire.
You better believe Deron Williams will be hearing it over in Jersey, and the likelihood is he will be dying to sign on the Knick dotted line come summer 2012.
For that the New York Knick Universe will at least in part have Mikhail Prokhorov and the New Jersey Nets to thank.
So 18 months in advance, let me be the first.
Thank you, Mr. Prokhorov. We don't know if we could have gotten our hands on Deron Williams without you.
And that's it for today,