Thursday, September 24th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  18 responses

What Major Changes Lie Ahead in NJ?

by Marcel Mutoni

The basketball franchise in New Jersey has a new boss and owner. And like any new boss, the guy is likely going to want to make his mark, and do so as soon as humanly possible.

Mikhail Prokhorov is a driven (and wildly successful) person, who will want things done his way. Change will likely start at the top of the organization. According to those close to the team, GM Rod Thorn and friends may soon be looking for work.

From the Star-Ledger:

The Nets basketball operation will undoubtedly feel a major shift in business practice, if only because Prokhorov – once he is approved by the league’s Board of Governors – is not a wallflower. His interest and commitment to CSKA Moscow has produced two Euroleague championships in the last four years.

His aggressive style, however, may not bode well for existing management. Rod Thorn and Kiki Vandeweghe are entering the final years of their contracts, and whether new ownership will allow the 68-year-old Thorn to continue his illustrious career in New Jersey is unknown.

Thorn and Vandeweghe aren’t the only ones who will be looking over their shoulders next season; the entire coaching staff is also at risk, as they enter the final season of their current deals. As the linked article points out, Prokhorov wants his fellow Russians to hold leading positions in the NBA, and is said to be fond of a couple of European coaches.

Of course, no one knows for certain who (if anyone) will get the axe in New Jersey when Prokhorov takes over, but it’s highly unlikely that he’ll sit on his hands and let business run as usual. Thorn, Frank and company would be wise to begin sprucing up those curriculum vitaes.

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  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty


  • riggs

    free lawrence frank!

    from his contract because he friggin sucks.

  • LeoneL


  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Maybe one or two.

  • http://claydefayette@yahoo.com CDef28

    The Nets are now tied with the Cavs in the 2010 LeBron race.

  • SchW


  • http://www.yamahyouth.com Gerwin

    How much influence will he have? Will he be bringing in non-American coaches to the NBA? What about more European players? Just curious what his influence will be on the NBA.

  • Peter

    Its actually surprising no Euro coaches have been brought over to the NBA yet…its been over 20 years for players

  • Jacqueline Mitchell

    Dang, Now that he owns the team what will happen with Jay Z’s piece of the team? Le Bron may not come in 2010 if his “good friend” isn’t there.

  • http://claydefayette@yahoo.com CDef28

    Jay-Z doesn’t own that much of the team, does he? I’d much rather be on the Brooklyn Nets than the NY Knicks.

  • NJ4Life

    jay-z is 1% owner. that’s all

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m assuming that Jay Z got bought out, right?

  • http://twitter/jpavc jpavc

    So Niko Bellic got himself a professional b-ball team.Way to go. Seriously, is it reasonable to be suspicious about the new owner´s profile, just by knowing that he´s a russian billionaire?
    Anyway, who cares…World Wide professional sports are getting more and more controlled by mobs. Soccer team are getting known as billionaires toys and laundry machines for extra oficcial activities, so I heard. Betting companies sponsors a bunch of major soccer teams in Europe.

  • http://twitter/jpavc jpavc

    Ai´ght. I ask moderation not to publish my last comment. It might be misunderstood. Thank u.

  • TADOne

    Rod Thorn has been needing to be put out to pasture for quite some time now. Long overdue. Same with Frank. And Kiki just sucks anyway.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    I hope they get rid of Frank. And i hope this guy is Russian-Mafia affiliated so that they dont have to buy out Frank’s contract. But why listen to me? I love becky yes i do, I love becky how about you.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    the guy in the picture (no idea who that is, new owner? Thorn? i dont care) looks like Ducky from NCIS. LOL

  • chintao

    I doubt Jay-Z was bought-out. Prokhorov is looking to acquire 80% of the Nets in exchange for $200 million. Rat will be selling the majority of his stake directly to the Mr. Big. Ghey-Z probably hasn’t even been consulted on this deal. That’s the life of a 1% NBA owner….