New York’s Love Affair With Timofey Mozgov

by October 20, 2010

The Knicks were initially concerned because the Nets (and their Russian owner) showed no interest in the kid, but after his performance during the preseason, they consider themselves lucky to have him as their new starting center. From the NY Post: “[Mikhail] Prokhorov not only has to regret not signing Stoudemire in July, but even vying for the services of ‘Mozgov on the Hudson’ whom the Knicks signed in a mid-July coup. D’Antoni said he was surprised — and a bit concerned — Prokhorov wasn’t beating down Mozgov’s door in St. Petersburg. ‘That worried us because they weren’t involved,’ he said. ”We were like, what are we missing because they should know that? We’re scared to death we’re not seeing something. For whatever reason, they didn’t go after him. We were lucky to get him.’ In July, Prokhorov said, ‘We never considered letting him on the roster. But I was very happy the second Russian player has come to the league.’ Mozgov made his fourth straight start last night and had a nondescript four-point, three-rebound outing in 19 minutes. Mozgov has never met Prokhorov and confirmed the Nets never spoke to him. ‘I know he has money,’ Mozgov said. ‘He’s very smart. He’s a real good guy. Maybe he didn’t want me or know me. I don’t worry about it because he’s not my enemy.’ Knicks team president Donnie Walsh said he believes other teams eyed Mozgov for the summer of 2011, figuring he would sign with an NBA when his Russian-team buyout was less severe. But the Knicks poured money into Mozgov, giving him a three-year, $9.7 million deal to help him with the buyout. Walsh was highly secretive in courting Mozgov.”