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.