Brooklyn Nets Midseason Reports: Front Office

The Brooklyn Nets might go down in history as the team most ready for a reality show. With all of the drama and dysfunction that has gone on behind the scenes, the team could make up their luxury tax fees in a matter of weeks.

Going into the halfway part of the season, it is very clear that the Brooklyn Nets will have no chance at the playoffs unless teams fold financially or Michael Jordan of 1986 comes through the Barclays Center doors and asks to play. (Oh, that’s right, it’s 2016…). I guess the Nets are looking towards the lottery, where they gift wrap their number one pick to the Boston Celtics.

I guess that’s a perfect segue into the midseason reports for the front office.

Mikhail Prokhorov: F

Well there goes my chance to work for the Brooklyn Nets. Mikhail Prokhorov is a wealthy man in the NBA folds on paper. Forbes ranked the Brooklyn Nets seventh in net worth at a whopping $1.7 billion. Numbers like that makes you wonder how an owner garners an “F” with that type of financial portfolio.

Okay, here’s how.

The Brooklyn Nets are the only team in the NBA that are operating their team at a loss. Yes, that means the team is losing money in operating costs to the point of $5.7 million in the red. I’m a mass communications major, not an accounting major, but that’s not good. Especially when the crosstown rivals, the New York Knicks, are raking in profits to the point of $108 million.

Well, there went the short-term goals of converting Knicks fans to Nets fans.

Speaking of Nets fans, have you seen any? If you find any, will they ever admit it? Forbes put in the same report of franchise rankings that Nets fans are among the “least engaged” in the NBA. To put this in perspective, the Nets are in the company of the Charlotte Hornets and the Philadelphia 76ers. What makes this worse?

The Charlotte Hornets are implementing a plan to get their fan base back. The name change from Bobcats to their current moniker was a sign from Michael Jordan that he was serious about reconnecting with the fans after the disconnect with the Bob Johnson era. Michael Jordan is in the building for many of the home games and he has championed the franchise to give back to the community. They are going to get out of the cellar in a few years.

The Philadelphia franchise has history on their side. Sure, the front office was as bad as the Nets, but Jerry Colangelo will make sure that won’t stay that way. It will take a few years, but the 76ers have already started the rebuilding plan the Nets will have to do. Plus, Will Smith is a part owner. At least they have some star power.

According to Forbes, this is what the Brooklyn Nets bring to the table…

According to Nielsen Scarborough, only 15% of the Nets’ market watched, attended or listened to a game last year-lowest percentage in the NBA. To further engage fans, communications director Mandy Gutmann said the team has planned a season ticket holder movie night at the arena with players, a sleepover event for the kids of season ticket holders at the arena, and viewing parties.

Bad product means bad business. The Nets are that right now. All of that lands at Prokhorov’s feet.

Another Prokhorov issue was the people that he acquired to run his team. One name comes to mind…

Billy King: F

We could mention the Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry trade, but why beat a dead horse? Granted, King mortgaged the franchise’s future for the decade but at least the team went to the playoffs three years in a row.

The Deron Williams contract will not be placed at his feet, in my opinion; the Nets needed a franchise player for their move to Brooklyn.

Let’s talk about the culture within the organization.

I’ve lost count of how many coaches the Nets have had SINCE they’ve been in Brooklyn. Tony Brown will be shown the door at the end of the season, so he doesn’t even count in this discussion. The dysfunction during Billy King’s tenure can be defined by the lightning fast turnover of head coaches in recent memory. There is a reason why the Nets are waiting on the hiring of the general manager. It’s because no self respecting head coach with experience will accept a job otherwise. Tom Thibodeau is not going to do it. John Calipari? Please.

Billy King received full autonomy to run this franchise and he failed… miserably. Stability is paramount for a team. Players see it, coaches know it, and what you put on the floor is because of it.

Lionel Hollins: D

Say what you want, Lionel Hollins did what he could with what was given to him. My problem with him was that he let his frustrations get to him and he gave up. One year and a half is not enough time to see if a coach can make a difference. He led the team to the playoffs last year. There was no chance of that this year with this bunch. Admit it, the ten games he did win was a shock to many.

Think about this, the nine games the Nets gave away in the fourth quarter could have them in the playoff race if they win them. I reported many times on record that Hollins was possibly the only man to coach this team. With the lack of talent and injuries he had no chance.

Lionel Hollins is an NBA lifer so he knew what was going on behind the scenes. That being said, there is no way someone can just give up and hold his players hostage. He basically quit long before he was fired. Obviously, it’s the franchise considering the team is awful and can’t score in an empty gym with his replacement already calling out the team for their effort. It’s clear that the fans could care less. But you can’t let the lack of efficiency of one’s part become a liability on yours. Your personal pride has to kick in somewhere in this type of situation.

That’s why Lionel Hollins deserves a “D” instead of a possible “B”.