Posted by Rick Laughland Posted on 9:46:00 PM with No comments
With the additions of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and newly hired coach Jason Kidd, the expectations were sky high for the Brooklyn Nets heading into last season. Now with Garnett representing the lone holdover from the Nets' short-lived drive for a championship, the expectation level for the team has dropped considerably and that has put players' minds at ease.
The Nets are younger on the court and more experienced along the sidelines as Lionel Hollins takes over the coaching reigns following Kidd's unceremonious departure for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Owner Mikhail Prokhorov promised the Nets fans base a championship within three years and now it's put up or shut-up time for the Russian billionaire .
"Every team has a grand plan, and we're moving slowly, step by step, because it's easy to make a strong team, but it's very difficult to make a championship team. So we are on the right way and I'm expecting our championship within three years now," Prokhorov said in 2012 during the ribbon cutton ceremony at the newly opened Barclays Center.
The Nets are now an afterthought in the Eastern Conference and while a healthy Brook Lopez and Deron Williams form a viable duo, it's unlikely that this Nets roster can topple a rebuilt Cleveland Cavaliers squad, a new-look Chicago Bulls team or even a veteran-laden Indiana Pacers bunch.
So while Brooklyn is flying under the radar this upcoming season, fans won't soon forget the championship promise their owner delivered during their inaugural season in the Borough.
If Prokhorov fails to deliver a Larry O'Brien Trophy to the championship-starved Nets fans left in New Jersey and now in Brooklyn, things could turn ugly very fast for the charismatic and outspoken owner.