Of the many famous people attending the Brooklyn Nets home opener last night, the richest was Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Before the game he met with reporters to talk about his goals for this team this year. Although Prokhorov has always said that his goal this year is to win a championship, he was more realistic last night when he said that “our plan is maybe the conference finals”.
I applaud Prokhorov for his honesty here. Winning a championship with this team is not realistic, especially with the Miami Heat in the eastern conference. However, a conference finals appearance is definitely not out of the question. This team has veterans still in their prime and is built to be a playoff contender immediately.
Another issue that Prokhorov talked about was Nets head coach Avery Johnson. Avery is in the last year of his contract and needs to have a good season this year to remain with the Nets. Prokhorov said, “For Avery it’s a very important year because for maybe first time he has maybe good roster of talented players.”
This is very true. In Avery’s two previous years with the Nets, he has had a depleted and often injured roster. It is fair to assume that if the Nets do not make the playoffs this year, Avery will be gone.