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PROKHOROV AIMS FOR NBA CHAMPIONSHIP IN 3 YEARS
Wed, 26 Sep 2012 02:30 AM EDT

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s target is to win a championship — and he predicts do so within the next three years.

“Every team has a big plan, and we are moving slowly, step-by-step, because it’s easy to make a strong team, but it’s extremely tricky to make a championship team. So we’re on the correct way and I’m expecting our championship within 3 years now,” Prokhorov said in the ceremonial opening of the $1 billion Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn.

When Prokhorov bought the team in 2010, he announced the Nets would capture the NBA title inside 5 years, meaning his plan remains on schedule.

“He recounted 5, so we’re down to 3. To me, it is a great goal,” Nets GM Billy King asserted. “I’d rather him say that than say, ‘Hopefully we are going to win a championship at some specific point.’ That’s the goal, and I look forward to the challenge.”

The Nets have gone just 58-172 over the past 3 seasons and haven’t made the playoffs since the 2006-07 season. But Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire, opened his wallet over the summer, allowing King and assistant General Manager Bobby Marks to dole out more than $330 million to retain mega star point guard Deron Williams and surround him with talented players like shooting guard Joe Johnson. Basketball spreads

“For me there is just one place: No. 1,” Prokhorov claimed. “And I’ll do my best in order to reach a championship.”

Prokhorov confidently said he believes King will be “General Manager of the Year,” and he doesn’t care what quantity of cash he must pay in luxury taxes.

“You can add it up. I don’t really want to do your job , but for me it’s most important to have a championship,” he announced.

Prokhorov plans on attending 25%of the team’s regular-season games, and “now we will add playoffs,” he claimed, guaranteeing a 2013 appearance. He added that his final target is to “make a small dynasty team.”

King wouldn’t say where he believes the revamped Nets stack up against the remainder of the Eastern Conference.

“I leave that to you guys. I haven’t ever been one to say where we stack up,” King said. “I think for the 1st time in my years for the Nets, each night going in I know we can compete with the adversary. I don’t think there’s one game I’d say, everything’s got to go right to beat that team, and that is what you want.”

The Nets will play their 1st regular-season game at the arena on November 1 against their biggest rivals, the New York Knicks.

“It’s not for me to make that call, it is an NBA decision,” Prokhorov declared when asked if he had anything to do with the scheduling of the opener. “But I’m actually thirsting for the 1st of November.”

Brooklyn has been without a professional sports franchise since 1957, when the Dodgers left the borough for L.A.

“Not everybody, in their lifetime, gets to witness an event that changes a city,” Prokhorov related. “Maybe people who experienced the building of the Brooklyn Bridge could say that. Barclays Center will be the heart of the Brooklyn borough.


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