Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov continues to hold the Nets back, the GM search is just the latest case.

By Chip Murphy

The Brooklyn Nets made the long overdue move to remove Billy King from his general manager position on Jan. 10.

More accurately, King was reassigned to a less important role, while embattled head coach Lionel Hollins was fired in a much less surprising move. It has been a month since, and the always important trade deadline is fast approaching (Feb. 18) while Brooklyn is inexplicably yet to hire a general manager.

ESPN’s Mike Mazzeo tweeted Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s insightful thoughts on his team’s GM search, via

It’s been a month, and they are just getting onto the short list? Unbelievable.

Since Prokhorov’s arrival on the East Coast in 2010, he has slowly torn what was left of the Nets franchise down brick by brick with his empty promises, poor decisions, and the basketball people he surrounded the team with.

More specifically, Prokhorov’s second-in-command Dmitry Razumov. Razumov’s role was always a little vague, his specific title is chairman of the Nets board of directors, but in 2011 he told SB Nation’s Nets’ Daily of his activities, “I do speak to Billy [King] on a regular basis about basketball”, explaining that he has focused on “Nets issues” within the franchise. According to the report, Razumov was the driving force behind the disastrous Jason Kidd hiring; while Prokhorov has garnered a reputation for sticking his beak in on other matters, like the infamous Boston Celtics trade.

For things to change in Brooklyn, Prokhorov will need to loosen the grip on his new GM and give him more control to make his owns moves. Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck tweeted that there is speculation in Toronto during All-Star weekend about Brooklyn’s future. If Mikhail Prokhorov read that tweet, he definitely would have loved it.

According to Beck, Prokhorov has already shown the first signs of loosening the grip, kinda.

Is the owner of the Brooklyn Nets realizing that it’s difficult to hire a GM when you tell him on the spot about all the things he won’t be allowed to do? Maybe.

The ESPN article listed eight candidates that were interviewed for the opening with three now being finalists. The finalists are former Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colango, Denver Nuggets assistant-GM Arturas Karnisovas, and San Antonio Spurs assistant-GM Sean Marks. All three have been around the league for a long time and are qualified, but Colangelo is the only one with actual general manager experience.

As Beck tweeted, Colangelo is the likely choice not just because of his experience but because Prokhorov will love him. The owner who has been chasing the back page since he arrived will be attracted to the last name. Brian’s father Jerry is Director of USA Basketball and President of Basketball Operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, easily one of the most well-respected men in the game. In Prokhorov’s mind when he hires Bryan he is hiring Jerry. A very sound strategy, because Bryan did such a great job with the Raptors.

Mikhail Prokhorov bought the Nets, made big promises that never came true, and instead makes sporadic appearances in Brooklyn. All the reports in the world can come out, but as long as this fraud is making decisions as the top things will never even get back to respectable.

NEXT: Here’s How Giants Should Attack Free Agency

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.