All Hail Brooklyn’s King!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We’ve had our fun at his expense in the past.

In Philadelphia, when he bet on guys that didn’t end up living up to the hype, he was roasted. His predecessor, Rod Thorn, chased superstars LeBron James and Chris Bosh, only to come up empty. King continued the futility after Thorn helped the Nets hire him as his replacement, chasing Carmelo Anthony and others only to come up empty, and get roasted once again by those of us paid to grade such things.

But while you’re preparing your holiday feast and celebrating the nation’s birthday this afternoon and night, you need to toast Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King.

He is the picture of perseverance on this day, a testament to the power of positive thinking and the model for ambitious NBA executives for refusing to accept defeat (and yes, it certainly helps to have a billionaire owner like Mikhail Prokhorov willing to take the risks to build a winner).

After so many swing-and-miss attempts, King is nailing his New York debut. The blockbuster trade for All-Star guard Joe Johnson earlier this week was followed by a commitment from All-Star point guard Deron Williams yesterday that he will carry the new Nets flag as they embark upon their Brooklyn era.

King’s calculations when he traded for Williams have paid off handsomely. If he’s somehow able to pull off the trade for Dwight Howard, which is still a longshot, he’ll be the early leader to succeed Larry Bird as the NBA’s Executive of the Year. The fact that Howard has made a trade demand with the desired destinations list of only the Nets is another feather for King’s hat.

The Nets are years removed from relevance in the Eastern Conference playoff context. Yet somehow, King has managed to generate enough momentum that Howard wants to join the Brooklyn party.

That’s not bad for a guy who has served as the punch-line pinata for so many in recent years.

But I was in London when the Nets and the newly acquired Williams played the Raptors at 02 Arena (that’s my computer and headset King is on in that interview above). It was there that I first heard the rumblings, not from King or anyone affiliated with the Nets mind you, about the potential of big things to come in Brooklyn. That’s when I first heard the rumor about Williams and Howard being dead-set on playing together, in Brooklyn or wherever, when they became free agents.

It was easy to dismiss it then. The Nets were fresh off of missing out on Anthony and surprising us all by snagging Williams in that trade with the Jazz. The idea that some grand plan was in the works didn’t exactly sink in over there.

But I’m a believer now. Even if they don’t get Howard, King has made the splash needed to start a little something in Brooklyn. An All-Star backcourt of Williams and Johnson is a great start and sends a message to the rest of the league (players, other execs and perhaps most importantly, new fans in Brooklyn) that the Nets mean business.

With the move the franchise was making, they had to be, as Ian O’Connor of outlines:

King knew he couldn’t go marching into Brooklyn with Johnson as his biggest star. He knew he had to bring back Williams, and that Prokhorov would’ve made a move for his job — sooner rather than later — if he didn’t.

“If it went the other way, Billy and the whole organization would’ve been killed,” said one league source with knowledge of King’s talks with Williams. “The easy thing would’ve been to call around and trade Deron during the season, trade him to the Lakers for [Pau] Gasol and just say, ‘With the ship sinking, let’s try to save as many people as possible.’

“But instead Billy pushed all his cards to the middle of the table, and it took a lot of [guts] to do that. I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do it if I were him.”

Williams met with Nets officials Monday in Manhattan. He also met with his hometown Dallas Mavericks, who didn’t bring their owner, Mark Cuban, along for the recruiting ride, a fact that surprised and delighted the Nets. Prokhorov wasn’t around for his team’s presentation either (he was represented in the room by his aide, Dmitry Razumov), but in the end he didn’t need to be.

Williams arrived at the Nets’ training facility Tuesday around 9:30 a.m., arrived in his yellow Lamborghini. He worked out and then talked strategy with team officials, a sign that this was going to be a very good day for the Nets.

“Billy had so much on the line,” said an NBA source close to King. “He’s been like a college recruiter for the last year and a half, just trying to sell Deron on the vision he had. I know Deron got $100 million to stay and would’ve gotten $75 million if he left, and money definitely has something to do with it. But the relationship Billy established with Deron was huge here.

“He got crushed for giving up the sixth pick in the draft for Wallace, but he did that for Deron, to show him that good things start to happen when you have NBA players around you. If Billy starts the offseason with the No. 6 pick and with the hope of re-signing Brook, Deron might’ve ended up in Dallas.”

Well, you know how that story ended. Williams didn’t go home to Dallas.

He bought into King’s plan and will help usher in the Brooklyn era of Nets basketball.

Raise your hand if you thought that era would come with a toast to King!


  1. detroitcity123 says:

    CryBaby DH12! …he cries over everything i live in orlando and we all dislike him here..

    Number one Joe Johnson is a JOKE not worth that contract and number 2 for you people saying the Nets are now going to go to the eastern conference finals thats another JOKE!..YES on paper you can say that but we know how the league works and nothing is promised.. the Nets are giving away everything just for D-will,Joe Johnson,Wallace and Howard to play together… but last time i check 4 players do not win championships! ask the heat… they tried to do it with there big 3 they have in Bosh wade and James and if it was not for the heats bench (mostly Battier and Mike Miller) the heat would NOT have been champions this year!.. so if the nets do get howard ..uhm who is at PF? or even on the bench? ..NO ONE!…so if you think they nets will be a contender..i think your kidding yourself because D-Will and howard are solid players but Joe Johnson and wallace Both are past there golden years.. so for that being said and with NJ having no bench. i dont see NJ doing much

    another option for New Jersey to better there roster possibly would be to trade Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez with M.Brooks to Orlando for D-Howard, Jason Richardson or possibly Turk with Duhon in the Mix as well..they need to figure something out that will help them win NOW

  2. mario says:

    Johnson is overpaid for sure but he is a good player. Good move by Nets as they convinced Deron to stay. I suspect that he will only be there for 1-2 years. If the russian is serious about spending he will probably amnesty him when the next super star will be available in free agency or he will try for a trade.

  3. Law064 says:

    I agree with everyone saying Joe Johnson is overrated and over paid. He is a good player but not worth the max salary he’s getting. I think the Nets gave a little to much for him. I also think that with Johnson and D-Will they are in good shape. G Wallace is another good piece they have so they will be ok but they really could’ve used some of the players they traded for Johnson to help get Dwight aka crybaby. He should’ve just got traded last season and end his drama queen antic’s smh Dwight.

  4. RDB007 says:

    I think Joe Johnson is OVERRATED! HE IS GOOD! BUT IS NOT WORTH OF THE MONEY ON HOW HE PERFORMS, An experienced player who could fit for the nets 2 spot could just make them reach the playoffs! Hope that Howard is going to the nets, makes NETS on top 3 of the EAST standings!

  5. Steffen says:

    Seriously, people saying they gave up too much for Joe, man they shipped the players off to Atlanta, so they could handle another deal with Crybaby.
    Also on the Lakers side of things. With Nash coming in and Lakers still in contending for Cry baby things are on the up and up for the lakers.
    But they will need to get Crybaby in, since only Crybaby can protect the middle well enough when Nash is getting run over by any guy he guards, creating a highway towards the ring. Crybaby will take care of that and on offense lakers will be better then ever with Nash and Crybaby.
    I really hope crybaby dosnt end up with the Nets. He don’t deserve to get things his way. Orlando Punish him, please for the sake of the league.

  6. RDB007 says:


  7. chris says:

    I don’t even know why they got Johnson. He is not worth his contract and Atlanta was crazy to give him that big contract in the first place. The guy always flops in the playoffs. He has came up small in the past few seasons in the playoffs. He is a good regular season player though but still not worth the money that he is getting paid.

    The Nets should have used the money that they are now going to pay Johnson on Dwight Howard.

    I don’t get why they gave up Anthony Morrow. You need a guy like that to win championships. I mean Chicago had Paxson and Kerr all those years. Morrow is a better player than those 2 players. Heck, Mike Miller came up money for Miami in the NBA Finals when they needed him. I don’t know if they can count on Marshon Brooks to develop that quick now that Morrow is gone. DeShawn Stevenson hard to replace a guy like that. He plays good defense. DeShawn has a ring so he knows what it takes to win a championship too.

    • david says:

      I totally agree with you chris. They also gave away Farmar who is an excellent backup point guard. I’ve watched him play for the Lakers ever since they got him, and he was excellent. I was watching a Clipper game this season and Farmar even nailed a game winner (might have been buzzer beater) three against them.. 6 players (5 players and a draft pick) for Joe Johnson was way too much.

      Im happy for that though, now the nets have like no bench, and increases the Lakers’ chances of getting Howard 😛 (though the chances are still quite low)

  8. leggomymelo says:

    if joe johnson was 3 years younger, the current roster would be fine. However, with johnson and wallace being older they need that a younger superstar to keep going with Deron Williams. I dont know how they will manage to get Howard, but without him the nets will never make it out of the east finals in my opinion.

  9. Ben H. says:

    I don’t understand why they don’t just use what they have now (Brooklyn). Here’s the roster if they sign Humphries

    That’s not bad at all…also the Howard deal is too complicated from what I’ve read.

  10. Bonafide says:

    What indication does Billy King give that he “WON’T” use Joe Johnson as a bargaining chip for D12?? thats a big contract they can work with without having to offer humpries more $$$ to include in a ‘potential’ trade with lopez and brooks for Dwight.

    • Bball247 says:

      Ummm, they didn’t offer him?? lmfao! They’re offering lopez(one of the top centers), humphries(under-rated power forward who consistently contributes), and marshon (who will be a dynamite scorer sometime soon if not now and can come off the bench as their “sixth man” or starter for SG). Oh, AND draft picks on the side so if I do say so myself. That’s one hell of a trade, like you’d be getting draft picks too! If they don’t go after this trade, then I know that magic only care about trying to show people who runs the show and not trying to make their team better. That’s instant upgrade if you ask me…

  11. Bill says:

    Only in the East could this be seen as a playoff team possibility.

  12. TrueHEATfan says:

    I really hope the Nets land Howard too. The Heat need some kind of challenge in the east. The aging Celts are on there last leg and there is no telling what the Bulls are going to look like next year( word is D.Roses injury is a lot worst than people think, think of Penny, B.Roy, player changing injuries). Already with the changes in Brooklyn I see the birth of a new playoff team fighting for supremacy for New York. With the Knicks. If Howard ends up there in Brooklyn healthy,these guys can take not only the atlantic but a spot in the east finals. ..

  13. Trade KOBE please! says:

    Yeah Brooklyn, nice move, they are now slowly forming the Nets “Big 3” D-Will, Johnson and one down Dwight “cry baby” Howard. haha.

    Center- Dwight Howard
    PF- Brook Lopez
    SF- Gerald Wallace
    SG- Joe Johnson
    PG- Deron Williams

    KOBE should now be in panic mode if he want’s the Lakers to still be competitive, He should agree to have a pay-cut so that they could accommodate the last gem of the Free agent …the crybaby DH12.

    Nash and Ray Allen will sign with the Miami Heat. So Kobe is now loosing his career. He should realize that he is done already and must realize that ball hogging is not the answer. Superstar help is more than necessary or else Lakers will fall into a decade of Mediocrity…..another option is Kobe should opt out of his contract and ask to be traded in L.A Clippers to join Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Haha poor Kobe, they are on the loosing end of all this great off season move.

    • Bball247 says:

      Even I know that lopez can’t stay if they get howard, they’d want a center. Especially if he’s as good as lopez, the offer is for lopez humphries marshon and draft picks. Now the magic are being stubborn if you ask me about trading for these players who will most likely have multi-year deals. The other choice would be to get bynum, but bynum also only has this year left on his contract and the magic want him to exercise an extension. Dwight’s not going to do that, so why should they give them a guaranteed multi-year deal with the 2nd top center in the league? Atleast with brooklyn you get more out of it and you get the multi-year deals to go with it. They’re risking it because they know dwight would sign back with them as we all know that’s where he wants to be. What’s to stop him from testing free agency and going there next year? Lakers? Don’t waste your time, magic is trying to hustle you because they’re being prideful instead of taking the best deal because they don’t wannt dwight to be “in charge”. Dwight isn’t in charge, but when someone offers you a deal like that it doesn’t matter the drama, just get rid of him and take the deal and call it a season. You’d have more depth of a team, and still would be a playoff team. Do the trade with brooklyn and get your team ready for the season, period.

      • ddddd says:

        A bench versus a credible allstar…… Bball247 you are so wrong there. No matter where Dwight goes there are better deals than the 2 bit bench players that the nets are offering. Who won more games last year, Lakers or Nets? Giving Dwight what he wants will simply send the magic further into oblivion. Making another team like the Lakers or Rockets give what Dwight wants is no skin off the magic’s nose. By that time the trade deadline rolls around, the Nets will be forced into a better deal or Dwight will acquire a math lesson and realize that there is no possible way to make 20 million and still go to Brooklyn this year….. Actually I was playing around with ESPN’s trade machine earlier and there is a way for a 40 million dollar trade to work with the Lakers that covers every goal of the magic while giving Kobe the complimentary players that would probably work better in Mike Brown’s system… With the obvious goal being Dwight on the Lakers behalf…. would be the only reason the lakers would even consider it, but it is a lot better trade than what the nets set forth…. Grab another team stupid enough to give the magic the rest of the pieces needed for a nets trade and try again.

    • Scott the magician says:

      Kobe is one of the greatest players EVER and a dedicated leader and fearless competitor. Your a moron if you think Kobe and Bynum dont meet “superstar help”, Bynum is better then Howard, just not as naturally athletic, and if they get a even decent PG or a 12ppg scorer and with MWP vowing to be better this year (if they keep him). they are not only western contenders, but western favorites. All they need to do is deal Gasol and give bynum 4-6 more FGA’s a game. and in these later years of Kobe’s playing life, he will allow Bynum to have some star. Quit your hating on the lakers you joke, they aren’t going anywhere!!!
      PS…congrads Brooklyn, gonna be an awesome eastern conference!!!

      • pakyaw says:

        KOBE is a dedicated leader? LOL..,what are u smoking?….if he’s a good leader,youre not gonna point finger on your teammates on whos to blame(bynum&gasol vs nuggets series,even they won that series) …instead u take all the blame on your shoulder..that’s what a great leader should be….. KOBE never been a leader on a lakers team,when SHAQ left, FISHER took that leadership role…on competativeness?(yes,I AGREE!) but being a leader? NO!

    • chris says:

      Kobe is a Laker for life. He is not going anywhere.

      On a side note why didn’t Dwight just say a few months ago I want to be traded to New Jersey/Brooklyn? The guy can’t make up his mind for some reason. I mean did the few months that he would have to play in Jersey make a big difference in the long run? Maybe he wanted to see what D-Will would do in the offseason but still if Dwight came to New Jersey/Brooklyn a few months ago D-Will was gonna stay anyway in my mind.

  14. epic says:

    remember when nets were so bad two years ago. Now they are probably going to make the playoffs.

  15. Derek says:

    The Nets offered him 19.6 million a year.

    The Mavs offered him 18.8 million a year.

    It really didn’t come down to the money too much, because either way he was making bank. His love for Brooklyn along with Joe Johnson’s arrival helped in having him stay.

  16. LegendaryFan says:

    Wow if I were offered that kind of money I would stay to lol. $100M within 5 years, that’s what you call SET. I’m not all about the money though, it helps but if he wasn’t happy with the Nets then he should have traded, I’d take happiness over money any day.

  17. dwynn says:

    Right Choice D’will…Not going to the arrogant owner Marc Cubans team!!

  18. Vic says:

    Hello Brooklyn !!!!!!!!!!