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Knicks and Nets: "They're going to be everybody's darlings"

Mar 11, 2010, 9:09 AM EDT

Mark Cuban is high on the Nets and Knicks.

That sentence may lead you to think that Mark Cuban is just plain high. But hear the man out, because he is the NBA owner with the best track record of turning a disaster of a franchise into a winner.

“I said this to Kiki and Rod both,” Cuban said about Nets coach and GM Kiki Vandeweghe and team president Rod Thorn, “there’s about a month, five weeks left in the regular season. In five weeks, them and the Knicks become the darlings of the NBA. They’re all anybody’s going to be talking about in regard to free agency.

“They’re gonna go from being zeroes to heroes. The guys in the locker room who will stick around over there, they’ll be talking about them as they’re key components in the next generation Nets.

“Five weeks. They’re going to be everybody’s darlings.”

Cuban is right about this — the Knicks and Nets this summer are going to be a lot more interesting than the Knicks and Nets this winter.

Both have some rebuilding potential. Donnie Walsh is taking heat from the New York media, because that is what they do. But in two years he has taken the worst, most bloated roster in the NBA and cleared out enough cap space to go after two max free agents. He may not get them, but he has cleared the decks to rebuild, which had to be step one.

The Nets have some nice young players — Brook Lopez, Devin Harris, and Chris Douglas-Roberts — and will have a lot of ping-pong balls in the John Wall sweepstakes this year. Plus they have the cap space to bring in a star to go with the young core and an owner coming in who makes Cuban look middle class.

But everybody’s darlings? Has anybody ever used the words “darling” and “New Jersey” in the same sentence before? I’m not seeing it. Sorry Mark.

  1. Jersey Mike - Mar 11, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    I’m not sure what happened to you in New Jersey that has caused so much built-up angst and frustration, but let it go. Seriously. It’s old. Just enjoy your Lakers as they stumble down the stretch (sweet Raptors win!). Picking on the Nets, as you often do, is the equivalent of a Yankee fan picking on the Royals. What’s the point? Do you really get some sort of satisfaction out of it?
    But as I’ve said before in these comments, enjoy your new-found hobby while you can, because Cuban is right. The Nets will be doormats for a mere five more weeks. After that all bets are off. They have building blocks (Brook Lopez, Devin Harris), a guaranteed top-4 pick, 25 mil in cap space and a new owner that could buy Dr. Buss about 20 times over (#39 on the Forbes List published yesterday).
    So try and look a little harder at what Cuban is saying. Because if you can’t see it, you’re awfully short-sighted.

  2. Utah Matt - Mar 12, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    The Knicks will definitely be the Jazz darlings shortly after the season is over when the Jazz will get the Knicks lottery pick. GO JAZZ!!

  3. DJ quest - Mar 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    I agree the Nets and Knicks will be the darlings over the summer.
    Every free agent will visit, talk to the right people and then use that visit to drive up the cost of retaining their services with their current team (or a another team they might really want to play for). Seriously folks, the Knicks have some history of success (90’s were especially good, the 70’s brought a championship) but right now there is NO reason to play there. The system won’t win you a ring and there really isn’t any players there to play with. The Nets are just plain awful and have been for their existnce save two years of going to the finals (during the weakest period the eastern conference has EVER seen) and during the Drazen Petrovich (sp?) Dereck Coleman years…. Save it people. No top tier free agent goes there.

  4. Mike - Mar 12, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    However, the Nets will be playing in a brand new arena in 2012 and this will lead to a new life fron the NJ Nets. The Brooklyn Nets will be much more appealing. The Knicks on the other hand, I still don’t see them building around Galo, he is pretty bad, and over-rated because he is on the Knicks and they don’t want it to sound like the Knicks made another mistake drafting another below average palyer with a #1 pick.

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