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Prokhorov backs off Nets to playoff pledge, looks long term — like to David West

Mar 7, 2011, 12:08 PM EST

Mikhail Prokhorov Introductory Press Conference Getty Images

The Nets are not going to make the playoffs this year. I know it’s not a shock, we all kind of knew that was happening before the season started. They won 12 games last season, we all recognized how much work there was to do. They’ll probably finish around 25 wins this season, and that’s a good step in the right direction.

But brash owner Mikhail Prokhorov had promised the good people of Newark playoff basketball. This year. Now, he’s backing off saying what matters is the long-term goal of a title (in five years) not the short term, as he told Pedro Pinto of CNN International (via Nets Daily, who provides the quotes).

“To be a strong team, that’s one task, but championship team, that’s a completely different strategy,” explained the Nets owner in an interview just before the London Games. While declining to comment on how hard the Nets pursued Carmelo Anthony, Prokhorov said he is “quite satisfied” with what the team did at the deadline and added, “now we can build a championship team around Deron Williams”.

Maybe David West could be part of that.

The Hornets forward is a free agent this summer (or whenever the lockout ends) and told Star-Ledger he finds the Nets a team of interest.

I think that team, obviously, is a lot more interesting than they were. They were so young before they made that deal, and nobody saw that deal coming. I don’t know. I know it’s a team that has some (cap) space and a need, but it’s … like I said, when the time comes, we’ll see what’s out there. Again, at this point in my career, money won’t really be the number one (criterion).

A D-Will/West pick-and-pop with Brook Lopez cutting along the baseline… now we’re getting somewhere.

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