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SBD/February 24, 2011/Franchises
Nets Strike Back After Knicks Get Carmelo By Trading For Deron Williams
Published February 24, 2011
COMPARING APPLES AND ORANGES: ESPN's Michael Wilbon said Williams is a "great player, undeniably, but he's not a superstar in this way: He's not going to help sell any tickets in New Jersey. When you trade that many people you also need some box office value, and they're not getting that." He noted the trade "may be a kneejerk reaction to what the Knicks did" in trading for Anthony. Wilbon: "The Knicks had a better deal" ("PTI," ESPN, 2/23). Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic's Ivan Carter said, "What Mikhail Prokhorov did was the best he could do after whiffing on LeBron last summer, after whiffing on Amar'e Stoudemire, after whiffing on Carmelo." But the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg said Anthony "gets more people talking" than Williams does. Steinberg: "You saw the mobs of people already out there today trying to buy Melo jerseys. I don't know if the same thing happens for Deron Williams" ("Washington Post Live," Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, 2/23). The N.Y. Daily News' Eamon McAnaney said Williams "doesn't have the star value of Carmelo Anthony, especially in this town" ("Daily News Live," SportsNet N.Y., 2/23).
A GAMBLE WORTH TAKING: In N.Y., George Willis writes the Nets "needed to do what they did yesterday." Prokhorov was "looking like an owner who was all talk and no action; an owner with big money, but making no real impact." But that has "all changed now that the Nets have landed Williams." With the Knicks "making all the noise this year, the Nets had to do something to become relevant again" (N.Y. POST, 2/24). Also in N.Y., Fred Kerber notes the N.Y. Post and Daily News in yesterday's editions had a combined "21 stories, 25 pictures, 10 charts and one cartoon devoted to the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony," compared to "two stories and one picture about the Nets." Losing Anthony to the Knicks was "catastrophic for public relations, relevance, ticket sales," so the Nets "needed to do something for significance." Kerber: "So they did -- with a huge gamble. ... A gamble the Nets simply had to take" (N.Y. POST, 2/24). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser: "The Nets just won the battle of the back page today. Carmelo gets trumped before he even goes out there" ("PTI," ESPN, 2/23).