Tag Archives: New Jersey Nets

Billionaire Russian is buying the Nets. Is this good or bad? And a fun stat about health care and UFOs

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So I realize I’m a few days late on this, but my favorite NBA team is apparently being bought by the richest guy in Russia.

Mikhail Prokhorov, who apparently has a net worth of $9.5 billion (that’s about what I think I’m worth,

by the way, not that anyone will confirm it), has reached a deal to buy the New Jersey Nets. And yes, the “Nyets” joke has already been made plenty of times.

This seems to have come out of nowhere, and on the surface seems great for everyone: Struggling Nets owner Bruce Ratner gets cash for his new arena in Brooklyn (which, I’m starting to think, will get built as soon as the stuff in “The Jetsons” is real), NBA commish David Stern gets a foreign owner with a lot of cash in his league, and us Nets fans get to keep dreaming that LeBron James will come to the team next year.

Of course, I’m brimming with questions: Will borscht be served at the concession stand? Is there a chance that instead of throwback jerseys, the Nets could wear those cool-looking “U.S.S.R” shirts the Soviets used to wear? Will the owner threaten to send a misbehaving player to Siberia, and you know, mean it?

And could we get Dolph Lundgren to come out to the opener and re-enact his “Rocky IV” scenes? “If he dies, he dies.” Man that guy shoulda won an Oscar.

And would LeBron James even want to play for a Russian dude?

All things that will be known in due time. Heck, I don’t even know if this guy will pass inspection from the other NBA owners, who are kind of picky about who they let in to their club.

I truly have no idea how this thing will play out. But at the very least, my Nets will be interesting off the court this season.

ufo

In my continuing attempt to find humor in the health care debate…

**OK, so usually I ignore the 5,426 emails I get per week from Moveon.org. I love them, love that they’re pushing liberal causes, but man, do they send a lot of emails.

But this one I had to read, and I’m glad I did. Apparently, according to media watchdog site mediamatters.org, a recent N.Y. Times/CBS News poll showed that only 26 percent of Americans opposed a public option for the new health care plan.

A 2007 Associated Press/Ipsos poll found that 34 percent of Americans believe in UFOs.

So basically, more people believe in unidentified flying objects than oppose the health care plan. And yet this is apparently a raging debate in Congress.

Which just proves my point: There’s a ton of bat-shit crazy people in America.

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Update: I recant my YES Network rant (sort of)

APTOPIX Yankees Red Sox Baseball 

Email, and ye shall receive an answer. That’s my credo for today.

So after my rant yesterday about how mad I am that the YES Network, which televises Yankees and New Jersey Nets games, won’t show the games on their YES national channel, which I get living down here in Central Florida, I figured I’d ask a few experts if there was a good explanation about it. I was particularly incensed because the Yankees are in the midst of kicking the holy hell out of those Boston boys this weekend.

So I emailed Richard Sandomir, the fine sports media and business writer for the New York Times on Sunday morning, asking if he knew the reasoning behind the YES Network games blackout outside of the tri-state area.

I figured, since it was a Sunday afternoon and all, and he’s probably a pretty busy guy, that I’d hear back from him in a couple of days.

Stunningly, he wrote back in 34 minutes, while I was at the beach (had another outstanding hot dog from this guy who sells them at the Ormond Beach beach cutout, by the way. Foot-long hot dog on a delightfully toasted bun, all for $3.50. Yummy goodness, I tell ya. But I digress.)

I say “stunningly” because while I do my best to answer every reasonable email I get, I’ve found most other journalists don’t. But Richard’s clearly a good guy.

Richard’s explanation goes like this: Major League Baseball sets out exclusive territories for each team, which for the Yankees is the tri-state area, and a little bit of Pennsylvania.

Beyond that, MLB doesn’t let teams show their games on basic cable, because they’re afraid it would severely damage that other hometown teams ratings. So, theoretically, if Yankees games were allowed to be shown here in Florida, Marlins and Rays games would see a big ratings drop, because all the New Yawkers living down here would watch the Bronx Bombers instead.

The only way to 100 percent guarantee that you’ll see all the games you want is to shell out a few hundred bucks for the MLB Extra Innings pay-per-view package.

OK, a few thoughts. First, I understand MLB’s position, but by blacking out the Yankees, they’re assuming that baseball fans are baseball fans, and that if we can’t see the Yanks we’ll watch the Marlins or Rays. I don’t think that’s accurate. If you’re that diehard of a fan, you’ll buy the Extra Innings package. I’m not going to suddenly become a huge Evan Longoria fan because he’s on my TV every night.

Second, why even have the YES Network nationally as an option if you’re not going to be able to show the programming? I just feel like it’s a big tease.

Anyway, so there you go. I apologize for assuming this was all YES Network’s fault, when I should have realized that the blame truly lay with MLB.

I absolutely hate it when bloggers rip and rant one day, then, when it turns out they’re wrong or there’s an explanation, never own up and apologize.

Also, a couple of really good stories I read this weekend that I wanted to link to:

  • Michael Sokolove has written a feature for the New York Times magazine about the dying newspapers in Philadelphia. Obviously this hits home to me as an ink-stained wretch, but this really lays out the Philly issues well.
  • Speaking of Philadelphia, my friend Brian Hickey, a victim of a near-fatal hit and run accident last November, has written a strong column asking for stronger penalties against hit and run drivers. Couldn’t agree more. What kind of despicable person hits another human with their car, then keeps driving? I think hit and run drivers should be thrown into the same pit of acid as rapists, child molesters and New England Patriots fans (Ha!, I kid the Patriots fans, mostly because I’m jealous.)
  • Finally, very interesting story by George Dohrmann in Sports Illustrated last week about just how much paper college football and basketball coaches waste, sending old-fashioned letters to recruits. Truly staggering, and wildly ineffective. Wait till you see the photo of how much mail just ONE kid got.