According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are closing in on two finalists for their team president vacancy. Rod Thorn's successor in New Jersey is still undecided, but according to Wojnarowski, Billy King and Danny Ferry are top candidates.
Both have significant front office experience in the NBA—Ferry with Spurs and Cavaliers, King with the Philadelphia 76ers—but neither has enjoyed much success of late.
That's why they're available.
Ferry's front office leadership helped guide the Cavaliers to two-straight first place finishes in the Eastern Conference, but each of the past two seasons, the Cavs bowed out in the playoffs earlier than expected. That, and some of the personnel decisions he made left Cleveland financially hamstrung, paying lots of money to an aging roster, leaving the door open for LeBron James to go elsewhere. We all know how that turned out.
As for Billy King, before being replaced by former-Nets GM Ed Stefanski, King is the man who traded for a barely-walking Chris Webber, dealt Allen Iverson to Denver for Andre Miller, and perhaps best of all, spent more than $180 million in contracts for Dikembe Mutombo, Kenny Thomas, Brian Skinner, and Sam Dalembert. That's quite the quartet, huh?
For all his failures, say this much for Billy King: his incompetence certainly leaves a mark.
And what's the common denominator then? They both went to Duke.
And to that point, Mikhail Prokhorov, for all his virtues as an owner, needs to understand something about the NBA. The Duke guys? They don't do so well. It's a good rule of thumb.
(Am I serious with this? A little.)
On the surface, both guys are credible candidates for Nets president, but then, so are Duke draftees. Look closer, though, and you'll see cracks in the shiny veneer, and some real red flags. Neither King nor Ferry has been great over the course of their management career, and for Prokhorov, a man with championship aspirations, it just feels like...
Well, it just feels like he can do better than these two guys.