Nets CEO Brett Yormark told reporters, including John Brennan of The Record, that he does not “think anything’s gonna happen” and that “we have an ownership group that is very committed,” when asked about rumors of a sale of the team by Mikhail Prokhorov. Yormark also added to the pressures of the Nets, who dropped from the eighth seed to the 10th seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Hornets, by saying he wants the team to “own” New York City.
“This market is very competitive,” Yormark said. “As much as I say we don’t compete against the Knicks or the Garden, we do. That’s the reality of it. I’m opportunistic, right? They’re struggling, and – it’s going to be cyclical. So I want to own this city. That’s critical for us. I think the way you own it is by winning and getting to the playoffs this year.”
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Andrea Bargnani, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and who missed all but two of New York’s first 51 games with leg injuries, has stepped up in scoring for the Knicks with Carmelo Anthony out for the season, Peter Botte of The New York Daily News writes. The veteran big man has averaged 17.8 PPG over his last five contests. Bargnani was a buyout candidate as the March 1st deadline for waived players to still be playoff eligible approached.
- Citing Kevin Garnett‘s sharp statistical decline, Andy Vasquez of The Record opines the Nets are a better team since they traded the future Hall of Famer for Thaddeus Young. In his first seven games as a member of the Nets, Young is averaging 12.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per night. Garnett has made four appearances for the Wolves, contributing 8.5 PPG and 5.0 RPG in 19.3 minutes per game since the swap.
- Marcus Smart, who was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for February, is having a growing impact on the Celtics and as a result, Boston coach Brad Stevens’ confidence in the point guard has increased, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com writes.