If you're a Brooklyn Nets fan, you've got to be feeling OK about the signing of Andrei Kirilenko. He's good on both sides of the courts, and he joins Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett.
If you're an NBA owner or just a curious person, you have to be thinking what the hell. Kirilenko turned down $10 million next season with the Timberwolves for $3.1 million in his first year with the Nets. Let's not forget he's going to be a backup for Pierce, as well. Was the upcoming Uniqlo at the Atlantic Terminal Mall across from Barclays Center that big of a pull for the forward? That's highly doubtful and let's just say some general managers and owners think the Nets have been moving funny to secure these deals.
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has been distrusted throughout the league in part because of how he amassed his approximately $15 billion Russian fortune in the crazy '90s, where bribes were part of the culture. Kirilenko also has played under Prokhorov when he owned CSKA Moscow. Long story short, execs are accusing Prokhorov of engaging in some foul side dealings, and they're calling for an investigation:
"Let's see if the league has any credibility," one NBA owner told Yahoo! Sports. "It's not about stopping it. It's about punishing them if they're doing it."
Another Eastern Conference GM: "There should be a probe. How obvious is it?"
Is it really that obvious though? Prokhorov has shown a disregard for NBA's luxury-tax penalties, but surely there's a lot of solid explanations for Kirilenko's decision. Maybe he doesn't online shop and having that Uniqlo close by matters that much. Or maybe that Rocawear store by Barclays matters too. Who knows?
[via Yahoo! Sports]