Kevin and Kyrie: The Rebirth of Basketball in New York?
In 2010, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prohorov paid $365 million for an 80% stake in the Brooklyn Nets and 45% of the operating rights of the Barclay center. On July 7th, 2019, the Nets signed Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant each to four-year deals totaling 305 million dollars. The Net's reputation shifted quickly from a potential lottery candidate to one of the NBA's most feared teams. The Nets were valued at $2.4 billion in February of 2019 before signing Irving and Durant.
Although it is unclear when Kevin Durant will return from his Achilles injury, this duo could arguably be the most exciting pair since Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson. A closer look at these signings will have the Nets and the City of New York ecstatic.
With great expectations, a great fiscal windfall
The Nets project their revenue to grow 15% during the upcoming season (an addition of $43.5 million in revenue) due to increases in ticket and merchandise sales and corporate sponsorships. As of July 9th, the Nets have already generated more ticket revenue than the entirety of last season in anticipation of the arrival of their two new stars. This past season Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant's jerseys were the 3rd and 9th best-selling jerseys respectively. Considering that the Net's are fighting for their first NBA championship, Durant's jersey is expected to sell more than the year before.
Barclay was once interested in building a retail presence; however, as rumors concerning this progression die, Barclay's naming rights might be terminated early. The stadium's naming rights are the 2nd most lucrative in the league; even though the rights were signed seven years ago.
With these signings, it makes 49% part-owner Joseph Tsai's option to purchase the rest of the team by 2021 much more enticing. Mr. Tsai is best known as the only western-educated cofounders of the e-commerce conglomerate, Alibaba, which he guided using his experience in both venture capital and law. Today, he is the company's second-largest individual shareholder after Jack Ma. Given Tsai's business acumen, he just might be one of the best options to be the Patriarch of the Net's.
What to expect on the court?
The Nets will be a contender as soon as Kevin Durant gets healthy. Kyrie and KD were ranked 13th and 14th in player efficiency this past season while combing for 49.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 12.8 assists. When you combine these numbers with Deandre Jordan (who averaged the third-most rebounds in the NBA at 13.1), and Spencer Dinwiddie (16.8 points and 4.6 assists), it is clear why season tickets have been in high demand. The fact that the Nets made it to the playoffs last season without a superstar illustrates the strength of the team. Following the addition of the two superstars, Caesar’s Casino projects 47 wins for the Nets this upcoming season (an increase of 5 wins from this past season).
Knicks or Nets?
The Knicks have long reigned chief in the city of New York as part of the city's sporting triumvirate alongside the Yankees and the Giants. Today, the Knicks are the 5th most valuable sports franchise on the planet despite the revolving door of players, coaches, and executives over the past two decades. Even before Kyrie and KD's decision, the Nets were one of the last destinations analysts considered; now, the Net's roster appears more stable than the Knicks. The Knicks signed Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, and Taj Gibson for the next 2 to 3 years in addition to drafting RJ Barrett in the first round. The Knick's controversial owner James Dolan and Barrett's 4 for 18 summer league debut, the future for the Knicks is very uncertain, unlike the Nets.
Written by Harrison J Katapodis, Edited by James Mueller & Alexander Fleiss