Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is serious about keeping New Jersey star Deron Williams with the team after the season.
So serious, in fact, that he's started talking smack to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, the New York Daily News reports.
"Let the best man win," Prokhorov said Tuesday. "If he wins, I will crush him with the kickboxing throwdown."
Cuban and his deep pockets are just one of the reasons rumors have swirled that Williams would want to sign with the Mavericks. Williams is originally from Dallas, and the franchise's current point guard, perennial All-Star Jason Kidd, is getting up in years. (Kidd, in fact, came to Dallas in a trade from New Jersey. And in further NBA incest news, former Dallas coach Avery Johnson is now the New Jersey coach. What do these have in common? The Nets playing second fiddle to the Mavs.)
But that won't keep Prokhorov down. The Russian owner, who took on Vladimir Putin himself for his nation's presidency this spring, can surely go toe-to-toe with Cuban. Prokhorov has already started trying to talk his star into staying.
"We have, I think, we have a very good discussion," Prokhorov said. "He really wants to win. And I want to win maybe even more."
The Nets could offer Williams an extra year on his deal and about $30 million more in the total contract, the Daily News reports.
Prokhorov's efforts to bring the franchise back to life include moving the team to Brooklyn and building a new arena, not to mention roster overhauls. Williams was the first major move the Nets made after flirting with Carmelo Anthony for months until the then-Nuggets star was traded to the Knicks instead.
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