Nets sign a King, just not THE King

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:39 PM ET

Their courtship of the King ending in failure, the New Jersey Nets have nonetheless agreed with a King.

His name is Billy King and not LeBron James, more commonly known as the King, but New Jersey’s new general manager has a history of building championship-worthy teams.

He also has a history of making some bad moves, but his appointment, which became official on Thursday, makes sense on many fronts.

King has been out of the league long enough to understand the new playing field, but isn’t that far removed from the game to know how the game gets played at the management level.

The Nets won’t be as bad as last season’s 12-win team, but they’re not good enough to be a threat for the post-season.

New Jersey cleared enough cap space to be a major player this off-season, but they came up empty.

They have roughly $14 million in flexibility, a luxury King plans to use when he sees fit.

“In this league, players become available,’’ King said. “Pau Gasol became available and the Lakers had the pieces to get it done. The Celtics had the assets and ability when Kevin Garnett become available, so I think you want to make sure you have that flexibility.’’

Whatever King has in story, every move must first be approved by owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who has also added a new coach in Avery Johnson.

It’s widely believed King beat out Danny Ferry, who presided over the Cavs, for the Nets gig.

In Philly, where he helped the Sixers play for a championship, King’s run as president and GM ended in 2007.

“I have a better understanding and more patience,’’ King said. “In Philly, I tried to do a lot of things quickly and in this league you do some things and it doesn’t work you are punished for a while.

“I will be a little more patient and not make quick decisions. You can’t take shortcuts. You have to be patient and do it the right way.’’


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