- Posted: 2:01 PM, October 7, 2010
Shaquille O’Neal wants the Nets to stay in Newark and is willing to be the team’s general manager if they do.
“I would have liked to see the new owner get with the guy who built the arena and keep the Nets there," O'Neal, who grew up in Newark, told NorthJersey.com. "I don't want to see the team go to Brooklyn. Maybe the two heads can get together, they can do that and I can come down there and become general manager.”
The Nets left the Meadowlands after this past 12-win season and will play in Newark’s Prudential Center, where the Devils play, for the next two years while they await construction of their Brooklyn arena. O’Neal will be in uniform at the Prudential Center Thursday night when his Celtics take on the Nets in a preseason game.
"I think the owner, the beautiful Russian guy, should get with the people of the arena and the other people and me and we should get it done," O’Neal said.
But Mikhail Prokhorov — aka the beautiful Russian guy — told the website in an e-mail that his purchase of the team was predicated on the move to Brooklyn.
"We look forward to having the team in Newark while the Barclays Center arena is under construction, and are fully committed to New Jersey and to the fans there for the next two years," Prokhorov said. "After that, we hope that fans from all over — New Jersey, New York, and beyond — will stick with a new Nets team that is young, strong, and hungry to win.
"Regarding the gracious offer to become general manager, Shaq is always welcome to send his resume to Billy King (the current Nets GM)."