MEXICO CITY – Mayor de Blasio may not think the Nets are working out in Brooklyn, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver begs to differ.
When The Post asked Silver, on hand Thursday night for the first of the Nets' two games at Arena Mexico City, about the shade being thrown at the team by the New York City mayor, I have defended both the impact they had on the area around Barclays Center and the direction they are headed in climbing out of their recent malaise.
"I believe the Brooklyn Nets have exceeded all expectations in terms of moving from Secaucus to Brooklyn," Silver said. "The development surrounding the area around the Barclays Center in Brooklyn is fantastic in terms of restaurants and commercial business and the residential (development)."
Granted, the Nets are just 10-14 after Thursday's 100-95 win over the Thunder and they were a combined 41-123 over the prior two seasons. But Silver, while acknowledging Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov's overzealous gaffes and former general manager Billy King's ill-fated deal with Boston for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, sounded bullish on the franchise's future.
"In terms of the team, they're On their way, "Silver said. "The current owners will be the first to admit they made some rookie mistakes in their early days of owning the team. They in essence went to it, trying to take a short cut in terms of trying to build a championship team. It did not work out.
"But I have enormous confidence in Sean Marks as general manager, coach Kenny Atkinson. I think the fans here will see a young hungry team that is well-coached and wants to achieve. As a New Yorker and as the commissioner of the NBA, I could not be happier with what's happening with the Nets. "
Atkinson, asked about Blasio's comments, did not dare wade into those waters.
" I definitely want to stay away from that one, "Atkinson said. "I have no comment. I just do not want to comment. "