Nets hire King as GM

Billy King has accepted an offer to become the next general manager of the New Jersey Nets.

King met with ownership on Tuesday in New York and had the strong endorsement of outgoing president and general manager Rod Thorn and coach Avery Johnson.

Former Cleveland Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry also met with Nets official on Tuesday, but returned home to Ohio after the meetings without an offer. Sources said Ferry was uneasy with competing with King, his close friend and college teammate, and had mixed emotions about trying to beat him out for the job. Ferry is still a strong candidate for the Portland Trail Blazers’ GM vacancy.

King was GM of the Philadelphia 76ers from 1997-2007, where he had a mixed tenure of successes and failures. After making the NBA Finals in 2001, the Sixers ended up missing the playoffs three of his final four seasons before he was fired in 2007.

Even with King hired, there’s no mistaking that Johnson has gone out of his way to ingratiate himself with Russian ownership and usurped a great deal of power and authority for himself. Johnson was the driving force behind signing Travis Outlaw(notes) to a five-year, $35 million contract, sources said. Johnson has frightened off several potential president candidates, who simply didn’t want to deal with him as coach, sources said.

Johnson crushed the candidacy of former New Orleans Hornets executive Jeff Bower as the Nets potential GM two weeks ago.


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Updated Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010