Prez Thorn to take over as GM

Updated: May 21, 2010, 10:33 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

New Jersey Nets team president Rod Thorn will take over as the team's general manager.

Thorn told the Bergen (N.J.) Record and The New York Daily News that the franchise would combine the two positions instead of replacing ousted GM Kiki Vandeweghe.

New Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said Wednesday that Vandeweghe, whose contract expires June 30, would not be retained.

Thorn has been the Nets GM before and he's done well holding both jobs.

In 2001, he traded Stephon Marbury to the Suns for Jason Kidd, who led the Nets to consecutive NBA Finals appearances.

In other Nets news, the daughter of a Russian diplomat was hired Thursday as president of the company that will oversee the team.

Prokhorov's Onexim Group announced that Irina Pavlova will be the team owner's representative in the New York area.

Pavlova has extensive experience in business and finance. She earned an MBA from Stanford, worked as a financial analyst with Prudential Investment Corp. and became Russia's first employee for Google. She lived in Moscow and Washington as a child.

Prokhorov, a billionaire who is Russia's richest man, has promised to revive the last-place Nets. His company described Pavlova as the "perfect bridge between Russia and the United States."

"She will establish the company's office [in New York] and cooperate closely with the Nets management to ensure they have everything they need to build a championship team," Onexim said in a statement.

Pavlova will coordinate the development project in Brooklyn that is to become the Nets' new home. The long-delayed arena is expected to open in 2012. Prokhorov agreed to buy 80 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of the arena project from developer Bruce Ratner last year.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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