In case you didn’t know, the Brooklyn Nets do not currently own the rights to “Nets.com,” and the mysterious owner has been ruthlessly taunting the team from the said domain name.
Team owner Mikhail Prokhorov has spent the last two years searching for this troll, and thanks to a recent New York Times article, the world can finally learn his identity.
Or, her identity, rather.
Meet Jane Hill, a 69 year old Santa Fe resident. Hill purchased “Nets.com” — along with 49 other domain names — for a lump sum of $20,000 back in 1996. Emboldened by her sale of “Roadrunner.com” to Time Warner in 1999, Hill decided to employ a similar tactic when the Nets moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn.
Originally, Hill posted a picture of the Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban and a simple message on the “Nets.com” homepage: “Looking for the New Jersey Nets? Looking for the Brooklyn Nets? They’re not here … but they SHOULD be!” Naturally, wild internet speculation from Complex fueled the fire but couldn’t get Prokhorov to move on Hill’s $5 million offer to buy the site.
Since then, John Hill — Jane’s 37 year old son — has taken responsibility for redirecting “Nets.com” to various, obscure corners of the internet. One particularly troll-like moment happened in 2013; after the Nets acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston, Hill redirected “Nets.com” to the Boston Celtics’ homepage.
Currently, “Nets.com” pulls up the following ebay listing:
Hill and her son can afford to play this hilarious game of cat and mouse for quite a while; “Whisky.com” just sold for $3.1 million last year.
Ball’s in your court, Mr. Prokhorov.