HoopsHype Mikhail Prokhorov rumors

August 16, 2013 Updates

Mikhail Prokhorov: If someone wants to check out our accounting department - please check. "Brooklyn" has nothing to hide, we are acting within the law. And the whispers around me never worried me. I know that everything is done correctly. And now I will try with Andrei to be the first Russian to win the NBA title. This will be the best advertisement for our country in the Americas. NetsDaily

August 8, 2013 Updates

Still, Silver isn’t ready to say the system isn’t working because the Nets are willing to go to places where, apparently, few other team are in terms of their payroll. I think before, even as someone who was and is a proponent of a harder tax, I don’t want to declare the sky is falling yet because they are doing what is permissible under the rules,” Silver said. “There were only certain players they were able to spend that money on. “Does it give a team a competitive advantage when they have the ability to spend far more than other teams?” Silver said. “Absolutely.” ... And it’s something we pointed out to the union in bargaining, “There’s a correlation between the ability to spend and success on the court,” he continued. “It’s far from a perfect correlation, however, so we’ll see how it plays out. “But, so far, they are playing by the rules, and we’ll see whether that brings them the success they are hoping for.” New York Post

July 31, 2013 Updates

Literary devices aside, Simmons takes his shot at the Nets by highlighting the bargain basement acquisition of Andrei Kirilenko and suggesting alternative rationales for the Russian star to give up $10 million from the Timberwolves for $3 million from the Nets ... and Mikhail Prokhorov. "The scariest moment of the offseason: Andrei Kirilenko opting out of $10.2 million guaranteed for one more Minnesota season so he could sign with Brooklyn for $6.2 million over two years. Some NBA peeps are convinced that AK47 either (a) got paid under the table by Russian comrade Mikhail Prokhorov, (b) got charmed by the overwhelmingly charming Irina Pavlova into signing a bad deal, (c) secretly hired the agent Monta Ellis fired, or (d) made the decision while being dangled upside down from a Moscow helicopter at 10,000 feet." Simmons later concludes after considering all the possibilities, "I think they dangled him upside down from a helicopter." NetsDaily

But what about his thing with Irina. As any long time reader of NetsDaily knows, she has been very helpful to Nets fans and once posted comments on this very site. So we asked for her reaction. Here it is...as always, she is gracious, certainly more gracious than we would be. "Very nice of him... Obviously (b) is the only reasonable answer and therefore must be correct," the president of ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment emailed us. "I'm gonna a have a hard time arguing with Bill over anything after this.. :-)" NetsDaily

July 19, 2013 Updates

Mikhail Prokhorov, the Nets’ Russian billionaire owner, was praising his coach, Jason Kidd, yesterday when he drew an analogy from a movie that “just arrived in Russia one week ago.” The movie was the 1986 hit, “Top Gun.” Must have had something to do with distribution rights. Prokhorov said Kidd “came to us with his idea” about coaching and “I was the one who signed off on it.” Prokhorov explained why. New York Post

The Nets’ payroll next season will surge to a league-high $101 million, triggering a league-record luxury tax bill of about $82 million. In three years, Mr. Prokhorov has morphed from the N.B.A.’s international man of mystery into a Russian George Steinbrenner — only taller, richer and with a cool accent. “I think they’re still counting money in the back office,” Mr. Prokhorov said, grinning, when asked about the $183 million outlay. “But frankly speaking, I just hope the check doesn’t bounce.” New York Times

July 18, 2013 Updates

On a more serious note, a report from Yahoo! quoted anonymous executives from around the league who accused Prokhorov of improperly circumventing the salary cap – i.e. money under the table – to sign Andrei Kirilenko. The basis was Kirilenko opted out of a contract paying him $10 million in Minnesota and signed for about $3 million with the Nets. Prokhorov hinted the accusations were rooted in Cold War stereotypes. In other words, when two Russians agree to a deal, there has to be something shady. “I think old stereotypes, they are very hard to beat and to break,” Prokhorov said. “And I want to thank our fans and members of the press, because they have been very quick to support us. And I respect all the NBA rules, and we play by the NBA rules. But I want just to stress once again, like with the luxury tax, I will do whatever I can in order to win championship, but under the NBA rules, please make no mistake about this.” New York Daily News

Tim Bontemps: Kidd said he finally got a chance to meet with Prokhorov today. Said it was nice to meet him, looked forward to spending time with him. Twitter @TimBontemps

July 14, 2013 Updates

In his first comments since agreeing to join the Nets, Andrei Kirilenko tells a Russian publication that money was a consideration for him, but that he couldn't resist a chance to win a championship. He admits as well that both Mikhail Prokhorov and Deron Williams were big in helping him make up his mind, and that although there was a "family debate" on what to do, "it became clear that a combination of factors won Brooklyn a landslide victory." NetsDaily

July 13, 2013 Updates
July 12, 2013 Updates

The signing of Russian free agent Andrei Kirilenko – a $10 million-a-year player last season – for Brooklyn's $3.1 mini-midlevel exception has transformed rival owners and front office executives into an angry mob of disbelievers. The insinuations are unmistakable: Around the NBA, there are calls for the commissioner's office to investigate the possibilities of side deals and Russian rubles ruling the day – for now, unfounded charges based on circumstance and appearances. Yahoo! Sports

Once the Russian billionaire convinced a superb Russian player to take $7 million less to be a backup to Pierce, the rest of the NBA's reaction was instant and uproarious. For the first time now, the Nets have truly arrived as a contending franchise. They're good, with a chance to be great, and the rest of the NBA wants an investigation. Yahoo! Sports

"Brazen," one Western Conference GM told Yahoo! Sports. "Let's see if the league has any credibility," one NBA owner told Yahoo! Sports. "It's not about stopping it. It's about punishing them if they're doing it." Another Eastern Conference GM: "There should be a probe. How obvious is it?" Yahoo! Sports

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