HoopsHype Mikhail Prokhorov rumors

February 21, 2014 Updates

Q (The Al): What do you make of the Nets' interest in Jason Collins? Jorge Sierra: This obviously goes beyond a team adding a big man for its bench. If the Nets go ahead and sign Jason Collins, it's going to be news world-wide because having an openly gay player on your team is not a normal thing to this day. Never been a big fan of Collins (was anybody?), but his was a courageous move. Showing other players there's no punishment in coming out would be a big step for the NBA. Another ramification: The owner of the team (potentially) signing the first openly gay player comes from Russia, where the government/parliament approves anti-gay laws. It would send a strong message. HoopsHype

February 16, 2014 Updates

The Nets will once again play two preseason games in China next October, part of Mikhail Prokhorov's global plan for the franchise, according to league sources. The announcement may be made as early as Sunday. The Nets will play one game each vs. the Kings, presumably in Beijing and Shanghai. The Kings are the only other NBA franchise owned by an international investor, Vivek Ranadive of India. NetsDaily

In 2010, shortly after Prokhorov bought the team, the Nets went around the world in preseason, stopping in Moscow for a practice, then flying on to Beijing and Shanghai for games with the Rockets before flying on to New York. No word on whether the Nets will stop in Russia again. The Nets would like to play regular season games in Prokhorov's hometown of Moscow, but there are no NBA-standard facilities in Russia. The Nets have made a priority of globalization, particularly in Great Britain, Russia and China. The Nets played the Hawks in London this January. Brett Yormark has said the Nets' policy is to "raise our hands" when the league is looking for volunteers to go overseas. NetsDaily

February 9, 2014 Updates

Walton predicted an emotional down time for Lopez. But he insisted a huge ally is Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. “This is where playing for a great owner like Prokhorov, who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, is beneficial,” Walton said. “Brook will go through all the emotions of, ‘This is my fault, I’m letting the team down.’ “You can’t panic, can’t go crazy and start blaming everybody. You’ve got to get healthy,” Walton said. “Nobody can predict health.” New York Post

January 25, 2014 Updates
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January 17, 2014 Updates

But even if he wasn't talking publicly, Prokhorov did pick up the phone to call coach Jason Kidd, whose early-season lowlights included a $50,000 fine for stopping a game by intentionally spilling a soda. Given Kidd's inexperience as a coach (he played for the Knicks in London last season) and the Nets' disappointing start, Prokhorov felt it necessary to reassure his employee that a pink slip wasn't forthcoming. "I [told him about a] Russian writer—it's Mikhail Bulgakov—who said, 'Don't read Soviet papers before breakfast,'" Prokhorov said, quoting Bulgakov's "Heart of a Dog." "In other words, I said don't pay any attention [to] what [the media is] writing about you." "I didn't know I had any critics," Kidd joked after the win. "Mikhail is the best. He has a great sense of humor, but he wants to win." Wall Street Journal

“Our goal, we only have one goal, the championship. So I am very committed, and I will do my best in order to reach this,” said Prokhorov, who also said he has no desire to sell the team he bought for $200 million in 2010. “I know there are a lot of rumors, a lot of discussions and that’s good for the team, and I think you can criticize me as much as you care. But there is only one rule, and once I think the very famous film writer William Goldman, he was asked about making a good blockbuster. And he said, nobody knows nothing. Why? Because you need to do your job. Collect the best people. You need just to make all the deals you like, and to invite the best people and maybe hope for luck will shine on you, and the pieces come together. But time will tell. This is the procedure for how to win championship.” New York Daily News

January 16, 2014 Updates

It isn't like the old days, he joked, when he'd have to wait for the game videos to arrive by carrier pigeon to make his own evaluations. "Frankly speaking, there's a lot of criticism that I am not in Brooklyn," he noted. "But, I just have a question for you: Do you really think you need to be sitting in the arena to see a game? "My friends, we are living in the 21st century. And, in spite of the fact I have no computer, I still have a subscription for the NBA games and for me, it's like enough to even have a look on the stats so you can understand what is going on." ESPN.com

In recent months, however, it appears the dynamics have begun to shift, with Sergei Kushchenko — a longtime Prokhorov associate and his top sports advisor — gradually becoming a bigger presence around the franchise. Meanwhile, Dmitry Razumov — the CEO of ONEXIM Group, Prokhorov’s investment vehicle — has receded into the background. Up until now, Prokhorov’s point man with regards to the Nets had been Razumov. Whenever the Nets had a big decision to make, Razumov always was involved. He was often cited by the front office for his role in various moves, including helping convince Deron Williams to re-sign with the team in July 2012. New York Post

Kushchenko’s appearances around the team have come even as he’s in the midst of preparing for next month’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia. When asked if his role within the Nets organization would grow after the Olympics, his response was short. “Let’s wait for Sochi first,” he said. His résumé within the game is an impressive one. Kushchenko spent seven years with Ural-Great, building the club from an expansion franchise in the Russian Super League to one that claimed the league championship in 2001 and 2002 — becoming the only team besides CSKA Moscow to win the Russian Super League title in the last 22 years. New York Post

January 7, 2014 Updates

Amid accusations he’s been an absentee owner during the Brooklyn Nets’ disappointing season, Russian billionaire boss Mikhail Prokhorov has been partying it up with a phalanx of beautiful women in the French Alps. Prokhorov was spotted in the tony resort town of Courchevel with friends and an attractive entourage. A spy told Page Six that the NBA owner arrived at Le Comptoir de L’Apogée — known for its fireside Champagne Lounge and famous “ham-aging cellar” — to take over a private room Saturday night as the restaurant closed to its regular, rich customers. “Twenty girls preceded him, and he then entered alone,” said a spy, who added that Prokhorov arrived in a black Mercedes and wore a beige turtleneck while the girls were “dressed to thrill.” The restaurant officially closed at 10:30 p.m., but it stayed open for his party with a private DJ and decor of white flowers and candles.” New York Post

December 23, 2013 Updates
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November 22, 2013 Updates

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