Storyline: Mikhail Prokhorov Selling Nets?

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Despite a league-low payroll, the Nets lost $44.3 million last year, according to confidential league documents obtained by ESPN’s Zach Lowe. That’s the league’s second biggest loss, behind only the Pistons who lost $45.1 million. The Pistons’ losses were actually much greater. The Nets did not receive revenue-sharing money from the league and their profits from Barclays Center are not included in the analysis. The Pistons, on the other hand, lost $63.2 million before collecting revenue sharing last season, “the largest loss by a wide margin,” Lowe notes. Detroit doesn’t own its own arena, unlike the Nets.

The Nets, said the league source, have never made money in Brooklyn and didn’t make money their last years in New Jersey under Bruce Ratner and before that under the late Lewis Katz and Raymond Chambers. Ratner, in fact, ran up record debts financing the Nets losses. When he sold the team in 2010 to Mikhail Prokhorov, the team had $200 million debt, nearly identical to the team’s value at the time. Lowe notes that the materials he obtained did not discuss the profit-and-loss picture for teams like the Nets who own their own arena.

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, while focused on selling a minority stake in the franchise, has warmed recently to the possibility of offering a controlling slice of the team, sources close to the situation said. The change of heart comes after the initial reaction to the minority stake sale was weak — and with interest in the Houston Rockets sale heating up, one source said. The Nets believe some of the suitors who look at the Rockets will also take an interest in them, sources said. “As word gets out about the new Nets process, some of the Rockets interest may spill over,” a source said.

Mikhail Prokhorov to sell minority stake in Nets?

Ohm Youngmisuk: Mikhail Prokhorov reiterated he will remain majority owner of the Nets and said he is actively searching for a minority ownership partner to “strengthen” the team’s presence in New York. “I’m passionate about owning the Nets and our emerging sports and entertainment businesses, and will continue to look at growth opportunities,” Prokhorov said in a statement. “… I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken this year, including the opening of the world-class HSS Training Center and developing a new culture with GM Sean Marks and Head Coach Kenny Atkinson. I’m committed to the Nets and will remain the majority owner of the team.”

Other league sources say that both Prokhorov and his CEO, Dmitry Razumov, remain convinced they can turn the team around. Rumors of his intention to sell have risen and fallen over the last year. Prokhorov has said he’s willing to sell a piece of the team and arena, but there’s no indication of any active discussions. Prokhorov bought the remaining share of the team (20 percent) and Barclays Center (55 percent) as well as an 85 percent share in Nassau Coliseum from Bruce Ratner just before Christmas.
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