Albert Nahmad: It’s a fun but difficult exercise to try to figure what Mikhail Prokhorov profited from his investment in the Nets and Barclay’s Center. I spent a few minutes on it, and here’s what I’ve been able to come up with:
To secure his financial future, he was careful with his money, but also started investing in real estate by creating Beach House LLC with his father and childhood friend Joseph Stanton. They went to work with small projects in Portland, as well as South Bend, Ind., where Connaughton attended the University of Notre Dame. They eventually moved onto bigger projects as Connaughton tried to use the connections he has made as an NBA player to their fullest potential. “When you’re in the NBA, that’s the greatest time that people want to meet you, they want to be around you, they want to know who you are,” Connaughton said. “For me, I’ve used that to get into rooms and develop relationships with millionaires and billionaires. I’m in rooms I should have no business being in and I use those people as mentors. I told these guys, ‘Look, everybody that sits courtside at NBA games wanted to be professional athletes at one point in time.’ As pro athletes, we make a ton of money, but we are not the wealthiest people in the world.”
In the first four years of his NBA career, Connaughton says that he has made nearly as much in his different business dealings off the floor as he did in NBA contracts. That off-the-floor success helped him try to show players the importance of the simple message at the core of his presentation. By signing an NBA contract, each player in that room became rich, but if they focus on the wrong things or try to do too much, all of that money could disappear in a hurry.
“Follow the right accounts on Instagram and Twitter,” Connaughton said. “Follow the Wall Street Journal. Follow the Business Insider. Follow Forbes. Follow all of these little things that when you’re scrolling through your timeline, you’re not just looking at, if we’re being brutally honest, women on Instagram and basketball highlights.