Mikhail Prokhorov Rumors
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:
Prokhorov’s record as an NBA owner: 300-504. What Prokhorov will sell the team for, after acquiring it for $223 million, plus the team’s debt, in 2009: $2.35 billion. Said a longtime Nets official, “He went for it, tried to win a championship and left.” Prokhorov was a good NBA owner, at least by some measurements. “Part of his legacy,” says former Nets executive Bobby Marks, “is that he saved the Nets.” Indeed, Prokhorov took control of the Nets during a U.S. recession. The Barclays Center project—mired in expensive legal battles that ex-owner Bruce Ratner was struggling to afford—was on the brink of collapse. Enter Prokhorov, whose infusion of cash helped salvage the project.
“I wish I had more one-on-one, more direct contact with him,” says ex-Nets GM Billy King. “I had a lot of respect for him. I wish I had more direct conversations with him. He said that to me in our final meeting. In my past experience, when you can talk to your owner, you see their reaction, hear inflection. When you are dealing with him through somebody, you don’t get that. You wonder, did it have to be pushed to get to a go? Or what questions he asked to get to that point? That’s the one thing I didn’t get.”
Added Marks, “A downfall of his was he didn’t challenge you. I think nowadays, if you’re the owner of a team, and you are going to go out and sign a player, I want you to debate me on the merits of a good signing, of a draft pick. He just wasn’t around. He did not get the full hands-on experience, the inner workings of how the basketball operations people worked.”
Yormark will announce on Friday morning that he’s resigning as chief executive officer of BSE Global, the Nets’ parent company, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been made public yet. His departure comes as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai prepares to assume control of the Nets and Barclays Center from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.