03.29.10

Mikhail Prokhorov Is Very Ready For His Close Up

Posted in Basketball at 2:18 pm by

It’s been quite a whirlwind media tour for Russian zillionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, aspiring owner of the Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.  Profiled last night on CBS’ “60 Minutes”, Prokhorov answered questions about his pending Owner With A Boner status by saying, “I like women.” Finally, a heterosexual in the ownership ranks of the NBA!  Following a Business Week interview in which the one-time stonewashed jeans mangnate professed to checking out the internet only 3 times (and never having set foot on his $45 million yacht), Yahoo Sports’ Trey Kirby calls Prokhorov, “a movie character come to life” .  And best of all, he seems to have an amazing sense of humor, at least when it comes to talent evaluation.  From the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir :

In an e-mail interview, Prokhorov said he was not confined to one strategy to improve the team. Asked if he will pursue elite players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh if they become free agents, he said, œWe will certainly try to use a large number of free agents over the next two seasons.

He added that the œstarting point of our plan will be the draft picks on 18th May. The league™s draft lottery will be held May 18, with the draft June 24.

œThis year promises uniquely strong draft picks comparable with the draft picks in 2003, when such great players as LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade joined the N.B.A., he wrote.

Prokhorov said he did not intend to install a Russian lieutenant to oversee his Nets investment.

œAt the moment, there are no managers in Russia qualified to supervise people at the level of Rod Thorn or Brett Yormark, he wrote. Thorn is the Nets™ president, and Yormark is the president and chief executive of Nets Sports and Entertainment.

But, Prokhorov said, œI do plan to incorporate a young, talented Russian manager with a successful background in European basketball into the team™s management, someone who can develop to the level of N.B.A. basketball over time and fully grasp basketball as a business.

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