New Jersey Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov Meets with Jay Z

Nets now sponsored by Stoli vodka, team’s Russian owner might appear in ads

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In this economy, sponsorships for NBA teams are hard to come by. Teams are looking everywhere for new markets.

Say, for example, Russia. And the hard liquor market there.

Stolichnaya Vodka — most people call it Stoli — is now a sponsor of the New Jersey Nets, according to the twitter account of CNBC’s Darren Rovell.

He adds that new Nets owner and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov may be used in an advertising campaign for the vodka.

Frankly, Nets fans could have used some vodka to numb the pain during last season, not this one. They hope.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Clippers ready to win West?

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With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).

Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.

It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.

The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).

Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.

Stephen Curry gives high five while his shot is in air (video)

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Stephen Curry said the defending-champion Warriors would have no problem picking up where they left off.

His swagger certainly remains intact.