Tag: Mikhail Prokhorov

Russians Go To The Polls In Presidential Election

Quote of the Day: Prokhorov’s still waiting for Dolan to RSVP


Mikhail Prokhorov has deliberately stoked up a fire between himself and James Dolan. The Nets want to take over basketball in New York and are using the confrontational, outsiders-invading tactic, stirring up trouble and taking pot shots. This goes all the way back to the summer of 2010 when Prokhorov and the Nets were putting up billboards outside of MSG while the Knicks were hosting the top free agents. It’s continued all the way through the Nets’ arrival in Brooklyn, and it doesn’t look to stop soon.

Prokhorov has a lot of fun ribbing the other owners, like Mark Cuban about the free agency track meet with Deron Williams, but most especially Dolan. The Knicks, for their part, haven’t commented on anything. In part because their strategy is to act above the Nets in every regard, and maintain their credibility as the “flagship franchise” of the NBA (that hasn’t won a title in forty years). But Prokhorov is not without generosity. In fact, he’d love for Mr. Dolan to come on down to Brooklyn to enjoy the new Barclays Center when Prokhorov’s Nets host the Knicks in the two teams’ NBA season opener. He’s just waiting for a yes.


This whole thing is going to be so much fun.

Barclays Center officially opens doors in Brooklyn

Brooklyn New Arena

Brooklyn has a professional sports team again — but this ain’t baseball.

And the new, intentionally-rusted looking Barclays Center is not going to be confused with Ebbets Field.

Still, this could be something good for Brooklyn. It certainly will be good for the Nets (much better than their Jersey homes).

Friday was the official ribbon cutting at the Barclays Center, which will first host a series of Jay-Z concerts before the Brooklyn Nets (which Jay-Z owns a sliver of) bring NBA basketball to the building next month. (By the way, ask any reporter his/her least favorite event to cover and ribbon cuttings will be near the top of the list. They are dreadful.)

But those that have seen the building, like John Schuhmann of NBA.com, are impressed. It’s supposed to be a state-of-the-art inside — with Jay-Z designing some of the touches — and have all the luxury suites that drive the finances of NBA teams these days. Schuhmann said the building is very vertical and very intimate.

Remember this — the Barclays Center is really just an anchor to a larger Brooklyn Yards real estate project. A new arena with an NBA team is the kind of glitzy part developers need to get the massive residential and retail complex near it approved. But make no mistake, former Nets owner Bruce Ratner and current one Mikhail Prokhorov will make a lot more off the real estate than they will the Barclays Center and Nets.

It’s not unlike the model AEG used in Los Angeles — Staples Center was a building needed to change the image of the area to Los Angeles residents, but the real money was in the hotel/residential/restaurant/retail complex called LA Live around it.

The Barclays Center is open now, officially — ribbons were cut, speeches made and hands shaken. This will be good for the Nets. And it will probably be good for Brooklyn.

Now lets get to the games.

Prokhorov refers to James Dolan as “the little man”

Mikhail Prokhorov Introductory Press Conference

If nothing else this season, I’m going to enjoy watching the Knicks and Nets go back and forth at each other like four-year-old girls fighting over a Barbie doll. The battles will be both on the court — the Knicks are the Nets first home game in the Barclays Center — and in the media. And it should last — they both should be playoff teams in the East (man I am hoping for a first-round matchup).

There will be petty sniping back and forth at each other because the Nets are trying to establish themselves in Brooklyn and the New York market.

There’s a long, detailed piece in New York Magazine about the Nets move, mostly a reminder that the Barclays center is part of a real estate deal and the Nets were just a cog in that to make sure it happened. But the petty sniping between owners — the Nets Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov and the Knicks James Dolan — found its way in.

(Prokhorov told me back in December that he plans on attending a quarter of the regular-season games and “all the playoff ones.” He also made sure that I heard him call Dolan “that little man.”)

“The little man.” Petty. But I find it amusing nonetheless, and wait for the Knicks to fire back. The Knicks can afford to take the high road — they are the established team in the market, they have the built up generations of loyal fans, they are the icons — but still there is tension between the teams you can feel.

This will be fun to sit back and watch.

Report: Nets-Magic Howard deal blew up because of Orlando animosity

Dwight Howard

Business is business. But business is conducted by humans, and humans have emotions, like pride, anger, and resentment. And it turns out that what may have sunk a potential Nets-Magic deal wasn’t the deal itself, but how Orlando felt about the Nets. From the New York Daily News:

A league source told the Daily News that a stumbling block in negotiations was lingering animosity stemming from the Magic’s belief the Nets illegally contacted Howard in December without Orlando’s permission. The Nets denied they had met with Howard, and charges were never filed with the league.

via Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams lost interest in Dwight Howard sweepstakes well before Thursday’s trade to the Lakers – NY Daily News.

In the same article, Deron Williams says that the Magic “just didn’t want to deal him to (the Nets).”

The reaction from most people is going to be outrage, or disgust, that personal feelings should never get in the way of a deal this important.

My response? There are bigger things at play here.

For starters, the Nets’ deal wasn’t some awe-inspiring package of young players and picks. The picks all came from one team, which was going to be 25-plus with a core of Deron Williams and Dwight Howard. Brook Lopez is a phenomenal talent, but because of his free agency status, was going to end up giving them a sizable contract that was going to be hard to move if Lopez has injury issues or regresses further. Even if Kris Humphries would have been on a $9 million one-year deal as Yahoo Sports reported, 1. Humphries would have to agree to take substantially less than market value (he signed for two-years, $12-million) and 2. you’re still looking at over $20 million going on the books in 2013 for an absolutely wretched team. Even with Marshon Brooks and the cap-clearing, that’s not a good deal. you can argue it was better than what they got, that comes down to how you feel about Lopez, and there are arguments to be made on both sides.

But there’s a bigger point here.

In business, the companies that thrive long-term have a commitment to doing it the right way. You can skirt those tactics for a while, but eventually, the rot gets through your organization and your hubris takes its toll. And there’s something to be said for maintaining your pride. If the Magic legitimately felt that the Nets had tampered with their player, their best player, that’s a huge violation of NBA rules and of NBA managerial conduct. It’s one thing to tamper with your player, it’s another to then continually collude with that player’s camp to ruin all other leverage in regards to other deals and to constantly pressure the team into making the trade. And there’s a lot of evidence that that might have gone on. You can’t blame Howard’s people. It’s their job to fulfill their clients wishes. That’s what their responsibility is, not to the team. But to Howard, and to the Nets, as members of the NBA, there’s a way to conduct business and a way not to. So if Orlando decided it didn’t want to have someone steal their lunch money, then trade their backpack to get a third of that money back, I don’t see how you can blame them.

It’s not about being petty. It’s about conducting yourself in a way that maintains your self-respect. Maybe the Nets did nothing wrong, they certainly have always claimed so. But there were reports about meetings between Prokhorov and Howard prior to Orlando granting teams permission to speak with him. Even if they did nothing wrong, the Magic acted out of self-preservation.

Sometimes you just can’t let people walk all over you, even if it is, “the best thing for you.”

Nets owner jokes he wants to open Barclays Center with Jay-Z

New Jersey Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov Meets with Jay Z

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is going to open this fall with a Mikhail Prokhorov concert…

Well, not exactly. It’s going to be a couple nights of Jay-Z shows. That probably sells a little better.

But the Nets majority owner apparently thinks he is going to join the minority owner and face of the franchise during those opening shows… okay, Prokhorov is probably joking. Maybe somebody should have run that joke by Jay-Z first.

Here is what Prokhorov is saying, according to Crain’s New York (via SLAM).

In February, the owner of the Brooklyn Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov, appeared on a Russian television comedy show called Spotlight Paris Hilton, and offered a musical tribute to his co-owner, hip-hop star Jay-Z.

“Mr. Jay-Z, this rap is for you,” went the English portion of the lyrics. “Mr. Jay-Z, this is the first presentation/of real rap music from Russian Federation. Mr. Jay-Z, you are not alone/Mikhail Prokhorov on the microphone.”

According to Mr. Prokhorov, a reprise is in the works, but this time in downtown Brooklyn, where Jay-Z will open the $1 billion Barclays Center with a series of sold-out concerts this fall. “Yes, I will rap at his concert,” Mr. Prokhorov informed Crain’s via email. “I am in rehearsals now 10 hours a day and plan to demand joint billing.”

First… yes, he’s joking around.

Second, there is a Russian comedy show called “Spotlight Paris Hilton?” How did I not know this and where can I find bootleg copies?

Third and finally, maybe this isn’t happening but I would love it if it would.