Amid the throes of one of the great bad seasons in NBA history, the highest-profile New Jersey Net is a 6’8” fellow who won’t be joining the franchise until next season and even then he’s guaranteed not to see a single minute of playing time. We’re talking here, of course, about prospective majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian big-business mastermind who’s willing to plunk down $200 million in hopes of creating CSKA Moscow West for the currently beleaguered Nets devotees.
Prokhorov appeared on prime-time television in the U.S. last night as subject for a segment on the news magazine “60 Minutes.” Concomitantly, the Sunday edition of the “New York Times” also ran a profile on Prokhorov in which the CSKA owner displays some basketball acumen: “The [Nets are] short-staffed. Plus, a couple of players were seriously injured at the beginning of the season. And let’s face it: The competition was extremely tough this season. I don’t think they could have done dramatically better in the circumstances.”
In the ‘paper, Prokhorov also confidently stated that “I view this investment as a business opportunity. I expect this asset to be worth around a billion dollars after the new arena is built and the team gets to the top of the N.B.A.”
Clips from CBS’ “60 Minutes” broadcast follow.
In the first segment, Prokhorov sizes up his take on the New Jersey opportunity, nearly simultaneously proclaiming that “I am addicted to sports” and that “I like to be stressed.” (Joisey sounds like an ideal locale for the man already.) Further, Prokhorov is “really excited to take the worst team in the league and turn it [into] the best.”
Here, the 6’8” former player reveals that his team will have at least one sweet nickname to broadcast next season, namely his own: “The Giraffe.”
Later, Prokhorov shows that he may end up being the first NBA owner showing off his digs on “MTV Cribs.” But before you get any ideas, be sure to take note of the AK-47 this Russian apparently just keeps lying around the place. In general, Prokhorov’s flat is “not too bad.”
Finally, Prokhorov speaks of a problem that we all wish we had: Apparently, the billionaire doesn’t even know *how much money he has.*
Excited yet, Nyets fans?