With billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov capturing the imagination of journalism in both sport and financial spheres across the planet, why wouldn’t the English-language Voice of Russia be getting in on the action?
Mother Russia’s latest international celebrity got a brief writeup in Friday’s edition of the online newspaper with some good nuts-and-bolts stuff on the New Jersey Nets’ salary-cap and other financial issues. Said Prokhorov on what the Voice is calling “a gift to himself,” i.e. the purchase of the Nets, “I like to find cheap assets with problems. It gives me power.”
More intriguingly, the Voice speculates on what the financial maneuver might mean for Russian basketball with the tantalizing prospect of exchanges between the big country and New Jersey. Russian Basketball Association chairman Sergei Chernov comments that “It is now possible to set up sports camps for young people in both the U.S. and Russia. It is possible to have master classes and competitions of the two basketball leagues.”
Current CSKA Moscow president Andrei Vatutin, a member of Prokhorov’s basketball posse and a name New Jerseyans’ll continue to hear through 2010-11, was a bit more realistic about a headlong leap by Russia via a Prokhorov master plan: “Both Russian and European clubs try to copy some successful moves Americans make. But there will hardly be a direct access to the technologies and instruments using which the NBA becomes a success from both the sporting side and marketing – we had no such access.”