While you may have heard of incoming New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, what do you know of his basketball deputy, a guy named Sergey Kushchenko?
The Wall Street Journal is running a piece on Kushchenko, who even more than his billionaire boss is credited with the success of CSKA Moscow basketball’s success in the 2000s. Kushchenko first started in the CSKA system in 2002 after gaining experience with Ural Great and Team Russia; by the 2005-06 season, CSKA was once again a monster in European basketball and Kushchenko was named Euroleague Executive of the Year.
By the time Kushchenko resigned as CSKA general manager last July, Moscow had won seven Russian League titles and had played in as many Euroleague Final Fours – in seven seasons.
The slightly sobering news for Nets fans in the ‘Journal: “Mr. Kushchenko says he will have neither a financial stake nor a formal role in the Nets’ organization…”
As far interesting future plans, Kushchenko “says he has some ideas about the Nets roster and coaching staff but won’t share them publicly. He will say that Mr. Prokhorov plans to introduce Russians ‘little by little’ into minor management positions, but won’t confirm speculation that Andrei Vatutin, Mr. Kushchenko’s understudy and successor at CSKA, will be offered a position in the Nets’ front office.”
Vatutin also worked in the CSKA Moscow front office through the glory days of the 2000s and still holds the GM/president role for the club.
The entire Wall Street Journal profile may be read here.