Mikhail Prokhorov supports LeBron’s decision
Mikhail Prokhorov is a newcomer to the NBA, as the wealthy owner of the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets. At 45 years of age, Prokhorov is Russia’s second richest man, with an estimated net worth of $13 billion. Apparently, he is also a classy guy in defeat.
The Nets were one of the teams shut out of the LeBron James sweepstakes after James’ whirlwind free agent courtship, but Prokhorov says he has no problem with the superstar’s decision to play for the Miami Heat. In fact, he offers James his best.
Prokhorov sent the following letter to the USA Today:
The players are signed, the “Decision” is made, but the passions around this year’s extraordinary class of NBA free agents refuses to die down. What surprises me is the amount of negative commentary directed at the three top free agents (especially LeBron James) who decided to play on the same team and to create a great franchise together. Of course, any club owner dreams of having those players, including me, but all questions of how the announcements were made aside, I respect their choice, and no one has the right to judge them.
I want to say that I support LeBron, the best athlete in the NBA. He had a truly difficult choice to make. Any move he made was sure to be viewed as wrong, and to leave many unhappy fans. Basing his decision on achieving results on the basketball court shows that the sportsman won the day, not the showman or the businessman. What is wrong with that?
We are seeing the birth of a new, dynamic team with such star players, and all of us can await the new season with great anticipation. I wish them success and give them my moral support. I will be happy for us to beat the Miami Heat in the conference finals, maybe not this season, but in the very near future.
Prokhorov has reason to be disappointed.
In a video message for Nets season ticket holders in May, he spoke of his goal to win a championship in five years or less.
The following month, despite having the best odds, he lost out on the first overall pick in the lottery (i.e., the John Wall sweepstakes); the team settled on Derrick favors at No. 3. He then lost out on James; the team has instead filled out its roster with low-profile free agents, including Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, Jordan Farmar, and Travis Outlaw. The team still has about $14 million in cap space but nobody of significance to spend it on.