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Mikhail Prokhorov supports LeBron’s decision

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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.

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  1. braveheart775
    July 29th, 2010 at 22:45 | #1

    1- The Nets overpaid in order not to come out empty.
    2- They need at least three years to be a playoff team!
    3- At least this owner (Prokhorov) is honest and not as bitter as other owners and GMs…
    4- Albert, when should we expect your version of the east power ranking?

    Keep writing man,

  2. July 29th, 2010 at 22:47 | #2

    Funny you should ask. I had a draft written; I have since tossed it. I am not quite sure I am again ready for the level of commitment required for such an in depth analysis.

  3. Heat-Struck
    July 29th, 2010 at 23:21 | #3


    I think you are more than ready to create a power ranking list. Anything to get you to keep posting is a good idea.

  4. AJ
    July 29th, 2010 at 23:51 | #4

    Power ranking is a good idea. Lay it on us.
    And ps, what do we think about j howard to the wiz? Might our division actually put up a fight? (it’s funny how little we even think about decisions in the nba)

  5. braveheart775
    July 30th, 2010 at 00:58 | #5


    Here’s a suggestion for your new topic:
    10 must see games: Heat Vs ??
    I think that the schedule will come out in August, but you can tell us your opinion about the must see games and the reason why….


  6. Jorge
    July 30th, 2010 at 08:11 | #6

    As a Heat fan (and believe it or not a pretty objective one at that) I obviously agree with Prokhorov. However, the cynic in me believes that his comments are that of a shrewd businessman. Let’s not forget that Lebron (as do Bosh and Wade) have an optout clause in four years. At which time the Nets will be in NY (Brooklyn) and will make another run at Lebron.

    Of course, this will be a non-issue as we will be racking up those titles.

  7. July 30th, 2010 at 08:14 | #7

    at least someone has the brains to congratulate lebron and truely repect his decision..
    as for 10 games id like to see :
    @ Cavs (OMG :P)
    L.A Lakers
    Oklahoma City

    i think we might need some high level security for lebron and company in cleveland

  8. Tomi
    July 31st, 2010 at 00:21 | #8

    I like this Prokhorov guy. He’s a pro. I hope the Nets become a good team in the near future.

    Please keep on writing, Albert!

  9. August 1st, 2010 at 16:49 | #9

    Total PR move by Prokhorov. He is already trying to recruit LeBron 4 years from now. Shouldn’t he punished for talking about a player who will not be a free agent for another 4 years? Just food for thought, considering he said, he would love to have him on his team.

  10. August 1st, 2010 at 16:55 | #10

    It is certainly a possibility. There is realistically no reason for an opposing GM to make any comment, either positive or negative. In doing so, Prokhorov is either being atypically genuine or has an ulterior motive in mind. Either way, the sentiment was kind.

  11. wasabi
    August 1st, 2010 at 21:45 | #11

    well done on these articles Albert. Please continue writing.

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