May 12, 2010, 8:00AM
He’s a 45-year-old billionaire from the other side of the planet, and he has virtually nothing in common with those who will invest their emotions and disposable income in his new business next year.
But already, Mikhail Prokhorov is working on his populist rhetoric:
“For those who are already fans of the Nets and the NBA,” Prokhorov proclaimed in a statement Tuesday, “I intend to give you plenty to cheer about.”
The Russian oligarch received official approval from the NBA Board of Governors to purchase controlling ownership in the team Tuesday, setting the stage for the official closing of the transaction today.
Then, presumably, there will be something to cheer about — notably, the reawakening of a franchise that had pinched every penny under owner Bruce Ratner the last few seasons.
“We are pleased that the NBA’s Board of Governors approved Mikhail Prokhorov’s purchase of majority ownership of the Nets, welcoming into the NBA ownership ranks the league’s first majority investor from outside of North America,” commissioner David Stern said.
“We anticipate that his passion for the game and business acumen will be of considerable value not only to the Nets franchise but to the entire NBA.”
With interests that include metals, banking, electric vehicles, media and real estate, Prokhorov is worth an estimated $13.4 billion, making him the second-richest NBA owner behind Portland’s Paul Allen. And though he had a reputation for being less intrusive than most owners during his time with CSKA Moscow — a two-time European champion — he will have to make several important decisions almost immediately.
As they make plans to move in Newark for at least two years, the Nets are facing perhaps the busiest offseason in their history, following the 12-70 debacle of 2009-10.
For starters, Prokhorov is expected to give team president Rod Thorn a contract extension sometime next week. That will be followed by the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday in Secaucus — where Prokhorov himself will probably represent the team — and a free-agent market in which the Nets will have at least $26 million to spend on new players.
And with few exceptions, the best NBA owners spend. That’s one lesson Ratner learned too late, as his tight purse strings made him a pariah for fans who blamed him for allowing Kenyon Martin to leave via free agency. Though that decision showed astute foresight, the 65-year-old developer blamed it on his lack of experience.
His successor comes better prepared, and Ratner said Monday that “Mikhail and his team will bring tremendous innovation and excitement to the NBA. He has a love for basketball and a commitment to excellence.”
Mikhail Prokhorov was born on May 3rd, 1965 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Prokhorov
5 + 3 +2+0+1+0 = 11 = his personal year (from May 3rd, 2010 to May 2nd, 2011)
11 year + 5 (May) = 16 = his personal month (from May 3rd, 2010 to May 2nd, 2011) = Astonishment. Astounding. Spectacular. Amazing. Amazement. Speechless. Unprecedented. Surpass. Exceed. Transcend. Powerful speaker. Powerful voice.
16 month + 11 (11th of the month on Tuesday May 11th, 2010) = Initiative. Follow through. Original. The first. Innovation. Trailblazer. Pioneer. Inventor. Start. Begin. Initiate. New start. Fresh start. First step. The beginning.