Monday, September 21st, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  27 responses

The Shady Past of Nets’ Potential New Owner

by Marcel Mutoni

Let’s be honest: New Jersey isn’t exactly unfamiliar with shady characters, but those guys at least have the decency to commit their crimes in NJ. But, when foreigners with sketchy dealings try and get a piece of the pie, well, we simply can’t have that now, can we?

Last week, it was reported that Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov was close to buying a major stake in the New Jersey Nets franchise. Should Prokhorov get his way, he will have a major PR battle on his hands.

From the NY Daily News:

Prokhorov, who reportedly could also take over a majority stake in the team if a deal is reached, was arrested in January 2007 while on vacation at a French ski resort when police cracked down on a suspected prostitution ring. According to numerous reports at the time, Prokhorov told investigators that he flew beautiful women in from Russia because he enjoyed their company.

However, investigators suspected that Prokhorov had supplied the women as prostitutes to his wealthy friends and kept the billionaire in custody for several days before releasing him and dropping the charges. Prokhorov later told the French press that “my winter vacation in France was spoiled by local police, who arrested me and my friends without giving any reasonable explanations.” A Ratner spokesperson refused to comment on Prokhorov’s controversial past.

It’s not all bad news, Nets fans. Besides the fact that charges were dropped following his arrest, Mikhail Prokhorov is a very tall man (6 foot 9, according to the linked article.)

So, he may have a suspicious past, but at least the man could get out there and grab a rebound or two for the team. That has to count for something.

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  • Ken

    Dude is 6 foot 9! I like the idea of him coming off the bench. He’d be like the ultimate Mark Cuban.

  • Saku 39

    Still better than Dolan.

  • NJ4Life

    Good. Get this scum away from my team. NEWARK.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Russian Dolls.

  • underdog

    Well, show me one, just one russian billionaire who hasn’t got shady past.

  • http://www.bustabucket.com Seth

    Donald Sterling is fully prepared to defend his title as scummiest owner.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    At least he’s proven to be able to procure talent.

  • RedRum

    bloody hell… after Russian oligarhs have infiltrated football (soccer for you yanks), and european basketball, they are now getting their claws on the NBA… I was a Chelsea supporter until Abrhamovic bought them…

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Lang beat me to it.

  • T Money

    Dude is a billionaire. Why would he need to run a prostitution ring? Those must have been some expensive ho’s.

  • TADOne

    Robin Thicke might be owning the Nets?

  • edmalhas

    With him and with a trade for Delonte West I think a move to Newark shouldn’t be to far off?!

  • http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    Liam Neeson is going to kill this guy.

  • Big D

    Nets new name: New Jersey Solntsevskaya bratva

  • JB

    So this would mean an automatic upgrade to the Nets cheerleaders right?

    Courtside ticket holders may treat the private areas like champagne rooms.

  • http://www.sonicbids.com/shaemorin doyouwantmore

    Nothing funny about this guy. If the implications are true then an NBA team would be part owned by someone who profits off of slavery.

  • Nick the Quick

    Watch for Easy Yi to make the All-Star team this year now that Yao is out and his new owner has ‘enticing incentives’ to make him a ‘sweet-stroking’ assassin!

  • The D Train

    Would Chairman Yi lose his title as “NJ Net Most Proficient With A Chair”?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    T Money Posted: Sep.21 at 12:09 pm
    Dude is a billionaire. Why would he need to run a prostitution ring? Those must have been some expensive ho’s.
    Expensive = gorgeous. Everyone knows that Russia has both the most attractive women and ugliest men ratio.

  • http:///realcavsfans.com Anton

    I got 99 problems but a babka ain’t one

  • From out of Nowhere

    This might explain why the Nets have considered inviting J.R. Rider to training camp.

  • ab_40

    so he proviede his employees with beautifull women… I can work with this guy

    russian women are beautifull by the way.

    I think every man who is a billionaire has some kind of shady businuess done in the past.

  • NM23

    When Hov cracks the Billi, will his ‘shady’ past be brought up? Or doesnt he own enough of the team?

  • LeoneL

    Lang wins…hands down.

  • E

    behind EVERY fortune a crime has to be commited somewhere. No billionaire made that much money legally its impossible.

  • RedRum

    The problem with these Russian oligarchs is that they became rich overnight by essentially stealing huge companies from the state. Prokhorov was a banker, and knew the inside outs of the system, and essentially stole the biggest minerals company in the world for a few thousand dollars…

  • chintao

    @ doyouwantmore ==> You draw some funny distinctions, my friend. Slavery is a fact of the capitalist system. Corporations like IBM and Gerneral Motors (as well as their stockholders) have profited from slavery in the not so distant past.