Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov Remains ‘Optimistic’

A day after a major overhaul of the floundering Brooklyn Nets’ coaching staff and front-office, team owner Mikhail Prokhorov faced the local press and tried to put a positive spin on his franchise’s ongoing nosedive.

The Russian billionaire says he plans to be more hands-on with the organization, and that things can only get better for the Nets (10-28).

Prokhorov wouldn’t bite when asked about potentially going after John Calipari.

Per The Record:

“We are playing in the best market in the world,” Prokhorov said. “And of course there is a market which make a great pressure. … That is why we need a players and a coach who can resist with this pressure and survive. So we need not only players who want to play for us but they can play for us. So for me it is a very important lesson.” […] That could be viewed as a direct shot at former point guard Deron Williams, who never thrived in New York, and (Lionel) Hollins, who often grew frustrated with questions from reporters.


The Nets owner said he’d prefer to fill the general manager and coaching position separately. Prokhorov was also asked specifically about Kentucky coach John Calipari, who is a close friend of Nets CEO Brett Yormark and has been linked to the Nets’ job. To lure Calipari from Kentucky, the Nets likely would have to give him complete control of their basketball operations. […] “Coach Cal is a great coach,” Prokhorov said, a smile crossing his face. “But we won’t be discussing today any names. … I’m not in a hurry. We’ll put a lot of names in the list.”


The next person to take over the Nets’ head coaching job will be the sixth in that role, including interims, since the team moved from New Jersey in 2012. But Prokhorov said he’s not worried that instability will deter potential candidates. […] “We are just optimistic,” Prokhorov said. “I think for the time being, the Brooklyn Nets is the best franchise with the best arena, we have in a month the best training facility, with the D-League, with big amount of money under the cap, I think it’s a great chance for any GM and for any head coach.”