Mikhail Prokhorov is the majority owner of the Brooklyn Nets, and the only international owner in the NBA. A Russian billionaire, Prokhorov bought the majority stake in the Nets from Bruce Ratner in 2010 as the team was in economic freefall, and immediately went on video promising the team’s fans a championship within five years. Prokhorov, who is the tallest NBA owner at 6’8″, has only made occasional public appearances, making him a bit of a mystery man to the American fanbase.
His brief moments in the spotlight highlight an eccentric man, one who enjoys jet-skiing, AK-47’s, and famously, trash talk — Prokhorov has bashed the Manhattan Knicks on multiple occasions, including putting up an advertisement directly across from Knicks arena Madison Square Garden, saying “I don’t think we want to be like the Knicks. I think we’d more like to resemble the Lakers” and calling Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony (who had requested a trade to the Knicks, his eventual team) “Carmela” when publicly disavowing trade talks.
Prokhorov is also a politician, and ran against Vladimir Putin for the Presidency of Russia in 2012. He lost, handily, allowing him to continue to own the Nets.
Billy King is the General Manager of the Brooklyn Nets. King took over the position from Rod Thorn in the middle of July 2010, after the Nets had already struck out with the “Big 3” free agents. Before joining the Nets, King worked as the president and GM of the Philadelphia 76ers from 1998-2007 (signing as president in 2003). When in Philadelphia, King infamously signed players to enormously inflated long-term contracts, including Matt Geiger for six years at $51 million. King later said in New Jersey that he’d learned from his past mistakes, and before the team moved to Brooklyn made small, short-term moves to maintain flexibility while gunning for one big superstar.
Wrapped in trade saga after trade saga, King never ended up getting the star he originally sought, only to turn around and acquire another star seemingly out of nowhere. Seven months of trade scenarios for Carmelo Anthony ended with Anthony as a Manhattan Knick, but King re-set his sights and acquired Deron Williams within 24 hours. After a year of anonymous sources leaking Dwight Howard wanted to go to Brooklyn, King (at the request of Williams) chose not to wait on Howard, concocting a deal to acquire six-time All-Star Joe Johnson from Atlanta. Howard joined the Lakers soon after. King later put together a deal with the Boston Celtics to acquire future Hall of Fame players Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce, running up an historical luxury tax tab in the quest of winning a championships.
A former player, King played for four years under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke as a defensive-minded guard. His friendship with current Hawks GM and former Duke player Danny Ferry built during that time is alleged to have had a significant impact on King’s ability to bring Johnson to Brooklyn.
Lionel Hollins is the Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Hollins was officially introduced as the head coach on July 7, 2014, shortly after the Nets allowed Jason Kidd to pursue a head coaching job with the Milwaukee Bucks. Hollins was considered for the Nets coaching job a year earlier, before the team elected to hire Kidd. Prior to joining the Nets, Hollins had a lifetime coaching record of 214-201, including one trip to the Western Conference Finals.
Hollins is a no-nonsense “old-school” coach whose teams consistently win. Hollins is heavy into player development and “toughness,” and is not considered an analytics-minded coach. A former player who won an NBA championship with the Portland Trail Blazers, Hollins is known for a brash, sometimes abrasive style.
In three separate stints coaching the Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies, Hollins’s teams had a better winning percentage in each of his full seasons coaching, right up to a franchise record 56-26 record in 2012-13. After that season, he and the Grizzlies split, citing philosophical differences.