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.
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.
P.J. Carlesimo is the interim Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Carlesimo joined the team in the 2011-12 season as an assistant to former head coach Avery Johnson, and took over on an interim basis when the Nets fired Johnson on December 27th, 2012. Carlesimo is known as an intense, but friendly, coach, with an old-school style. Nets players speak highly of him.
Carlesimo is best known for his infamous run-in with former Golden State Warriors forward Latrell Sprewell in the 1997-98 season; after numerous clashes, Sprewell threatened to kill Carlesimo during a workout and put his hands around Carlesimo's throat for 10-15 seconds before players pulled him off. Sprewell later returned to the workout and threw punches at the coach. Sprewell's contract was terminated and he was banned from the NBA for one year for the incident, and Carlesimo coached the Warriors until getting fired 27 games into his third year.
A long-time coach at the collegiate and professional level, the Nets represent Carlesimo's fourth NBA coaching opportunity, after stints with the Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, and Seattle Supersonics/Oklahoma City Thunder. Carlesimo reached the playoffs in each of his three seasons with the Trail Blazers from 1995-97, but never made it out of the first round and left the team after the 1996-97 season. He has not made the playoffs since.
The Nets represent an opportunity for Carlesimo to get back into the postseason, and prove that he deserves the full-time gig, though if Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson wants to come out of retirement, it's well-known that the Nets would all but give him a blank check.