Since May, Nets fans and basketball fans in general have been hearing about Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. He’s created quite the stir since taking over the Nets, appearing in a memorable interview on 60 Minutes, among other things, and now he’ll be appearing at the Prudential Center tonight for the season opener against the Pistons. As the New York Times notes, Prokhorov has become the face of the franchise:
Playing the frontman may not be a bad thing for Prokhorov, who still lacks a Q score, a measurement of a star’s likability. If nothing else, he is unique. Not only is Prokhorov the only foreign owner in the N.B.A., he also is 6 feet 8 inches and looks far more like a basketball player than most owners. Being a billionaire doesn’t hurt, either.
As a Nets fan, I obviously welcome the intrigue and wealth that Prokhorov brings to this organization. Anytime the Nets can get national media headlines is a good thing from my perspective. Still, I’m anxiously awaiting the day where players become the focal point for this organization, not the front office. Maybe the team starts to build towards that this season. I think they have to if they’re ever going to attract new players with a pedigree. The Nets need to have more appeal to them, than just being known as the place where the rapper/mogul is a small minority owner and the majority owner likes to go dancing with beautiful Russian women.