Mikhail Prokhorov profile: businessman turned sports owner turned full-time politician

Mikhail Prokhorov

Mikhail ProkhorovBrooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov earned a feature in the March issue of Forbes Magazine, and the feature is already available on the web. In it, Prokhorov comes off as intensely political these days, leaving all his other assets — including the Nets — in the hands of others. Prokhorov calls the Nets “a passion project,” even as he spends his time during the interview going to a Nets-Bulls game. (Highlight: Prokhorov reportedly yelled “Those S.O.B.s will now score!” when the Bulls had the ball. Not exactly faith in your roster.)

Prokhorov is painted as a ruthless chess player, slowly making his moves towards a rise to political power with his new Civic Platform party, with a focus on individual freedom and the free market. Prokhorov is planning a run at the Russian Presidency during the next presidential election in 2018, but has to keep his moves careful, lest he upset current Russian president Vladimir Putin and put himself in serious danger. Prokhorov’s notoriety in the United States may help serve as a buffer there — the more well-known Prokhorov is on the global scene, the less Putin may want to dirty his hands.

The profile deals with his childhood (“not a troublemaker), his rise to power (which, though often framed as “a young Russian selling stonewashed jeans and turning it into billions,” is far more intense and reliant on shady Russian privatization laws in the 1990s), and his relationship with Forest City Ratner CEO and co-owner of the Brooklyn Nets & Barclays Center Bruce Ratner. Ratner, incidentally, does not “know the politics in Russia,” whatever that means.

Lots of interesting nuggets in this piece. Take a read below.

Read More: Forbes — Russian Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov: From Oligarch To President?