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FORBES RUSSIA: "I Told America I Come in Peace"

July 27, 2010

Mikhail Prokhorov

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has been featured on the cover of Forbes Russias August Stars and Money issue, which contains a subtitle: Mikhail Prokhorov and American Basketball: Who Will Be the Winner? The article, titled I Told America I Come in Peace contains the following highlights, translated by njnets.com:

  • I hope that this asset, which I bought for $200 million, will be worth at least $1 billion in five years. We got in at the right time.

  • Brooklyn is a country unto itself. Even the Americans themselves say that. Its the center of immigration. It has a unique energy to it. Tens of millions of people who now live in the US came through Brooklyn. When Ive travelled around to different cities, people have come up to me and said, Were Brooklynites. Give us a great Nets team and well root for them.'

  • The structure of the deal is such that, before the move to Brooklyn, we plan to have a certain budget deficit. Thats built in. But from the time we move to Brooklyn, the team becomes profitable.

  • On what the profit will be in two years:

    Around $20 milllion. Thats a conservative estimate.

  • On Phil Jackson being interested in Nets coaching job:

    He said he wanted to drink vodka with me. But the problem is I dont drink vodka! (He laughs). By the way, thats one of the stereotypes, that, if its a Russian, there must be something screwy going on. Were going to break the stereotypes.

  • On whether this project is about business or image:

    When youre talking about the business of sports, you cant leave out passion and love. Thats why, in this business in particular, I need to be maximally careful, so that my passion and love for basketball dont interfere with my business reasoning. It has to do with balancing my own internal interests and here I will be very self-disciplined.

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