Meet Mikhail Prokhorov

Russian billionaire approved earlier this month as owner of the Nets

In a fascinating article by probably the best basketball writer Bill Simmons, we get a view of the interesting and not-so ordinary life of the Russian billionaire who recently became majority owner of the New Jersey Nets.

One of the most obscure things you may notice as he reads the paper at his desk, he has no computer. He has no e-mail, no twitter, no facebook. He hates the Internet. Without all the information at his disposal, you may wonder how he obtained such wealth.

A lot of luck, and good timing. As the article explains, he made most of his money investing money into the Russian government in the early ’90s, as well cashing in huge sells as part owner of some the world’s largest aluminum and gold companies.

Apart from being an elite investor, Prokhorov also ” [owns] his own media company; two banks and an insurance company; enough real estate that nobody can keep track of everything; and a website called Snob that celebrates rich Russians and their lifestyles.”

As the article notes, his wealth and story are a little fishy. The 6 foot 6 inch self-made billionaire is not married, except for the 48 hour marriage to win a bet with a friend. He explains that he loves women, but hasn’t found one beautiful who cooks well enough for him.

He sounds a bit stubborn, but here’s a chance for a good cook to live the life of riches.

“60 Minutes” had a special with him a few weeks ago in which he takes cameras behind the scenes into his illustrious life. A 200-foot yacht, which he says he doesn’t even know where it is at the moment, a multi-million dollar mansion outside of Moscow, and dozens of others luxury items you acquire when you shit out Benjamins.

Simmons offers insight into the nontraditional, and 2nd wealthiest man in Russia, but I’m more interested in his plans with the Nets.

The planned move to Brooklyn will most likely take place summer 2013, so he’s got some time to assemble a squad worthy of being “an international franchise” as he calls it.

Simmons prediction is quite interesting. It is well noted that Prokhorov owned international powerhouse CSKA Moscow, the former team of Andrei Kirilenko. AK-47 (my favorite nickname in the NBA), has a large contract that the Jazz would love to get off their books. Simmons says the Nets acquire him this summer, to make some cap room for the prize of next summer’s free agency class, Carmelo Anthony. Adding him to a roster of this year’s lottery pick, probably Georgia Tech PF Derrick Favors, another lottery pick next year, and emerging star Brook Lopez.

So what does all this mean?

The Nets, who will probably go by another name with the move to Brooklyn, with Prokhorov’s global influence, will be a force to be wrecking with in a couple years. After a 12-70 record last season, the only way to go is up, and Prokhorov is in no rush.

I personally find the guy fascinating, as does Bill Simmons, here is the link again if you didn’t see it before.

Definitely check it out

It’s a little lengthy, but Prokhorov is worth your time. As Simmons calls him the Mutant Russian Mark Cuban, he may become not only one of the richest people in the world, but also one of the most popular.

-KP

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